South Carolina Medical Marijuana Program May Be Within Sight
South Carolina lawmakers will soon be debating a bill that would legalize the use of medical marijuana for certain medical conditions. State Senator Tom Davis of Beaufort is proposing the bill. He hopes to get social conservatives on board during this session.
The bill would legalize everything from smoke-able marijuana to oil for those medical purposes. Davis said with proper education, he'll get the support he needs.
Davis drafted his bill last year. It would legalize the growth, distribution, and use of various forms of marijuana for certain medical conditions. He cited studies done by the American Academy of Sciences, proving its value.
"We've got to allow doctors to get medicine into the hands of patients who need it. That's a moral and philosophical imperative. We have to get it done,” the senator said.
Davis admits South Carolina's conservative lean will present challenges. "South Carolina is a conservative state, and I want to come up with a conservative medical cannabis law,” Davis said.
That includes working with law enforcers to make sure safeguards are in place to prevent recreational abuse of the drug. Davis adds that medical marijuana could also make a difference in the deadly opioid crisis killing, thousands of Americans every year.
"You know, we're talking about how to address the opioid crisis. One of the things is to have a much less dangerous and much less addictive thing be used to treat a lot of those conditions like PTSD,” Davis said.
Ultimately, Davis said showing the real-life examples of lives changed by medical marijuana will convince social conservatives to pass this measure.
Davis said there will likely be concessions in his bill to garner enough support for it to pass. He said he's willing to work with anyone to make that happen. Right now, five Democrats and one Republican are co-sponsoring the bill with him.
Recent Poll Shows Support for Medical Marijuana in South Carolina
A recent poll has found strong support for medical marijuana legislation in South Carolina. Sixty-one percent of the people surveyed last month by Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy expressed support for a bill that would allow South Carolina doctors to prescribe medical marijuana for specific conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorders. A total of 31% were opposed and 8% had no opinion.
The poll showed the lowest support for medical marijuana is in the Upstate, where 53 percent of respondents expressed support and 35 percent were opposed. Support for medical marijuana topped the 60-percent threshold in every other part of South Carolina, according to the poll.
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