Tennessee lawmakers this week approved adding quadriplegia to a list of conditions that qualify some patients for limited access to cannabis.
Senate Bill 1877 It passed with bipartisan support on the Senate floor Wednesday and the House of Representatives on Monday.
Tennessee General Assembly passed a bill In 2021 it granted patients with Alzheimer’s disease, certain types of cancer, Parkinson’s disease, and a few other conditions permission to get 0.9 percent of THC oil from other states. Legislation passed this week adds quadriplegia to the list.
The bill was sponsored in the House of Representatives by Representative Darren Jernigan (D-Nashville).
“This is a small step forward for cannabis legalization,” Jernigan, who uses a wheelchair, said in an email. “Adding quadriplegia to the list of eligible diagnoses will relieve pain and suffering for those dealing with the effects and paralysis associated with this condition.”
Jeff Strand, a spokesperson for the Tennessee Disability Coalition, issued a statement on behalf of the organization.
“This legislation could provide a tremendous benefit to individuals with quadriplegia for whom other treatments have not worked,” he said. “Reducing pain and suffering among Tennessee residents is always good policy making. … By expanding the range of treatments accessible to clinicians, patients, and their families, we can reduce burdensome obstacles to caring for people with disabilities, illnesses, or other health needs. This The legislation is a good start toward improving access to care for all Tennessee residents.”