Tennessee State Representative Jeremy Faison (R-Cosby) said last week that he is drafting a bill that would decriminalize marijuana possession by military veterans in the state who have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Rep. Faison told the Knoxville News-Sentinel, “Pills have side effects. … The No. 1 side effect is suicide. Twenty-eight veterans a day in America are committing suicide.”
Aside from a bill legalizing low-THC cannabis oil that Gov. Haslam signed in May of this year, marijuana legalization and decriminalization advocates in the state have struggled to gain support for their initiatives.
[RELATED: Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam Signs Cannabis Oil Legalization Bill into Law]
Faison, who claims to have never tried an intoxicant and whose sister was killed by an inebriated driver, says it takes “a special kind of stupid” to fail to recognize the medical benefits of marijuana in the case of war veterans who suffer from PTSD.
He said that his wife, who holds a master’s degree in nutrition, often says, “For most ailments man has, God has a remedy,” and added that he believes that marijuana can sometimes be used as a natural alternative to pharmaceutical drugs for certain ailments.
Faison’s bill will only decriminalize pot possession by veterans dealing with PTSD. Critics, such as Rep. Sherry Jones (D-Nashville), who relayed an anecdote about a police officer who is wheelchair-bound by seizures, say that the effort is unfair because it does not allow non-veterans with PTSD and other ailments to seek treatment. However, Rep. Jones said that she would be willing to support Faison’s bill as an incremental step to allow a “little piece of the population” to obtain medical marijuana.
In September of last year, Ben Swann released a Truth in Media episode exposing the federal government’s mixed messages on medical marijuana. Watch it in the below-embedded video player.