Live from Music Row Monday morning on The Tennessee Star Report with Michael Patrick Leahy – broadcast on Nashville’s Talk Radio 98.3 and 1510 WLAC weekdays from 5:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. – host Leahy welcomed (TN-16) Senator Janice Bowling to the newsmakers line to discuss her proposed legislation regarding Covid-19 vaccine mandates and medical cannabis.
Leahy: And joining us now on our newsmaker line by our good friend from Tullahoma, State Senator, Janice Bowling. Senator Bowling welcome to the Tennessee Star Report.
Bowling: Michael Patrick, thank you so much. Thank you for inviting me. I look forward to our discussions today.
Leahy: Well, you know, I think the last time we met was at a Tea Party event down here, too. I don’t remember the name of the place. There was a great barbecue place I think down in Tullahoma and you were the featured speaker and did a great job there.
Bowling: Well, thank you so much. I believe that would have been Praters Barbecue.
Leahy: Exactly! What a great place that was. It was a fun event.
Bowling: It was a fun event. He’s a great guy. He lives in Warren County. And in my district Patrick when I was elected eight years ago all of my courthouses were Democrat. A lot of people don’t realize that. And now two of them actually Republican. Two of them are purple if you will. Others would come to change into the Republican Party if we would allow them to run as Republicans because these are old-time southern Democrats that are pro-gun, pro-God, pro-life, and pro-less government. And they’ve recognized that the party left them a long time ago.
Leahy: A long time ago. Now the regular session of the Tennessee General Assembly resumes a week from tomorrow. You have some legislation there. I guess the theme would be around healthcare and freedom of choice. You’ve got two or three bills about the vaccine. Tell us about what bills there are?
Bowling: The vaccine bills are really straightforward. They’re just saying that there can be no mandate and that people have the liberty to determine what they want to put in their bodies and what they don’t want to put in their body. Some facts of this ‘vaccine’ are really more of a therapy. It does not meet the classic definition of vaccine which would be a part of a dead card and attenuated part in some way of a viral pathogen that they would then put in your body.
So that it would stimulate your body to create your immune system to create antigens to fight that pathogen. So this is more of a Messenger RNA. It’s the first time ever that a synthetic Messenger RNA would be put into the body. And then it would and they’re still not sure because they never tested it. But my point is whether you think it’s fantastic or whether you want to not take it and you would prefer to continue doing what you’re doing with maybe taking Ivermectin or a Vitamin D3 of 3,000 national units a day. Zinc and Vitamin C things that are good treatments for prophylactics against getting Covid-19.
Leahy: So your bill specifically would prohibit that. I guess one of them would prohibit employers from requiring that as a condition of employment you take the vaccine?
Bowling: That’s exactly right. It protects the condition of employment, the mandate to take it, and then there are also some other things that I’m looking at that would involve discrimination against people who choose to take it or not take it. And so a discrimination would be a direct or indirect act or practice of exclusive, distinction, restriction, segregation limitation refusal denial, or other actions practiced and of differentiation on people who have chosen not to take the vaccine versus the general public. Maybe those who have or have not taken it. And I think it’s kind of funny to, well not funny, but absurd that they would be inquiring into your private medical information in order to discriminate against you.
Leahy: What are the prospects of that bill the particular one I guess we’ll start off with that is not making it mandatory where employers can’t make it mandatory that you take it as a condition of employment getting passed? What committee does is it in? Do you have a House co-sponsor? What are its prospects for passage?
Bowling: That House seat is the House co-sponsor and the prospects I think are very good. I was interviewed with a different reporter a few days ago and she commented, well, no one’s doing this. And I said exactly and that’s why we want to codify the reality of right now. This is a simple bill that shouldn’t be controversial. It should be something that we would never take a private personal medical decision to be used as a condition for employment.
And as to whether or not you can use public transportation or go to an event as to whether or not you’ve had this vaccine. And as I’ve said earlier, it’s really more of a therapy than immunization in the classic sense. So I think there are already people who are getting Covid-19 after having both shots. A congressman recently I think received both shots, and then he has acquired Covid-19. But it’s not a frightening thing because there are Hydroxychloroquine and Ivermectin and other very good treatments.
I think our problem initially was that we believe the Communist Chinese Party and their prescribed treatment which was ventilators. And once we determined in America that that really would be a last resort, not a first choice, people began to look and see other methods of treatment. And Hydroxychloroquine was just announced the week before last by the American Medical Association to be the treatment of choice. Amazing isn’t that?
Leahy: Yeah, it really is a different from what you heard at the beginning of this back in March of 2020. Now what kind of opposition does this bill have how vigorous is the opposition and what’s their argument against it?
Bowling: As of this point we have only been up there for organization. Then we were up there for the special session. And last week I had to go up for some government ops meetings that I was chairing. So next Monday when we get back into our regular session and we have until Thursday close of business next week to file all of our bills. Then we will start really hearing more things that people are going to support. Things that people going to oppose because I have some gun carry bills that some people oppose. And I guess if there weren’t some people opposing it I would worry about it.
Leahy: Good point. So Senator Bowling here’s another bill that I’ve seen that you’re interested in putting forward. And since you’ve got a strong conservative record, and I think you’ve been proposing this for some time people might think well, this is not necessarily conservative. But I think you probably have a response to that. So you’re going to I think introduce again a bill to make medical cannabis legal. Do I have that right?
Bowling: We certainly do. And you certainly have the history of that right as well. I am conservative. I’m very conservative. And I was so opposed to medical cannabis until I studied the facts and eliminated the urban legends. And, why I studied the fact, goes back to legislation I carried in 2015 and got it passed.
The repeal of the Intractable Pain Act of 2001. Our General Assembly in 2001 at the behaves of purview pharmaceutical passed legislation that gave the legal standing for these pill mills. It said if the patient has pain they shall be given this wonder drug that has no side effects and no addictions whatever. And the wonder drug was OxyContin. And you know the rest of the story.
Leahy: Yeah, not a pretty picture of what happened thereafter with addiction around the state and around rural areas everywhere.
Bowling: Especially in rural areas. And I went to a joint meeting of many District Attorneys and they were charting it and plotting it directly from that action in 2001 by the General Assembly. Now, they were well-intentioned but they had been given misinformation. and when we got that repealed in 2015, unfortunately, the administration at that time came back with some legislation that re-codified the distribution and the dispensing, and the prescribing of OxyContin.
I don’t think we should mandate in a legislative form any particular drug. But if we want to make it legal for the patients and the doctor to make a medical decision of what’s best for that patient, then there should be options out there not just opioids. And essentially right now, we’re losing over 2,000 Tennesseans a year to opioid addiction and that doesn’t count the people whose lives have been ruined and the families and the communities who’ve been left with the tremendous void due to the loss of someone who got addicted because it had been prescribed and dispensed for medical purposes. (Inaudible talk)
Leahy: State Senator Janice Bowling thank you. Will you come back so we can have more time to go into all these issues?
Bowling: Oh – this issue is an issue to my heart. I would really be grateful if I can come back.
Listen to the second hour here:
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