Supporters push for legalization of medical marijuana in S.C.
On Wednesday, people in support of legalizing medical marijuana took to the State House to call on legislators to pass a medical cannabis program this session.
Columbia, S.C. (WOLO) — On Wednesday, people in support of legalizing medical marijuana took to the State House to call on legislators to pass a medical cannabis program this session.
South Carolina patients, health care professionals, and veterans were in attendance. They’re urging lawmakers to legalize medical cannabis and pass what they’re calling the ‘Compassionate Care Act.’ They said legislators, by passing this bill, can provide what supporters are calling ‘life-changing relief.’
For years, people have been trying to get legal medical marijuana legislation passed in South Carolina. The bill would allow doctors to legally prescribe medical marijuana.
“When we started this, we were hopeful that we would be the first progressive Southern state. And now, we’re just hoping that we’ll be one of the last ones,” said Judy Ghanem, Executive Director of Compassionate South Carolina.
Although discussed in a subcommittee on Tuesday, there’s no word when legislation will continue to hear testimony or vote on the issue.
“Our goal is to expedite the process because we don’t want it to be April 15, and cross over, and then we’ll be out of luck and have to start all the way back at the beginning, yet again, while patients are suffering and dying,” said Ghanem.
Supporters said legalizing medicinal cannabis could be life-changing.
“We would be able to introduce THC in her system, so that can even be a better option. Maybe she will not have any seizures at all,” said Mihail Rusu, an uncle and caretaker of a young girl who suffers from Lissencephaly, or ‘smooth brain.’
Supporters also said one of the biggest hurdles is the misconception that they’re fighting for recreational use, which they are not.
“Our opposition consistently refers to recreational and adult-use states, and is not focused on the medical needs of patients in South Carolina. And we’re only trying to get our family members, and loved ones an option that’s less dangerous or more effective than what is currently available to them,” said Ghanem.
According to a Benchmark Research Poll, 72% if South Carolinians support legalizing cannabis.
Attorney General Alan Wilson and other law enforcement officials are in opposition of the bill. They said they’re concerned about the effects on ‘mental health, employment and overall life satisfaction.’
There’s no word on when legislators may vote on the bill.