100 signatures reached
To: Tennessee State House and Senate
Medical and/or Recreational Marijuana Legalization in Tennessee
Pass Legislation on Medical and/or Recreational Marijuana
Why is this important?
Marijuana accounts for 53% of all drug arrests in Tennessee, 33% of which are for simple possession. Approximately 20,000 residents of Tennessee are arrested for marijuana possession each year. With the requirement for arrest being 1 ounce of marijuana worth potentially $580 dollars at street value, equating to $11,327,400 minimum worth of potential sales in a legal setting, based on arrests alone. With Tennessee's tax rate of 9.25%, this equates to $1,047,784.50 in potential tax revenue per year at a minimum. (Drugscience)
Legalization has already been shown by Forbes.com to be a massive boost in tax revenue for states that have taken the first steps. After Legalization, Tennessee can expect figures similar to the state of Washington where marijuana sales generated $395.5 million in tax revenue in 2019, or Colorado where tax revenue from marijuana exceeded and nearly doubled the $42,000,000 collected from alcohol taxes in the last fiscal year with an astonishing $70,000,000 in tax revenue. Colorado witnessed a $2,000,000 boost in tax revenue from a 10% flat tax on all marijuana products added to the original sales tax of 2.9% in just the first month of 2014 from marijuana sale. Regardless of special taxes in areas of Colorado, sales stayed consistent and healthy, with a total of $14,200,000 worth of marijuana sold. The legalization also came with a bylaw that dedicated the first $40,000,000, which was met in the first fiscal year, of tax revenue directly to school construction. (Forbes)
Alcohol, a legal drug, caused 88,000 deaths from 2006-2010, according to the CDC. Marijuana has never been reported to cause death in the history of mankind. One would sooner die of smoke inhalation than of an overdose of THC. Legalization poses no threat to public health or society.
In Tennessee, marijuana prohibition has created a racial disparity of arrests in an otherwise fairly equal society of marijuana users. Marijuana users of African descent are 4 times more likely to be arrested than their Caucasian counterparts, even though Caucasians are 5% more likely to partake in recreational marijuana, according to a study done by the American Civil Liberties Union. (ACLU)
The State of Tennessee would see more Tax Revenue from legalization then they do from Court Fees collected from simple possession cases, all while saving money from prosecution of said cases.
The American Chemical Society has shown that Marijuana is an effective treatment for Alzheimer's. Rather than further bogging down our healthcare system with prescription man made pain killers, or opioids, which has a high level of addiction, legalizing it for medical purposes will allow those with medical disorders to be treated by their choice of medication, which falls under President Trump’s “Right To Try” policy.
It is also nature's oldest nausea medication for cancer patients, as well as a stimulant for those who suffer from narcolepsy.(ACS)
Tennessee is one of a few states that is behind in the times. Former US Attorney General Jeff Sessions once said, “Good people don’t smoke marijuana.” Well sorry t Studies show that motor skills can not be impaired by marijuana more than the legal limit of 0.05% Blood Alcohol Concentration. Driving while under the influence of THC, while not recommended, is still safer than alcohol, according to a 2001 study. (NORML) o spoil Former AG Sessions mind frame, but good politicians who are not doctors or have no background in science don’t stand in the way of medical treatment that is a choice by the individual which is protected under Freedom of Choice within The Constitution of not only The United States but also The Tennessee State Constitution.