TN House Votes to Rebuke Nashville and Memphis

Nashville and Memphis city governments don’t like the state’s criminal marijuana possession law. They could ask the state to let them make possession a local civil offense, but that’s too much trouble and the Legislature might not agree. So they simply passed ordinances anyway, letting police officers decide to circumvent the state’s criminal law by citing offenders for a civil violation of a city ordinance on the subject. Thursday, the state House voted overwhelmingly to “repeal” the local ordinances. Speaker Beth Harwell, who is considering a bid for governor and, as such, would be charged with faithfully executing the state’s laws, voted with the Democrats and five other Republicans to allow the cities to continue flaunting the state’s law.

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