South Carolina


SC inmate wants to be supplied marijuana, says it's part of his religion

A South Carolina inmate is now suing the Department of Corrections, saying they violated his religious freedoms by not allowing him to smoke marijuana.

James Rose, 41, is serving a life sentence at Lieber Correctional Institute following a 2013 murder conviction. Authorities say he was involved in an execution-style murder of the son of a town council member in Lincolnville.

In the lawsuit, Rose stated the Department of Corrections violated his constitutional rights by not allowing him to practice his religion by growing his hair to an unlimited length or by giving him marijuana as part of the Rastafarian religious practice.


Learning how to farm hemp: Presence of crop in South Carolina will expand in second season

Albert Bueno was one of the few farmers with fields located in The T&D Region who participated in the state’s industrial hemp pilot program this year.

He is looking forward to building on what he learned heading into next year’s pilot project.

The South Carolina Department of Agriculture selected Bueno as one of 20 farmers in the state for the 2018 Industrial Hemp Pilot Program. The crop was grown on a total of 365 acres in 15 counties.

Approximately 45 acres of hemp were grown in The T&D Region. Bueno, a resident of Lexington County, planted 20 acres in Orangeburg County. The other farmers were John Fogle and Patrick Jamison Jr.


Hemp's first harvest in South Carolina is 'a lot of trial and error'

Hemp. It's still pretty new to the Palmetto State. Growers just had their first harvest of it here since the 1930's.

"It was a lot of trial and error, a little bit of research. Hemp being brand new in South Carolina since World War II era, we're learning a lot," said Wyatt Sage, the growth supervisor for Palmetto Harmony.

Palmetto Harmony is one of the 20 hemp growers selected for South Carolina's pilot program. "Most surprising thing we've had happen here? Really just the problem of everybody thinking it's marijuana has been a pretty big surprise," said Sage.

Not only has Sage learned this first season growing hemp, he's been trying to teach about what it is. "It's really cool to talk to people who don't know much about hemp or the CBD," said Sage.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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