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1US TN: Candidates For Tennessee Governor Split On Medical MarijuanaThu, 07 Sep 2017
Source:Tennessean, The (Nashville, TN) Author:Ebert, Joel Area:Tennessee Lines:Excerpt Added:09/09/2017

As Tennessee lawmakers begin discussions about possibly allowing medical marijuana in Tennessee, the top-tier candidates seeking to replace Gov. Bill Haslam have vastly different opinions.

While legalizing medical marijuana in Tennessee has been brought up in the legislature several times in recent years, House Speaker Beth Harwell, who announced her run for governor in July, made headlines when she said she was open to the idea.

Last month, Harwell said a treatment using marijuana for her sister's back injury caused her to reconsider whether the Volunteer State should embrace medical cannabis, the Associated Press reported.

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2US TN: Senator Expects Panel Will Help Educate Public, TennesseeSun, 03 Sep 2017
Source:Tennessean, The (Nashville, TN) Author:Ebert, Joel Area:Tennessee Lines:Excerpt Added:09/03/2017

Educating lawmakers and the general public will be a key component of the recently formed legislative committee tasked with tackling medical marijuana, according to one of the legislators heading up the panel.

"I think one of the goals is to make sure that the people and the advocates and the patients are aware of what we're doing and make sure that they give feedback to their elected officials," said Sen. Steve Dickerson, R-Nashville, who along with Rep. Jeremy Faison, R-Cosby, are heading up a legislative committee to study the issue.

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3 US TN: PUB LTE: Beth Harwell's Changing Marijuana StanceThu, 31 Aug 2017
Source:Tennessean, The (Nashville, TN) Author:Levy, Jeffrey H. Area:Tennessee Lines:38 Added:08/31/2017

I was truly amazed when I heard that Beth Harwell, erstwhile gubernatorial candidate and reefer madness maven, said she was "open" to medicinal cannabis here in Tennessee.

This is a major reversal of policy for Ms. Harwell.

What changed her mind? She says her sister's positive experience with state legal medicinal cannabis products in Colorado while recovering from a broken back made her rethink the issue.

Thousands of Tennesseans have, for years now, been asking Ms. Harwell and her fellow Republicans for a medical cannabis program, as can be found in 29 other states so far, to treat illnesses such as my wife's multiple sclerosis. For years now, our pleas have fallen on deaf Republican ears.

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4US TN: Harwell 'Open' To Medical Marijuana Law In TennesseeSat, 12 Aug 2017
Source:San Francisco Chronicle (CA) Author:Schelzig, Erik Area:Tennessee Lines:Excerpt Added:08/17/2017

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - The treatment of her sister's back injury has caused Republican gubernatorial candidate Beth Harwell to reevaluate Tennessee's ban on medical marijuana.

Harwell, who is speaker of the state House of Representatives, told a Republican gathering earlier this month that allowing medical marijuana has come up as part of a discussion about how to tackle the state's opioid crisis.

The longtime Nashville representative said her sister was recently prescribed opioids after breaking her back.

"She was in a yoga class and came down out of a shoulder stand the wrong way," Harwell said. "And she was, of course, in a great deal of pain."

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5 US TN: Opioid-Related Hospitalizations More Than Triple For TennesseeSun, 13 Aug 2017
Source:Knoxville News-Sentinel (TN) Author:Wadhwani, Anita Area:Tennessee Lines:165 Added:08/15/2017

The rate of hospitalizations for Tennesseans 65 years and older due to painkillers has more than tripled in a decade.

Older adults are being hospitalized for reasons that range from falls and auto accidents after taking pain pills to unintentional overdoses, interactions with other medications and weakened kidney or liver functions in aging bodies that fail to metabolize the drug in the same way as younger people.

Experts say physicians and family members are more likely to overlook addiction in senior citizens -- even after opioids require a trip to the hospital.

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6US TN: Lawmaker To Push Bounty Hunting Crackdown After FatalThu, 10 Aug 2017
Source:Tennessean, The (Nashville, TN) Author:Ingersoll, Stephanie Area:Tennessee Lines:Excerpt Added:08/10/2017

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- A state lawmaker said he will propose legislation in January to tighten laws governing bounty hunters and bonding agents in the wake of a fatal shooting in Clarksville.

On Wednesday, Rep. Joe Pitts held a meeting with representatives from the Tennessee Sheriff's Association, Tennessee Association of Professional Bail Agents, Clarksville Police Chief Al Ansley and Montgomery County Sheriff John Fuson, among others.

Pitts said the meeting was sparked by a series of articles by The Leaf-Chronicle that examined laws pertaining to bounty hunters and bonding agents. In some cases, the laws are unclear. In others, the laws are simply being ignored.

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7 US TN: DA: 'Modern-Day Opium Den' Closed In West KnoxvilleWed, 12 Jul 2017
Source:Knoxville News-Sentinel (TN)          Area:Tennessee Lines:32 Added:07/14/2017

Authorities on Wednesday closed a West Knoxville apartment that the Knox County District Attorney General's Office called "a modern-day opium den."

Apartment 3 at 2818 Dayton St. has been the scene of several overdoses - -- one resulting in death -- over the past five months, according to a statement from the District Attorney General's Office.

In the fatal overdose, police believe one of the apartment's residents, Cassandra Deann Canupp, supplied the victim with drugs, according to the statement. The victim died of fentanyl and cocaine intoxication.

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8 US TN: Knoxville Pd Seeks Federal Grant To Combat Opioid OverdosesTue, 17 Jan 2017
Source:Knoxville News-Sentinel (TN)          Area:Tennessee Lines:56 Added:01/18/2017

The Knoxville Police Department is seeking a federal grant to bring a research-based approach to countering opioid abuse.

Judy Jenkins keeps her medication in a bucket stored in a pantry instead of the medicine cabinet.(Photo: Lacy Atkins / The Tennessean)

The Knoxville Police Department is seeking a federal grant to bring a research-based approach to countering one of the city's and the Tennessee's fastest-growing epidemics - opioid abuse.

City Council members are set to vote on a resolution Tuesday night that, if approved, would give KPD permission to apply for a 2017 Smart Policing Initiative grant worth up to $700,000 over three years.

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9 US TN: Brentwood To Take Part In Prescription Drug Take-Back DayTue, 17 Jan 2017
Source:Knoxville News-Sentinel (TN)          Area:Tennessee Lines:33 Added:01/18/2017

Federal officials have said they want to work with Tennessee to curb the opioid epidemic.(Photo: Getty Images / iStockphoto)

If you're looking for a safe way to dispose of prescription drugs, head over to the Brentwood Municipal Center on April 30.

The Brentwood Police Department will participate in the National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day. Residents can drop off prescription drugs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The National Prescription Drug Take-Back Day was established to provide a safe, convenient and responsible way of disposing of prescription drugs, while also educating the public about the potential for abuse of medications. Brentwood police officers will be on hand at the Brentwood Municipal Center during the event.

According to the DEA, prescription drug abuse in the U.S. is at "alarming rates, as are the number of accidental poisonings and overdoses due to those drugs."

For more information visit https://brentwood-tn.org.

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10US TN: Mt. Juliet Police Investigate Heroin, Meth OperationTue, 10 Jan 2017
Source:Tennessean, The (Nashville, TN) Author:Humbles, Andy Area:Tennessee Lines:Excerpt Added:01/10/2017

Mt. Juliet Police conducted a search warrant Tuesday afternoon as part of a heroin and methamphetamine investigation that closed Old Lebanon Dirt Road near Nighthawk Lane.

The search warrant included explosions that police described as "flashbangs," which were deployed as distractions because of information the individuals inside may have been armed, Mt. Juliet Police Lt. Tyler Chandler said.

"So, using distraction methods, helps minimize risk for the Special Response Team members making entry," Chandler said.

Old Lebanon Dirt Road between Nighthawk Lane and Eagle Trace Drive was closed for a period of time before being reopened.

The Tennessean will provide additional information as details become available.

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11US TN: Reducing Risks Of Addiction One Prescription At A TimeFri, 06 Jan 2017
Source:Tennessean, The (Nashville, TN) Author:Willis, Andrea D. Area:Tennessee Lines:Excerpt Added:01/06/2017

"Prevention is preferable to cure." These words are part of the modern Hippocratic Oath, which guide my work and the work of my fellow physicians across our state. Today we are facing a crisis that demands a preventive solution: prescription painkiller abuse.

The stakes are real -- I've heard too many heart-wrenching tales of lives lost and families torn apart. We know many of these addicts never intended to be drug abusers, but began with a real need to treat pain from injuries or other medical conditions.

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12 US TN: Agriculture Secretary Wants 'aggressive' Solutions ToFri, 30 Dec 2016
Source:Knoxville News-Sentinel (TN) Author:Nelson, Kristi L. Area:Tennessee Lines:154 Added:12/30/2016

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam, left, talks with US Secretary of Agriculture, Tom Vilsack and audience members during a town hall meeting on how to deal with the opioid addiction in Appalachia on Thursday, June 30, 2016 at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center on in Abingdon, VA. (SAUL YOUNG/NEWS SENTINEL)

Tom Vilsack, US Secretary of Agriculture talks about opioid addiction during a town hall meeting with Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center on Thursday, June 30, 2016 in Abingdon, VA.(SAUL YOUNG/NEWS SENTINEL)

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13 US TN: Report: Drug-related Deaths Double In Past Five Years InThu, 29 Dec 2016
Source:Knoxville News-Sentinel (TN) Author:Nelson, Kristi L. Area:Tennessee Lines:197 Added:12/29/2016

Chief Medical Examiner Dr. Darinka Mileusnic-Polchan speaks as the Regional Forensic Center released its 2010-2015 Drug-related Death Report for Knox And Anderson Counties Monday, August 15, 2016 in the small assembly room at the City-County Building. (MICHAEL PATRICK/NEWS SENTINEL)

Dr. Amy Hawes, assistant medical examiner, explains a portion of the Regional Forensic Center's 2010-2015 Drug-related Death Report for Knox And Anderson Counties on Monday, Aug. 15, 2016, in the Small Assembly Room at the City County Building. (MICHAEL PATRICK/NEWS SENTINEL)

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14 US TN: Use Of Opioid Overdose Antidote Expanding In Knox CountyThu, 29 Dec 2016
Source:Knoxville News-Sentinel (TN)          Area:Tennessee Lines:188 Added:12/29/2016

Tennessee looks at making naloxone, an easy-to-administer drug that can reverse the effects of opioid drug overdoses, widely available without a prescription. But will over-reliance on the medication be a long-term side effect?

[photo] Thomas Clemons instructs people visiting a Baltimore needle exchange van on how to use naloxone to reverse heroin overdoses. More and more states, including Tennessee, are looking at the easy-to-administer drug as a way to stem increasing opioid overdose deaths.(Photo: Amy Davis/File)

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15 US TN: Medical Marijuana Bill Introduced In TennesseeMon, 12 Dec 2016
Source:Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN) Author:Lowary, Jake Area:Tennessee Lines:81 Added:12/14/2016

NASHVILLE - Medical marijuana will again become a topic of discussion and legislation during the 2017 legislative session.

An announcement from the House Republican Caucus on Friday said an official announcement will come next week from state Rep. Jeremy Faison, R-Cosby, and Sen. Steve Dickerson, RNashville, who are planning to introduce legislation about medical marijuana.

Medical marijuana has been a popular discussion within the legislature in recent years, and support from both parties has been steadily growing. Details about the legislation were not immediately clear.

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16 US TN: Like Its Music, Nashville May Soften On MarijuanaMon, 19 Sep 2016
Source:New York Times (NY) Author:Fausset, Richard Area:Tennessee Lines:152 Added:09/22/2016

NASHVILLE - Willie Nelson's famous habit of smoking marijuana is not seen as a badge of outlaw courage here anymore, so much as the frivolous foible of an eccentric uncle. A popular FM station disgorging the Boomer rock hits of yesteryear calls itself Hippie Radio 94.5; one of its sponsors is a smoke shop that incessantly hawks glass pipes and detox kits. Even mainstream country acts mention smoking marijuana now and again among the litany of acceptable American pastimes.

So perhaps it is not surprising as much as telling that this city, which residents often refer to as the Buckle of the Bible Belt, may be on the cusp of joining the long roster of American cities, including New York, that have decriminalized the stuff.

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17US TN: Column: It's High Time For New Pot LawsFri, 19 Aug 2016
Source:Chattanooga Times Free Press (TN) Author:Allen, David Area:Tennessee Lines:Excerpt Added:08/19/2016

"Your libertarian streak is showing."

That's what one of my friends said earlier this week when I told him what I planned on writing about today. Well, sure, I may harbor libertarian sentiments, but it seems lately that folks at multiple points across the political spectrum are willing to consider a recalibration of existing marijuana laws.

The days of fearing "reefer madness" are waning. Yes, even in Tennessee.

Playing the role of bellwether on this opinion shift is the Nashville Metro Council, which voted 32-4 on Tuesday to move a marijuana decriminalization bill forward. Now it heads to committee phase, where its nuances will be discussed more thoroughly for further votes.

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18 US TN: PUB LTE: New Approaches Needed For DrugsFri, 17 Jun 2016
Source:Chattanooga Times Free Press (TN) Author:Moore, Blake Area:Tennessee Lines:37 Added:06/17/2016

Everyone seems suddenly concerned about drug use and drug addiction. After years of losing the "War on Drugs," many are trying new approaches. An example is the police chief who has set up a voluntary program whereby users and addicts can hand in their drugs and agree to submit to treatment. No criminal charges are made. The humanity of the program is captured in the insistence the word "junkie" will never be used.

So what's going on with the chief and his program? Obviously he has plenty of firsthand contact with countless users/addicts. He knows real progress is not in a jail cell but in medical and or psychiatric treatment.

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19US TN: Hemp History Day Marijuana's Industrious Cousin Gets aThu, 09 Jun 2016
Source:Chattanooga Times Free Press (TN) Author:Courter, Barry Area:Tennessee Lines:Excerpt Added:06/10/2016

Did you know that Thomas Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence on paper made from hemp? Or that Christopher Columbus used hemp ropes and sails on his ships?

Van Gogh and Rembrandt painted on hemp canvas, and until the early 1800s, most legal tender in the Americas was made from cannabis hemp. Maps, Bibles, log books and clothes have been made in part from hemp. It's been around since at least 8000 B.C. We know this because the oldest relic of human history dates from that time.

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20 US TN: OPED: There's Something Missing From Our Drug Laws:Sun, 22 May 2016
Source:Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN) Author:Piper, Bill Area:Tennessee Lines:101 Added:05/23/2016

Congress and President Obama are under pressure to reschedule marijuana. While rescheduling makes sense, it doesn't solve the state/federal conflict over marijuana (descheduling would be better). But more important, it wouldn't fix the broken scheduling system. Ideally, marijuana reform should be part of a broader bill rewriting the Controlled Substances Act.

The Controlled Substances Act created a five-category scheduling system for most legal and illegal drugs (although alcohol and tobacco were notably omitted). Depending on what category a drug is in, the drug is either subject to varying degrees of regulation and control (Schedules II through V) - or prohibited, otherwise unregulated and left to criminals to manufacture and distribute (Schedule I). The scheduling of various drugs was decided largely by Congress and absent a scientific process - with some strange results.

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21 US TN: OPED: Through The Haze, Ripple Effects UnclearSun, 22 May 2016
Source:Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN) Author:Kilmer, Beau Area:Tennessee Lines:98 Added:05/22/2016

In six months, California will join Maine, Nevada and probably a few other states in deciding whether to legalize large-scale commercial production of marijuana. Residents will be inundated with wild claims about the promises and pitfalls of these initiatives.

You will hear debates about government revenue, criminal justice benefits, the environment and the effect of legalization on Mexican drug-trafficking cartels. Public health conversations may prove especially contentious. Some will claim that legalization will constitute a net gain for health. Others will say the exact opposite.

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22 US TN: OPED: Scientists Want to Study It. Big Pot Just WantsSun, 22 May 2016
Source:Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN) Author:Courtwright, David Area:Tennessee Lines:110 Added:05/22/2016

Since 1970, when President Richard Nixon signed the Controlled Substances Act, marijuana has been a Schedule I drug. Congress placed it in the most restrictive category of psychoactive substances, those with no currently accepted medical value and a high potential for abuse or dependence. The upshot was a renewed ban on marijuana, except for highly restricted research purposes.

I say renewed because Congress first prohibited marijuana use for non-industrial purposes in 1937. The Schedule I designation ratified the status quo, with one notable exception: The 1970 CSA in fact reduced federal penalties for cannabis possession, a bit of Nixon-era liberality few recall.

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23 US TN: OPED: States Will Have Last Word Regardless of FederalSun, 22 May 2016
Source:Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN) Author:Chemerinsky, Erwin Area:Tennessee Lines:95 Added:05/22/2016

There are rumors that the federal government may soon lift its ban on marijuana, but that wouldn't end marijuana prohibitions in the United States. This incongruity is the result of federalism: the ability of each jurisdiction - the federal government and every state - to maintain its own laws as to which drugs are illegal and which are not.

Completely legalizing marijuana in the United States would require the actions of both the federal government and every state government. If the federal government repealed its criminal prohibition of marijuana or rescheduled the drug under federal law, that would not change state laws that forbid its possession or sale. Likewise, state governments can repeal their marijuana laws, in whole or in part, but that does not change federal law.

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24US TN: OPED: Bill Would Focus On Drug Abuse TreatmentSun, 24 Apr 2016
Source:Tennessean, The (Nashville, TN) Author:Mauney, Rusty Area:Tennessee Lines:Excerpt Added:04/24/2016

H.R. 4378 Addresses the Need to Provide Treatment Facilities for Those Already Bound by Addiction.

Education and Prevention Are Imperative in Fighting the Epidemic, but Don't Work by Themselves. the Economic Advantage of Treating Addicts Is Huge, When Factoring in Health Care and Judicial Costs.

Since Nancy Reagan first spoke the familiar words "Just say no" in 1982, this country has been engaged in a war on drugs that to some seems unwinnable. There is currently a piece of legislation in Congress that takes a different approach to the matter. Rather than solely focusing on prevention of substance abuse, the Access to Substance Abuse Treatment Act of 2016 (H.R. 4378) addresses the overwhelming need to provide treatment facilities for those already bound by the chains of addiction to heroin, cocaine, methamphetamine, 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA, ecstasy) and phencyclidine (PCP).

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25 US TN: Pot Referendum Bill Dies In SenateTue, 19 Apr 2016
Source:Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)          Area:Tennessee Lines:27 Added:04/20/2016

A bill that would have allowed Tennesseans to weigh in on whether to decriminalize possession of low-level amounts of marijuana has failed in the Legislature. The Senate Judiciary Committee killed the proposal April 12.

The measure, which was sponsored by Memphis Democrats Antonio Parkinson and Sara Kyle, would not have legalized marijuana possession. Instead, it would have allowed voters to make their opinion known on whether police should arrest people in possession of one ounce of marijuana or less or give them a warning instead.

The proposal would have allowed Metro governments or municipalities with their own police departments to put the question on whether to arrest or warn to voters during a normal election. The results of the election would be advisory only.

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26 US TN: PUB LTE: Cannabis Prohibition Is A FarceThu, 14 Apr 2016
Source:Tennessean, The (Nashville, TN) Author:White, Stan Area:Tennessee Lines:37 Added:04/15/2016

If "reason and honesty" were part of the public discourse regarding cannabis (marijuana) prohibition (Letter: "Marijuana misinformation," by Bob Alley, April 3, 2016), it would never have been orchestrated from the beginning.

Historically, its existence is due to racism, greed and the omission of science.

It's truly mistaken to claim, "Medical science has access to drugs that provide more relief with less damage than does pot," since cannabis often competes with opiates, which are responsible for an epidemic of addiction and death rates in America. Scientifically, cannabis is safer than aspirin and less addictive than coffee.

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27 US TN: LTE: Painkillers Not A TreatmentThu, 14 Apr 2016
Source:Tennessean, The (Nashville, TN) Author:Addison, Annie Area:Tennessee Lines:41 Added:04/15/2016

Re: "Culture of healing needed to battle painkiller addiction," by David Plazas, April 8.

In response to your article, I would like to express how strongly I agree that our culture relies entirely too much on painkillers.

Recently my stepfather had a neck surgery, and as expected, he was in a considerable amount of pain after the procedure. After being prescribed 60 Percocet pills, he took a total of five. When asked why, this was what he said: "I was more scared of being addicted to the painkillers than I was of the pain."

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28 US TN: PUB LTE: Painkillers A NecessityThu, 14 Apr 2016
Source:Tennessean, The (Nashville, TN) Author:Morris, Tim Area:Tennessee Lines:39 Added:04/15/2016

Having read your articles on overdose and abuse of opioids, I had to wonder your aim in these reports and to notice that your advertisers were rehab and insurance companies.

To everyone who has lost a loved one to overdose, my sympathy, but to state that opioids are not an effective means of pain management for chronic pain is inconceivable. For the help that I experience through them, it is an oasis in an otherwise consistent sea of hurt.

Having lived through the 1980s and 1990s of toughing it out and taking an aspirin, suddenly pain was a concern I dealt with.

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29 US TN: Former Corrections Officer Gets TimeTue, 12 Apr 2016
Source:Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)          Area:Tennessee Lines:30 Added:04/13/2016

A former corrections officer was sentenced to one year plus one day in prison and an inmate was sentenced to 30 months in prison for a scheme to smuggle marijuana into the Federal Correctional Institution in Memphis, the office of U.S. Attorney Edward L. Stanton III said Monday.

The corrections officer, Keair Kemp, 33, of Horn Lake, and inmate Travonte Johnson, 34, of Millington, planned last year to smuggle the drug into the prison, according to a news release.

"In exchange for cash, Kemp agreed to unlawfully carry marijuana into the prison and deliver it to Johnson, thus violating his official duties as a correctional officer," Stanton's spokesman, Louis Goggans, said in the release.

Kemp pleaded guilty in December 2015 to one count of accepting a bribe, and Johnson pleaded guilty in January to one count of offering a bribe to a public official, Goggans said.

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30 US TN: LTE: Marijuana MisinformationSun, 03 Apr 2016
Source:Tennessean, The (Nashville, TN) Author:Alley, Bob Area:Tennessee Lines:33 Added:04/05/2016

Re: "Cannabis prohibition does more harm than good," by Cecily Friday Shamim, and "Patients deserve access to medical marijuana," by Allison Barker Watson, Sunday Insight, March 27.

Please be more objective and honest in your selection of guest editorial writers than your March 27 "Point/Counterpoint," which contained two letters from pot lobbyists who used emotion rather than science to encourage our society toward addiction and brain damage.

Google: "Harvard Pot Study" to learn of the long-term damage in casual pot users to "...the nucleus accumbens and the amygdala - key regions for emotion and motivation, and associated with addiction."

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31US TN: Editorial: 'just Say No' Always WorkedTue, 08 Mar 2016
Source:Chattanooga Times Free Press (TN)          Area:Tennessee Lines:Excerpt Added:03/08/2016

Former first lady Nancy Reagan hadn't been dead for hours Sunday when the knives came out.

Her "Just Say No" to drugs campaign, one left-wing organization said, had a "disastrous legacy." Another one opined that the slogan "helped America lose the war on drugs."

"The problem was," an article on ThinkProgress.org said, "'just saying no' to drugs didn't actually work." Really? It's a simplistic statement, to be sure, but, in fact, actually just saying no to drugs works every time it is tried. Each time someone refuses an offer of drugs makes it easier to just turn down an offer the next time out. Eventually, refusing drugs - always the right thing to do - becomes ingrained.

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32 US TN: PUB LTE: Cannabis RealitiesWed, 03 Feb 2016
Source:Tennessean, The (Nashville, TN) Author:White, Stan Area:Tennessee Lines:26 Added:02/04/2016

I'm sure Dr. Greg Elam means well (Re: "Live Drug-Free," Jan. 14), however, cannabis (marijuana) isn't a "drug" but rather a God-given plant as described on literally the very first page of the Bible.

The plant cannabis should not be compared with drugs that kill "50 people a day" since it has not killed one single person in over 5,000 years of documented medical use. That's safety on a Biblical scale.

A sane or moral argument to cage sick citizens for using cannabis doesn't exist.

Stan White, Dillon, Col. 80435

[end]

33 US TN: LTE: Live Drug-FreeThu, 14 Jan 2016
Source:Tennessean, The (Nashville, TN) Author:Elam, Greg Area:Tennessee Lines:50 Added:01/15/2016

Re: "Tennessee must get with the times on medical marijuana," by David Hairston, Dec. 13.

Regarding Mr. Hairston's article about legalizing medical marijuana, I found the logic faulty for the following reasons:

The statement that "God designed our bodies to use cannabinoids to maintain health " because cannabinoid receptors have been identified is like saying "God intends us to have cancer or diabetes because we have the genes for those."

Our bodies adapt to the environment and use the food and chemicals we put in them trying to best achieve a balance of chemicals in the brain. However, when we are out of balance in one area, the brain will seek to remedy it in another, thus the reason for using mood-altering drugs.

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34 US TN: PUB LTE: Marijuana Vs. Opioid AbuseThu, 14 Jan 2016
Source:Tennessean, The (Nashville, TN) Author:Harlan, George Area:Tennessee Lines:35 Added:01/15/2016

States that permit qualified patients to access medical marijuana via dispensaries possess 24.8 percent lower rates of opioid addiction and overdose deaths than states where medical marijuana is illegal, according to a study published by the National Bureau of Economic Research, a nonpartisan think tank.

In Tennessee in 2014, deaths from opioid overdose exceeded deaths by car accident and also exceeded deaths by gunshot.

Opioid overdose deaths in Tennessee have also increased by around 10 percent per year since 2012. It is by all accounts an epidemic. In the meantime, no deaths have been reported from marijuana overdose, and the reason is that marijuana does not shut down a person's breathing.

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35 US TN: PUB LTE: Pot Can Pay For RoadsThu, 14 Jan 2016
Source:Tennessean, The (Nashville, TN) Author:Smith, Randy Area:Tennessee Lines:46 Added:01/15/2016

Are we sure, Tennessee? Are we absolutely sure that marijuana legalization isn't in our best interest?

While not a native of this state, I am rapidly learning that highway maintenance isn't a priority here.

Now, I don't know about you, but if a citizen wants to blaze in his own home, it should be his right. Let that consumer go to his local dispensary, make his purchase and contribute (above the outrageous nearly 10 percent sales taxes) to the general fund.

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