Here Are The 5 States With The Harshest Marijuana Possession Laws

Last week, state legislators put Illinois on track to become the 21st state to decriminalize cannabis.

If Governor Bruce Rauner signs the bill – and he’s said he likely will – residents would no longer face up to 6 months in jail and a fine up to $1,500 or getting caught with between 2.5-10 grams of marijuana.

Instead, They’ll be ticketed between $100-$200 per offense.

But other Americans aren’t so lucky. Some states impose hefty fines for small amounts of cannabis – even for personal use. Here are the 5 harshest state lawscurrently on the books for simple cannabis possession (based on data from NORML.)


Patients deserve access to medical marijuana

Allison Barker Watson is a former Tennessee assistant district attorney for the 13th Judicial District. She is also a board member of the Tennessee Research Institute and a member of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition.


Tennessee pot prosecution bill clears key hurdle

A Republican-sponsored bill that would make three or more convictions for simple possession or casual exchange of marijuana a misdemeanor rather than a felony passed a key hurdle on Tuesday.

With a unanimous 9-0 vote, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill that would make changes to the prosecution of those found guilty of possessing marijuana and other controlled substances three or more times.

The move is expected to decrease the state's incarceration costs by as much as $2 million, according to the bill's fiscal note.

The change  comes as part of a package deal. The heart of the bill was actually centered on enhancing the state's DUIs laws.


Legalized marijuana gaining support in Tennessee

Supporters of legal marijuana hope to spur action on an issue they say has broad support in Tennessee.

The Tennessee Cannabis Coalition met Sunday night in Nashville to gear up for the upcoming legislative session.

The activist group said 76 percent of Tennesseans support medical marijuana.

They hope increased awareness will lead to voting on the issue.

The coalition said the positive news from states that have legalized marijuana could help raise awareness here in Tennessee.

"The data that's coming out of Colorado is incredibly promising," said Tennessee Cannabis Coalition founder Cecily Friday-Shamim.


Another Family Torn Apart by the State

TENNESSEE (December 17, 2015)- Michael Brooks is a resident of a small town in Tennessee where any form of cannabis use is illegal, including medical marijuana, found a cure for his life-threatening hepatitis c by using cannabis oil. Michael learned that he had hepatitis c several years ago after suffering physical issues to the point of being unable to participate in his two young sons lives most days. At one point Brooks was bleeding from his eyes due to acquired hemophilia as a result of hepatitis c. Michael was taking all of the traditional pharmaceuticals he could in hopes of finding some relief to no avail. Michael shared, “I have been known to smoke cannabis, but had never heard of cannabis oil”.


TN legislator pushing for medicinal marijuana use for PTSD

A bill to increase access to medicinal marijuana is in the works by a Tennessee lawmaker. Tennessee state representative Jeremy Faison recently helped pass legislation legalizing the use of CBD oil for those with conditions like epilepsy, but he wants to broaden its reach to many others, including veterans with PTSD.

Joseph Santolla was diagnosed with PTSD after and IED exploded next to his vehicle during his deployment in Iraq. Ever since he's struggled with the pain and anxiety that can follow.

"You're literally transported back to where you were at the time that you were fearing for your life," Santolla said.

He said he understands both sides of the argument, but he says he thinks it would be worth a shot.


Nashville couple charged in marijuana grow operation

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – A Nashville couple was arrested Tuesday after a marijuana grow operation was reportedly found during the eviction of a parolee.

Metro police say Timothy Carlton and his girlfriend Joey Guilds, 39, were arrested at a home on Streamfield Court in Antioch.

Courtesy: Metro Nashville Police Department

Detectives were called to the scene by deputies serving an eviction on Carlton.

According to a press release from the police department, 4 marijuana plants were found along with five mason jars containing one ounce of weed each, more than 20 weed cigarettes, a few small baggies of marijuana and drug paraphernalia.

A total of more than four pounds of marijuana was recovered. Also seized was $299 cash.


Cocke County hemp farm doesn't see desired yields

Throughout the month of October, farmers begin to harvest their inaugural hemp yields.

(WBIR - PARROTTSVILLE) Throughout the month of October, farmers begin to harvest their inaugural hemp yields. Throughout the state, farms are seeing different results.

Charles Mason owns Happy Holler Hemp Farm in Parrottsville. His farm is the second biggest hemp farm in the state.

He had bad luck on his first crop. It was so small Mason was unable to harvest it.

"Should have held off for the upcoming year and made more plans rather than just rushing into it," said Mason.

The season started this year with great fanfare.


Qualifying Conditions For Cannabis By State


Qualifying conditions to become a medical marijuana patient in Alaska include:

  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • Cachexia (wasting syndrome)
  • Nausea
  • Muscle spasms
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Pain
  • Seizures

For a complete list of qualifying conditions and guidelines, please refer to Alaska’s application for medical marijuana registry



Qualifying conditions to become a medical marijuana patient in Arizona include:


Tennessee farmers seeing mixed results with industrial hemp pilot program

HARROGATE (WATE) – Some farmers have seen mixed results with the state’s industrial hemp pilot program. According to the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, this is the first time in more than 70 years that farmers can grow hemp legally.

Elias Rasmussen is one of 50 farmers involved in the pilot program. He’s not your average farmer and says there were moments he thought he was going to lose everything.

Previous story: Harrogate hemp farmer excited about plant’s potential


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