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East Tennessee Lawmaker calls marijuana ballot initiative a 'stall'

H.B. 1634 was introduced by Representative Bruce Griffey (R - District 75) on July 7.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Rep. Gloria Johnson calls the bill that would put marijuana legalization on the state's ballot in 2022 a 'stall'.

"We don't need a poll on the ballot. We've had plenty of polls across Tennessee," Johnson said. "I think it's cowardly."

Johnson said most Tennesseans support legalizing marijuana, and the Republican lawmakers need to "step-up" and pass legislation, instead of adding a ballot measure.

A Tennessee lawmaker introduced the bill on July 7.

Representative Bruce Griffey (R - District 75) introduced H.B. 1634, which would require county election commissions to include three non-binding questions related to marijuana legalization on the 2022 ballot.

The Secretary of State would then need to compile the results and send the results to the legislature.

The questions would function similarly to a public opinion poll, rather than any binding legal action. The three questions are below:

  1. Should the State of Tennessee legalize medical marijuana?
  2. Should the State of Tennessee decriminalize possession of less than one ounce (1 oz.) of marijuana?
  3. Should the State of Tennessee legalize and regulate commercial sales of recreational-use marijuana?

The Tennessee legislature could then use the results of the questions to guide future decisions. However, they will not be obligated to follow the results of the questions.