Medical marijuana bill stalls in Senate

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- A measure to legalize medical marijuana has likely failed in the Senate.

The Government Operations Committee voted 5-4 on Wednesday to send the proposal sponsored by Democratic Sen. Beverly Marrero of Memphis to the Senate Health Committee. However, that panel has closed for the year, unless its chairman decides to reopen it.

The proposal would create a program for people with severe and chronic illnesses to be able to get the marijuana.

Sponsors say the measure would create the toughest access standards among the states that have enacted similar laws.

But Republican Sen. Bo Watson of Hixson said he opposes the bill because there's still a chance for abuse despite the heavy regulation.

The bill was scheduled to be heard in the House Health and Human Resources Committee later Wednesday.

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