Harwell 'open' to medical marijuana law in Tennessee

Harwell 'open' to medical marijuana law in Tennessee

August 12th, 2017 by Associated Press in National Tennessee

House Speaker Beth Harwell, a Republican candidate for Tennessee governor, speaks at a fundraiser in Franklin, Tenn., on Sunday, Aug. 6, 2017. With the field largely set, some of the candidates have begun taking aim at each other in public appearances. (AP Photo/Erik Schelzig)

Photo by The Associated Press /Times Free Press.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The treatment of her sister's back injury has caused Republican gubernatorial candidate Beth Harwell to reevaluate Tennessee's ban on medical marijuana.

Harwell, who is speaker of the state House of Representatives, told a Republican gathering earlier this month that allowing medical marijuana has come up as part of a discussion about how to tackle the state's opioid crisis.

Harwell said her sister was recently prescribed opioids after breaking her back in a yoga accident. But after the initial doses, she wanted to stop taking the painkillers for fear of becoming addicted.

Harwell's sister lives in Colorado where marijuana has been legalized, so she decided to instead consume the drug mixed with coconut oil until she felt better.

Harwell said she still opposes the legalization of recreational marijuana.