Do Tennessee’s Drug Laws Really Protect Citizens?

Tennessee’s drug laws are among the strictest in the nation. According to the Muldavin Law Firm, P.L.C., marijuana remains illegal in Tennessee, with those being charged facing some of the toughest penalties in the nation. A drug charge in Memphis, Tennessee carries with it up to a year in jail with fines up to $500. Other drug laws fail to protect individuals who call to report overdoses. Good Samaritans can face jail time and criminal charges, just for trying to do the right thing.
Yet, do these tough drug laws actually protect citizens? After all, drug laws are in place to offer protection. Yet, do these laws actually reduce drug use among the most vulnerable citizens? According to the New York Times, legalization of marijuana may actually reduce the number of teens who use the drug. The Times reported that marijuana consumption among high school students in Colorado has actually gone down since the state legalized the drug. In fact, the number of high school students using marijuana was lower than the national average. The results of the survey shows that legalization of the drug doesn’t increase use among teens, and may actually lower use. Many critics of marijuana legalization express fear that it will lead to childhood use. Yet, in reality, the laws seem to protect youth rather than making them more vulnerable to the drug.
Despite these results, marijuana legalization is not likely to happen any time soon in Tennessee. According to Go Knoxville, Tennessee is among 11 states noted least likely to pass progressive marijuana legislation. Tennessee residents are less likely to use marijuana than other states. Fewer than 10% of residents report recreational use of marijuana. Despite this, Tennessee leads the country in marijuana arrests. For every 100,000 people, 100 more people are arrested in Tennessee compared to the national average.
According to ABC News 2, support of marijuana legalization is gaining traction in Tennessee. According to the Tennessee Cannabis Coalition, 76% of Tennessee citizens support the legalization of cannabis. The Coalition notes the positive impact of legalization on states like Colorado. For instance, in states where cannabis has been legalized, road fatalities go down, as do violent crimes. The tax revenue generated by cannabis legalization also boosts the economy.
Despite this, Tennessee isn’t likely to change its laws on marijuana. Those who are caught with marijuana face possession charges, jail time, and a criminal record. The Muldavin Law Firm, P.L.C. understands that much is at risk in drug possession charges. The firm’s criminal defense attorneys in Memphis, Tennessee, work tirelessly to protect individual’s Fourth Amendment Rights. For instance, under the Fourth Amendment, individuals are protected from illegal and unreasonable search and seizure. If you’re facing criminal charges in Tennessee, a criminal defense lawyer can review the circumstances of your arrest to make sure that your case is being handled in a legal manner. In some instances, charges can be dropped if officers unlawfully stopped you, arrested you, or gathered evidence without probable cause.

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