Meet the Tennessee Republican Fighting for Medical Cannabis

Jeremy Faison is an unlikely cannabis crusader in the red state of Tennessee.

As a Republican member of the Tennessee House of Representatives, Faison is an NRA-endorsed, President-elect Trump supporter. He also wants to bring medical marijuana legalization to the Volunteer State.

It’s a tough sell.

In 2015, the state passed a CBD-only law, which allows patients with uncontrollable seizures to use the non-psychoactive cannabis derivative. But it’s still illegal to make or purchase it in Tennessee.

In September, Nashville became the first city in Tennessee to decriminalize the possession of small amounts of cannabis. Memphis followed suit a few weeks later. The decriminalization measures removed the misdemeanor charge, and fines of $50 and community service for possession of less than a half ounce. Before the change, those caught with any amount of cannabis would be facing a misdemeanor with up to a year in jail and a $2,500 fine. The measures allow police and prosecutors to use their discretion on a case-by-case basis, including bringing a misdemeanor charge. But those efforts have been blocked by state Attorney General Herbert Slatery, who claims the contradiction between the legality of cannabis on the state and city levels is unlawful.

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