South Carolina

Thu
14
Jun

Medical marijuana passes by a landslide in SC Democratic primary

South Carolina Democrats gave medical marijuana a landslide victory Tuesday, with 82 percent declaring in an advisory vote that doctors should be allowed to prescribe the drug.

The question “Do you support passing a state law allowing doctors to prescribe medical marijuana to patients?” was approved by Democrats in all of the state's 46 counties during Tuesday's primary.

The nonbinding ballot initiative is the latest boost for legalized medical marijuana, which has been embraced by key committees in both the S.C. House and Senate.

Fri
20
Apr

Medical marijuana bill moves forward in South Carolina

A medical marijuana bill moves forward in South Carolina. But will it ultimately be signed into law?

After action by a legislative committee, the medical marijuana bill moves forward in South Carolina. Members of the House Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs (3M) Committee voted 14-3 to send the South Carolina Compassionate Care Act to the full House for consideration. The bill would allow seriously ill patients with a doctor’s recommendation to use medical marijuana to treat their conditions.

Mon
02
Apr

South Carolina one step closer to legalizing medical marijuana

Medical marijuana could become legal in South Carolina.

Thursday, a senate sub-committee passed a bill that would allow the legalization of marijuana for critically ill patients.

After years of debate, for the first time ever, the bill is headed to the Senate floor but has a slim chance of passing this year.

The session ends on May 10, lawmakers still have to settle on a state budget and debate on hundreds of pending bills on the senate floor.

Despite the challenges of time, some voters say they are looking forward to the bill passing.

Mon
12
Jun

No fanfare as South Carolina hemp law is signed

South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster made the final decision of bringing hemp to the state as an agricultural crop by signing House Bill 3559 on May 11, 2017. After being passed unanimously by House members on May 4th, it was obvious that the industrial hemp program could only benefit the state. Like neighboring North Carolina, the terms require that this agricultural commodity be based on research or as a pilot program through a university.

Tue
23
May

South Carolina Quietly Legalizes Growing Hemp

Lost to most in the flurry of legislation at the end of the South Carolina General Assembly’s session earlier this month was a bill legalizing the growth of industrial hemp. Not pot, but hemp.

Industrial hemp is different from its cousin marijuana in that it contains 0.3 percent or less of the psychoactive chemical that will get you high. Marijuana, a separate variety of Cannabis sativa, can contain up to 40 percent.

Hemp is used for myriad purposes, from food to clothing to composites for car and airplane parts to oils for dietary supplements. Soon, perhaps this summer, the S.C. Department of Agriculture and the State Law Enforcement Division will issue 20 licenses to grow crops on up to 20 acres as a pilot program.

Mon
03
Apr

States Push Marijuana Legalization Bills Despite Opposition from the Federal Government

Lawmakers in about two dozen states have proposed bills this year to ease their marijuana laws despite Attorney General Jeff Sessions' warning that he could crack down on pot, a major change from the Obama administration, which essentially turned a blind eye to the state legislation.

Bills have been introduced in 17 states this year to make recreational pot legal for adults, while five others are considering voter referendums on the issue. Sixteen states have introduced medical marijuana legislation, 10 are considering decriminalizing the drug and three are considering easing their penalties. An effort in Wyoming to decriminalize the drug failed this session.

Tue
28
Mar

In South Carolina, Parents And Pastors Make Pleas For Legalizing Medical Marijuana

South Carolina Rep. Eric Bedingfield once shunned all marijuana use, but when his eldest son’s six-year struggle with opioid addiction ended with his overdose a year ago, the conservative Republican co-sponsored medical cannabis legislation.

"My mindset has changed from somebody who looked down on it as a negative substance to saying, 'This has benefits,' " Bedingfield said recently.

The 50-year-old teetotaller believes marijuana may effectively wean addicts from an opioid dependence. Ultimately, the Marine veteran hopes medical marijuana can be an alternative to people being prescribed OxyContin or other opioid painkillers to begin with, helping curb an epidemic he’s seen destroy families of all economic levels.

Mon
27
Mar

Medical marijuana bill in South Carolina bolstered by conservatives

Two decades after California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana, efforts to let patients legally access the drug are gaining in South Carolina with the help of conservative lawmakers.

While 28 states allow comprehensive medical marijuana programs, only two of those are in the South. Arkansas and Florida voters approved theirs through the ballot last November. Neither is in place yet.

A law signed in Louisiana last year, also not yet in effect, doesn’t allow the smoking or vaping of marijuana.

This year’s renewed push in South Carolina is bolstered by some of the state’s most conservative legislators, whose opinions have shifted because of personal losses or the pleadings of parents and pastors in their districts.

 

Mon
20
Mar

South Carolina prosecutor contender at odds with feds over medical marijuana

The man widely regarded as the front-runner for South Carolina's top federal prosecutor job is a Republican state representative who gave early support to Donald Trump's campaign in this early voting state.

But Rep. Peter McCoy — whose name frequently circulates in legal circles as a likely top contender for the job, in part because of his Trump support — has introduced comprehensive medicinal cannabis legislation here, which appears to contradict his would-be boss' statements on drug policy. U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessions has made no secret of his plans to take a hard line on drugs, reminding reporters just weeks after being sworn in that marijuana distribution remains a federal crime, regardless of what states may do to legalize it.

Fri
24
Feb

Medical marijuana bill moves ahead in South Carolina

A bill legalizing the medical use of marijuana is advancing in the South Carolina House.

A House panel voted 3-0 on Tuesday to after listening to dozens of patients and their family members tell how marijuana can relieve their suffering from chronic pain, severe epilepsy, PTSD and other ailments.

Supporters argue the government shouldn’t prevent people from getting relief from a plant, while the synthetic opioids they’re otherwise prescribed are killing people.

The bill’s opponents include law enforcement agencies.

State Law Enforcement Division Chief Mark Keel says the proposal essentially asks the state to endorse a street drug to treat nearly everything. He asked legislators not to “be swayed by those who play upon your sympathies.”

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