Over the past several years, the national debate about the use of marijuana for medicinal as well as recreational purposes seems to have heated up and is definitely reflected in Tennessee. As residents watch eagerly what other states do, there is continued concern about how the state may prosecute people for simply possessing pot.
When it comes to the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, the Marijuana Policy Project notes that the state has a rather odd law in place currently. Some people can qualify to legally use cannabis oil with minimal amounts of tetrahydrocannabinol in it. However, the oil is not able to be purchased in the state of Tennessee which forces people to be put in the very vulnerable positoin of buying it elsewhere and bringing it home to Tennesee. This effectively violates federal laws and puts people at risk of an arrest.
When it comes to the recreational use of marijuana, the state's laws are a bit clearer even if they are not popular with everyone. NORML reports that criminal charges for the possession of pot are handled as misdemeanors in Tennessee.
Last year in fact, a law changed and actually reduced the penalties associated with third-time charges of pot possession in the state. Despite that, people convicted of even a first-time offense let alone subsequent possession charge may face time in jail as well as financial penalties. The same is also true if the possession is not for actual marijuana but pot-related paraphenalia, hash or concentrates.