Faison criticized for medical marijuana support by GOP challenger in House District 11

In a “spirited and at times heated debate,” House Government Operations Chairman Jeremy Faison was criticized on several matters by Greg Fodness, who is challenging him in in the House District 11 Republican primary, reports the Newport Plain Talk. One hot topic was Faison’s advocacy of legalizing medical marijuana in recent legislative sessions.

The house bill (sponsored by Faison) made it through two committees but never came under discussion in a senate committee (during the 2018 session).

Faison said he supports the legislation because he’s heard from so many constituents and others across the state in favor of legalizing the plant for medicinal purposes.

“As long as I’m Representative, I will do all I can to make sure sick people have the ability to have a product that is predictable and grown in a controlled environment,” said Faison, who noted that many FDA approved drugs are mind-altering and killing people. “We’ve been lied to for 80 years about the benefit of this plant, which offers health benefits that have been proven scientifically.”

Fodness, who stood in support with the Cocke County Commission’s resolution earlier this past February opposing Faison’s legislation, said he does not approve because of the many questions surrounding the topic.

“Pharmacists can’t prescribe it,” Fodness said. “It has to be someone who runs a dispensary.”

He also decried the amounts of THC in the medical marijuana and that dispensaries could be located close to schools and churches, along with the lack of the ability to control it if it was legalized.

Lets not talk about cannabis, this is pot, this is marijuana,” Fodness said. “The only way you can do it is to synthesize it, which almost all drugs have been, so you can get a dosing amount. I’m sympathetic to people that think it may help them.

“The bill (Faison) wanted to pass allowed 25 percent THC, the best dope you can smoke is around six percent.”

Faison said he is 100 percent against the recreational use of marijuana and that he says those who want to use the plant for medicinal purposes have done their research.

“Do we want to lock them up for breaking the law? Is that the prohibitionist stance,” Faison asked. “Cannabis has not killed anyone for medicinal use.”

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