NASHVILLE - The House Health and Human Resources Committee today approved legislation urging the state boards of pharmacy and medical examiners to study issues related to the medical use of marijuana.
The committee also wants state sheriffs and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation to examine the issues.
Findings would be reported back to the General Assembly by Feb. 15, 2011.
Committee members approved the bill on a voice vote, allowing it to move on to the House Finance Committee. It has yet to begin moving in the Senate.
Proponents credited a lobbying effort on Monday by 25-year-old Red Bank resident John Donovan, who suffers from rheumatoid arthritis, with helping rescue the study proposal in the House committee. Mr. Donovan said he uses marijuana to relieve pain without inducing nausea.
In an interview Monday in Nashville, Mr. Donovan said he was visiting lawmakers "face to face to let these people know there are Tennesseans out here who this bill affects in a positive way and just basically giving a voice to those people."
Rep. JoAnne Favors, D-Chattanooga, a registered nurse, voted for the measure.
"I'm hoping as a result of the study ... we will come out with a worthwhile solution," she said.
For complete details, see tomorrow's Times Free Press.