Cannabis Legalization in Tennessee
Over the past twenty years, the number of Americans who believe that cannabis should be legal for medical or recreational use has more than doubled. As of 2018, 81% of Tennessee voters support some form of marijuana legalization. While we’ve come a long way from “Reefer Madness” propaganda, lawmakers in Tennessee have been slow to reform these outdated laws. We believe that cannabis can improve lives, and it’s our mission to help everyone access these benefits.
In order to bring about change, we need your help. To help focus our efforts, these are five ways that you can make your voice heard and support cannabis legalization in Tennessee–today!
1: Educate Yourself.
This step is crucial to empower you to participate in the conversation. Do your research on the history of cannabis prohibition, as well as what exactly cannabis legalization will entail, to better understand the history of these laws and the future of communities affected by this legislation.
Below is a list of some excellent resources to get you started on the basics.
– The Country’s Evolving Marijuana Debate
– Five myths about marijuana
– What You Need to Know About Ending Prohibition in Tennessee
– Leafly’s Guide to Marijuana Legalization
– Marijuana Legalization and Regulation
– High Times: Help Legalize Marijuana
Are documentaries more your thing? Check out some of our favorite educational films about cannabis here.
2: Join the community.
There are many organizations right here in Tennessee that are working toward legalization. Join the conversation, share your experience, and hear about other perspectives from those working toward cannabis legalization.
The Tennessee Growers Coalition (TGC) is a non-partisan, non-profit political action committee (PAC) dedicated to supporting pro-hemp and pro-cannabis advocacy, awareness, and legislation in Tennessee. Learn more about their grassroots advocacy, fund-raising efforts, and educational outreach here.
The Hemp Alliance of Tennessee works with advocacy partners to make meaningful legislative change and help the cannabis industry grow, while raising positive cannabis awareness through educational content. They also connect members with the information, resources, and industry insight needed to build and manage thriving businesses. Check out their educational resources and become a member here.
Marijuana Policy Project works to change laws and lives for the better, focusing most of their resources on change at a state level. They also maintain a lobbying presence in Washington and work to serve as a powerful voice for civil liberty, equality, and justice through criminal justice reform. Sign up for their newsletter and learn more about Tennessee cannabis policy reform here.
Last Prisoner Project is a nonprofit organization dedicated to cannabis criminal justice reform. LPP was founded in 2019 out of the belief that if anyone is able to profit and build wealth in the legal cannabis industry, those individuals must also work to release and rebuild the lives of those who have suffered from cannabis criminalization. LabCanna is currently participating in Last Prisoner Project’s ‘Roll It Up for Justice’ Program, encouraging our customers to add a donation of $1.00 or $4.20 on to their online purchase at labcanna.com or at our retail store, LabCanna East in Nashville, Tennessee. All proceeds from ‘Roll It Up For Justice’ go directly back towards the Last Prisoner Project’s clemency initiative, working to release cannabis prisoners and help them to rebuild their lives post-incarceration. Learn more about how you can make your voice heard and donate here.
Interested in providing direct financial support to the cause and joining the discussion? We’ve partnered with Canvast Supply Co. to create a heightened dining experience featuring an elevated menu curated by Award-Winning Chef Chris de Jesus of Butcher & Bee on November 18th 2021. This fundraiser is in support of our local Political Action Groups as well as the Last Prisoner Project. Learn more about how you can get involved here.
3. Contact your local representatives.
The American people have cannabis in common. It's time for Congress to join us.
— Cannabis Voter Project (@Cannabis_Voter) November 15, 2021
The Senate may finally be getting serious about legalizing cannabis. A federal legalization bill, the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act, will soon be introduced by Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer. While neither of our Senators have indicated their support for federal cannabis legalization, here’s what we know so far:
• The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) gives Sen. Marsha Blackburn a D+ rating for her votes on marijuana-related legislation in Congress. In the 2018 U.S. Senate race, she stated that she is “open” to legalizing medical marijuana. However, Blackburn also has stated that she believes that “drug addiction affects crime, deaths, is breaking families apart, and devastating our communities.” Interestingly, Blackburn co-sponsored a 2016 law that weakened the ability of the DEA to go after drug distributors and increased the amount of opioids into the black market, requiring that drugs demonstrate a “substantial likelihood of an immediate threat that death, serious bodily harm, or abuse of a controlled substance will occur” in order for the DEA to take action.
• It appears that Sen. Bill Hagerty hasn’t made a stance on cannabis legalization just yet. However, Hagerty is a fiscal conservative who is “working to get government out of the way” in order to grow Tennessee’s economy. He also believes that “all levels of government must work hand in hand to implement prevention, enforcement, treatment, and recovery programs,” regarding ending the opioid crisis.
Visit cannabisincommon.org to contact our Senator Blackburn and Senator Hagerty to let them know your stance on legalizing cannabis on a federal level. Politicians need the support of their constituents–don’t underestimate your power! While it can certainly feel like your individual voice doesn’t matter, your call or email has the potential to make a change.
4. Register to Vote/VOTE!
Make sure you’re registered and ready to go vote! If marijuana reform is on the ballot, spread the word–encourage those around you to join the conversation and make their voice heard as well. If reform isn’t on the ballot yet, focus your efforts on voting for cannabis-friendly legislators with each local and national election.
5. Become a cannabis advocate to those around you.
Cannabis isn’t a taboo subject. Cannabis is simply a plant that helps maintain balance and promote wellness within our bodies. Research, while still developing due to legal limitations, has shown the incredible potential of many chemical compounds, notably cannabinoids and terpenes, found in cannabis.
As a cannabis advocate, you are a beacon of knowledge to help educate future voters and prompt real change. It may feel overwhelming to begin the conversation, but changing even one person’s view on the subject can make a difference. With an increasing number of voices driving the dialogue, our representatives will have no choice but to listen.
Any one of these efforts can make a difference. The first step in change is taking that first step. Thank you for your support in the journey towards cannabis legalization. Together, we can change lives and bring the benefits of cannabis to our home state.
To learn more about how you can get involved, sign up for our newsletter to stay connected on future events, fundraisers, and educational content.