'Good, bad, crazy,' Medical marijuana takes center stage in Cheatham forum

By Kelly Fisher for the Nashville Tennessean

Mathew Binkley said a year and a half ago, it would have been “crazy” to think of himself going before a crowd and promoting medical marijuana.

Binkley, a senior systems administrator at the Vanderbilt Advanced Computing Center, attended Pleasant View Christian School for 12 years and served on its board of directors. He learned, “drugs are drugs, and drugs are bad, and that was all there was to it.”

But on Dec. 12, 2017, Binkley’s brother had a seizure and was diagnosed with brain cancer. Binkley said he went into “scientist mode” and started researching ways to help. Repeatedly, he found that medical marijuana showed “extraordinary” effects against brain cancer. But it’s not available in Tennessee.

Eighty-one percent of Tennesseans support medical marijuana,” Binkley said. “Eighty-one percent of Tennesseans consider themselves Christian. So, supporting medical marijuana is about as politically risky as supporting church attendance. And yet, our legislature refuses to pass it.”