Cannabis oil bill moves forward in Tennessee House

NASHVILLE (WATE) – A bill that would decriminalize the possession of cannabis oil is moving forward in the state legislature.

The proposal is sponsored by State Rep. Jeremy Faison and would be for people who suffer from seizures.

This bill has been watched heavily by the families who tell me this would change their lives if signed into law. Two mothers from Greene County were at the hearing and say they’re overwhelmed and emotional over the progress this bill has made so far.

 Josie suffers from seizures that medications can't seem to cure.

Josie suffers from seizures that medications can’t seem to cure.

“It’s huge. You do anything for your kid. You can’t imagine what they go through and for her to have a chance, that’s all we ask,” said Stacie Mathes.

Mathes was one of two Greeneville mothers sitting in on the House Criminal Justice Committee Wednesday morning.

Her 13-month old daughter Josie is the reason why she has been driving four hours almost every week to Nashville to see where the bill stands.

Previous story: Tennessee cannabis oil bill filed, could help Greene County girl and others

Josie suffers from seizures that medications can’t seem to cure. Mathes hopes the cannabis oil bill can help her little girl.

“We need the oil to bring her back. She’s there and we’re going to see her,” she said.

Committee members unanimously voted to push the bill ahead.

State Rep. Jeremy Faison
State Rep. Jeremy Faison

Faison says it’s children like Josie that have drove him to fight for this proposal.

“This is the furthest step the state of Tennessee has ever made in using the cannabis plant, and I am thrilled that we are opening the door to find out the correct uses of this plant,” he said.

Faison says he’s worked heavily with law enforcement on the bill including Knoxville Police Chief David Rausch.

If approved, it would require people to have an order from the state from which they received their cannabis oil. You would also need a note from a doctor in Tennessee.

Mothers like Mathes and Ellen McCall say this could be this could be what they’ve been waiting for.

“She’ll be able to do things that most children are able to do her age and develop more,” said McCall about her daughter.

State Rep. Faison says the bill will now move on to the House Health Subcommittee.

State Sen. Becky Duncan Massey is sponsoring the Senate version of the bill. She says she will be putting the proposal on notice for the Senate Judiciary Committee next week.

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