JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. - A group gathered in Johnson City on Saturday to support legalization that would legalize medical marijuana.
They met at the Johnson City farmer's market parking lot on S. Roan St. with signs and their walking shoes. "We're not a bunch of kids," said Gloria Lenon of Chuckey, Tenn. "We're not a bunch of kids just wanting to get high."
Lenon came to the rally with her husband by her side. She is a 67-year-old retired nurse who told us she now has to take high doses of ibuprofen for chronic pain and fibromyalgia. "That can kill my liver, kill my stomach with ulcers," said Lenon. "Fortunately, it hasn't yet."
Lenon told us she thinks marijuana is her best option, and so do others. "I'm allergic to fillers and coatings on medications, so I have no choices," said Lynbruner McKinney of Bluff City, Tenn.
Organizer Seth Green told us that's why he organized the event. "I just wanted to let everybody know that they have an alternative," said Green.
He told us they were only expecting about 30 people to show up at the rally, but the crowd quickly filled the parking lot. "We're marching down this road to the University Parkway intersection," Green described.
He said they hope to raise awareness for a bill that's been brought to the Tennessee State Senate, which would legalize medicinal marijuana. Green told us the rally also serves another purpose. "There's no end time, if people would just like to sit and chat [about the issue]," he said.
Lenon said the rally has given her the chance to relate to others facing the same challenges. "It makes me feel we're not alone," said Lenon.
Lenon told us they all hope the bill will pass in this legislative session.
We talked to State Representative Jon Lundberg on the phone on Saturday. He told us that he's against legalizing pot, and that people shouldn't need to rely on marijuana with so many other prescription drugs on the market.