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Is Marijuana Still Illegal in Tennessee?

 Posted on May 27,2020 in Drug Crimes

Anderson County drug crimes attorney marijuana

Many states have made the transition to legalize marijuana in one form or another. States such as Colorado have taken a more liberal approach, legalizing all forms of the drug, while others only allow their residents to consume the drugs for medical purposes. Tennessee is one of the most conservative states when it comes to cannabis, with all forms remaining illegal. The state divides drugs into categories known as schedules, and marijuana is a Schedule I drug. Substances that fall under this schedule are always illegal, even medically. In order to legalize marijuana in any form, it would need to be moved to a lower category, thus decriminalizing it. Although this may seem out of reach, Tennessee lawmakers may be taking steps in this direction, which would change how drug crimes are charged in the state.

A Groundbreaking Bill

Many states have recognized the benefits of legalizing marijuana for those who need it medically. By allowing citizens to obtain a medical marijuana card after receiving a doctor’s prescription, they can purchase cannabis to be used for health purposes. In early March, Tennessee lawmakers passed a bill in the state Senate to legalize medical marijuana with existent restrictions. If enacted into law, the bill would allow Tennesseans to legally purchase cannabis lotions, oils, and pills for medical use with a doctor’s approval. However, vapes, edibles, and joints would not be considered a legal form for medical purposes.

The law would have originally gone into effect next year, but due to amendments by lawmakers, the bill’s enactment has been delayed until after the drug is lowered from a Schedule I drug to the Schedule II tier by the federal government. Schedule II drugs are illegal for recreational purposes but include drugs that can be prescribed with a doctor’s discretion. The bill has not fully passed yet and has been delayed due to the restrictive drug schedules; however, it may be on the path to approval.

What Are the Legal Consequences of Marijuana Possession?

As for now, marijuana remains illegal in Tennessee, both medically and recreationally, in all forms. The only exception that exists is the use of high-CBD, low-THC cannabis oil for seizure patients. For this reason, possession of any amount of marijuana is a crime—a misdemeanor resulting in one year in jail and up to $2,500 in fines. 

Call a Knoxville, TN Criminal Defense Lawyer

With all the changes going on throughout the country regarding cannabis products, it can be difficult to know what is illegal and what has been approved. For instance, some people may legally purchase marijuana in another state and bring it back to Tennessee, not realizing the criminal charges that can result. Jeffrey Coller, Knoxville Criminal Defense Attorney, believes that everyone should get a second chance. Jeffrey has experience defending Tennesseans on numerous areas of criminal law, and he has succeeded in reducing their sentences or having them dismissed completely. If you are facing marijuana charges, contact our skilled Knox County drug crimes defense attorneys at 865-281-1000 to schedule a free consultation.




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