Pass Medical Marijuana bill, end unnecessary suffering

 Pass Medical Marijuana bill, end unnecessary suffering

Urge for Action: South Carolina House Urged to Pass Medical Marijuana Bill Now.

As the SC House finally moves toward doing its job and taking a vote on the issue (after the SC Senate recently passed the measure for a second time), I urge readers to contact House members and tell them you want the bill passed and you want it passed now.

Beyond that clear position, I urge you to make specific points along these lines:

  • The bill would set up the most conservative, restrictive medical marijuana law in the nation.
  • There would be no legalized pot smoking, as the bill does not allow consumption of marijuana by puffing a joint, but instead limits medical cannabis to lotions, creams, oils, etc.
  • Those cannabis products would be available only by a licensed physician’s prescription, which could only be filled at a licensed pharmacy.
  • The conditions for which medical marijuana could be prescribed by a physician are specified and limited, including cancer, epilepsy, seizures and other horrendous diseases.

And by the way, what has the prescription been for such ailments in the past? Opioids. Enough said.

Medical cannabis is clearly a better alternative. Furthermore, it is clearly not the same thing as recreational cannabis.

There is simply an enormous difference between legalizing recreational marijuana (opposing that is fine with me) and legalizing medical marijuana (opposing that is not fine with me.)

Nor should it be fine with anyone who cares about their fellow man/woman/child who is suffering terribly from various painful and debilitating diseases that medical marijuana can help alleviate.

And yes, children are very much a part of this, with recurring seizures and other afflictions affecting many and medical cannabis offering major relief.

With all due respect to those who sincerely oppose medical marijuana, I urge you to rethink your position on letting innocent children suffer when an effective treatment is available.

Moreover, we need to enter the mainstream of national thought on this matter. South Carolina is now one of only 10 states not to have enacted a medical marijuana law.

The most recent to do so was Kentucky, which joined others in our region including Florida, Virginia, Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma and West Virginia. We are increasingly an outlier on this issue, even in the South.

Workers trim cannabis plants that are close to harvest in a grow room at the Greenleaf Medical Cannabis facility in Richmond, Va. A Georgia board overseeing the state’s efforts to get patients access to medical marijuana has approved production licenses for two companies. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

AP Photo/Steve Helber

For the bill to pass, the people must speak. Indeed, they have already spoken loudly in public opinion polls that have repeatedly shown support for medical marijuana at over 70 percent in South Carolina, with the most recent Winthrop University poll recording 76 percent support.

But due to the way the Legislature works, or doesn’t work, the bill has never received a vote in the House, even after the Senate first passed the measure in 2022.

It is thought (or at least hoped) that current House Speaker Murrel Smith will prevent the parliamentary nonsense of the past that kept the bill from receiving a vote and now allow that vote to take place.

Further, while Gov. Henry McMaster has never come out in support of the measure, he has repeatedly acknowledged the arguments in favor of the bill and said he has an open mind on it. If it passes, I believe he will sign it and do so quickly.

It’s time to end the unnecessary suffering. Pass the bill.

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Region: South Carolina

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