Criminal Justice Subcommittee Approves Resolution to Block Legislation Allowing Recreational Drug Use

The Resolution States That The General Assembly Would Be Unable To Enact Laws That Would Authorize Rape, Human Trafficking, Prostitution, Or The Recreational Use Of Any Substance As Identified By The U.S. Department Of Justice Or The Drug Enforcement Agency.

Tennessee Capitol Building in Nashville

Photo Credit: Public Domain

Published March 11, 2021

[The Tennessee Conservative Staff] –

The Criminal Justice Subcommittee voted to approve House Joint Resolution 0140 on Wednesday, sending it to the full Committee next week.

HJR0140 was introduced by Representative Benjamin Ogles, a Republican from Franklin.

The resolution would amend the state Constitution, placing restrictions on future legislators’ ability to permit recreational drug use and prostitution in the state.

The resolution states that the general assembly would be unable to enact laws that would authorize rape, human trafficking, prostitution, or the recreational use of any substance as identified by the U.S. Department of Justice or the Drug Enforcement Agency, according to the federal Controlled Substances Act as of January 1, 2020.

Before the vote, one committee member questioned the resolution’s potential effect on the use of medical marijuana in Tennessee.

Representative Ogles responded, “For the record, I want to be very clear that this legislation or constitutional amendment would not preclude in any way substances prescribed by a licensed physician that are approved at the federal level as of the adopted schedule.”

“I know many members of this caucus and throughout Tennessee are exploring the aspects of medical substances. For my district and my home, that conversation can never be had until we put a stopgap in place,” Ogle also stated. This would do this. This would ensure that we never have recreational drug use in the state. I think it’s very much the value system we have in the South. We just saw this erode in a state that borders us – Virginia.”

Ogle’s mention of Virginia was a reference to a bill passed by the Virginia legislature last week that would legalize recreational marijuana use for adults. Democratic Governor Ralph Northam has not yet signed the bill. If signed, the legalization would not go into effect until 2024.

Tennessee is currently one of fourteen states that has not yet legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes. Senate Bill 854, which would legalize medical marijuana for qualifying individuals, has been referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The resolution also places additional restrictions on human trafficking and prostitution in Tennessee. Future lawmakers would be prevented from making laws to legalize prostitution.

In 2020, The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation reported that human trafficking was the second fastest growing criminal industry in the United States and in Tennessee, coming in only behind drug trafficking. Various resources state that human trafficking reports have been made in every county in the state and are on the rise each year.

According to the Community Coalition Against Human Trafficking, “Some studies suggest that decriminalizing certain activities, like the use of marijuana, may reduce incidental violence and related criminal activity…an increase in the activity of commercial sex, however, would result in an increase in the demand for individuals willing to perform commercial sex acts.”

Because this resolution would be an amendment to the Tennessee Constitution, lawmakers would have to make a new change to the Constitution in the future if they wanted to be able to pass new legislation for allowances in these areas.

Keep Tennessee Conservative - The Tennessee Conservative -Donate

3 thoughts on “Criminal Justice Subcommittee Approves Resolution to Block Legislation Allowing Recreational Drug Use

  • March 11, 2021 at 6:57 pm

    Leave it to Tennessee to remain backwards when it comes to the recreational use of marijuana. While there are many things that I love about Tennessee this one makes no sense. Marijuana is not addictive, it’s impossible to overdose and it’s much less harmful than alcohol. That being said, I don’t use marijuana and have no plans to do so, but it’s a basic human right to do with our bodies as we so wish.

  • March 13, 2021 at 5:29 pm

    The recreational use of marijuana doesn’t even compare to rape or human trafficking. I cannot imagine lawmakers would not find any reason to authorize those heinous acts. This is just a backdoor way to prevent legislation against ever legalizing the use of marijuana and Representative Ogles needs to do his research. If he thinks someone is going to smoke pot and then prostitute themselves, he’s living in the dark ages. Marijuana should not even be linked into the same category as coke, crack, or meth. Since this will require a change to Tennessee’s constitution, hopefully that means that citizens would have to vote on it. Representative Ogles probably thinks people will see rape and human trafficking and not consider the rest. Pot is much less dangerous than liquor in my opinion, but that is legal. Go figure.

  • March 16, 2021 at 1:30 pm

    Folks sneak around and sin, but for the duly elected representatives to endorse such behavior is not within the scope of their duties and their Oath of Office. Tennessee is a God-fearing State and as such We take the Bible seriously. As stated in Genesis, when God ask the question of wicked Cain who killed his brother, Abel, “Where is Abel, thy Brother???” and Cain answered, “Am I my Brother’s keeper?” and we know that wicked Cain said this because he had killed his Brother and the dastardly deed was known. God pronounced the Curse on Cain for the murder of his Brother. In Tennessee, we want to enjoy the Blessings of God Almighty not the curses from the Lord. So forget trying to coerce the Legislature into “condoning sin”. They are all under Solemn Oath before God to “Do Right.” For God & Country


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *