Profs & Pints Nashville: The Cannabis Legalization Debate--Door tickets remain available

By Profs and Pints (other events)

Wednesday, May 22 2024 6:30 PM 9:00 PM CDT

Advance ticket sales have ended but plenty of additional tickets remain available at the door.

Profs and Pints Nashville presents: “The Cannabis Legalization Debate,” an in-depth look at Tennesseans’ fight for the right to party in the context of the national movement for medical and recreational cannabis, with Carrie Archie Russell, principal senior lecturer and assistant dean at Vanderbilt University and scholar of state laws and politics.

Tennessee remains one of the 12 states where all forms of marijuana, medical or otherwise, are considered illegal.  Several bills that would have changed that situation failed this year to advance beyond state legislative committees, with state lawmakers refusing to allow a decriminalization referendum.

Meanwhile, throughout much of the rest of the nation a party that Willie Nelson might love has gotten underway. Legalized marijuana has become big business, with the 21 states that allow and tax recreational sales raking in $3 billion in tax revenue, according to the Tax Foundation, a non-partisan, not-for-profit think-tank. Many of the 29 other states have medical dispensaries popping up on street corners.

Who stands to gain and lose when states attempt to decriminalize marijuana? What—or who—is getting in Tennessee’s way?

Hear such questions tackled by Carrie Archie Russell, J.D., an expert in Tennessee politics, judicial politics, and federalism battles.

Dr. Russell will give a brief overview of the history of the War on Drugs to set up a discussion of the new battlefronts of the legalization movement. She’ll also talk about the patchwork, legal-landmine system created by inherent conflict between various state laws allowing the sale of cannabis and the federal government’s continued classification of marijuana as illegal to consume, grow, or dispense.

She’ll bring us up to speed on Tennessee’s fledgling Hemp derivatives industry and new Tennessee Department of Agriculture rules that would disrupt it. You’ll learn about the political forces that continue to resist decriminalization in a state where polls show that four of five residents support medical legalization and two of five support recreational. You’ll learn how one big name, Jack Daniels, continues to play an outsized role in the state General Assembly’s debates. (Advance tickets: $13.50 plus sales tax and processing fees. Doors: $17, or $15 with a student ID. Listed time is for doors. Talk starts 30 minutes later.)

Image: Marijuana strains offered by a recreational marijuana dispensary in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by My 420 Tours / Wikimedia Commons.)