MEDICAL MARIJUANA: Veterans and cannabis advocates call on lawmakers to pass Compassionate Care Bill

COLUMBIA, SC (WOLO) — In February, the South Carolina Compassionate Care Act was passed in the Senate and is now heading to the House floor for debate.

The bill would give patients with a certain set of medical conditions access to non-smokable cannabis.

“Thank you for your service are mute words. If you wanted to thank them, you’d pass this bill,” said medical marijuana advocate Tory Fields.

Marine veteran and South Carolina hemp farmer Cody Callerman believes his fellow veterans need and deserve the medical benefits of cannabis. 

“We were the brave ones and now is the time for us to have the freedom of medical choice of treatment,” Callerman said.

“These are the pills I take every day from the VA and the Navy,” said one Navy veteran speaking at the statehouse on Tuesday. “This is what I need to survive.”

The Navy Veteran says that doctors tell him most of these pills could be replaced with medical marijuana.

The former director of the South Carolina Sheriff’s Association also spoke in favor of cannabis. He says that it helped his veteran son with PTSD.

“He is alive today because of medical marijuana,” said Jeff Moore, former SC Sheriff’s Association executive director. 

Cannabis is helping not just veterans. One South Carolina mom spoke about the benefit it has for her daughter who suffers from epileptic seizures. 

“Just like any parent who would never give up on the child, although it’s been an eight-year journey for me personally, I will never give up this fight,” said South Carolina mother Jill Swing.

One Republican representative revealed how stories like this and from his constituents have changed his mind on the drug. 

“I went from being skeptic to realizing we have a moral imperative here,” said Rep. Jonathon Hill, a Republican from Townville. “That moral imperative is for this state capitol to stop telling patients ‘No you cannot have your medicine.’

A poll conducted in the state revealed that 72 percent of South Carolinians are in support of medical cannabis. 

“This is a winning issue and moreover, it’s the right thing to do,” said Marine veteran Matthew Nichols. “Sorry if I’m fired up about this but it’s time to get this done for the veterans and our patients that need access across this state. It’s time to get this done.

“I call on my colleagues to listen to their constituents,” said Rep. Hill. You might learn something.”

Categories: Local News, Richland