Candidate Proposes Legalizing Marijuana in SC to Raise School Mo - WSPA.com

Candidate Proposes Legalizing Marijuana in SC to Raise School Money

Posted: Updated:
COLUMBIA, S.C. - Democratic candidate for state superintendent of education Sheila Gallagher is proposing that South Carolina legalize marijuana as a way to raise new tax money for schools.

"Between the tax dollars you could bring in and stop putting some of our kids in prison and such, we could probably raise about $188 million a year, and if that would be the case that would be great because we could have the best schools in the nation, and that's what we're really looking for," she says.

Right now, Colorado and Washington are the only states that have legalized recreational marijuana use. Twenty states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana.

Colorado estimates it could bring in $98 million in marijuana tax money this year. The first $40 million is earmarked for school construction, but where the rest of the money will go hasn’t been decided.

Washington estimates it could bring in $190 million over four years. Its marijuana tax money is earmarked for health care, youth drug prevention, public health and research.

Gallagher knows it will be tough to get lawmakers in a conservative state like South Carolina to pass legalizing marijuana, but her plan is to get them to pass a constitutional amendment referendum, so it would be up to voters to decide. She says, "I'd like to turn it over to the people and say, 'Here's an opportunity. Let's look at this whole idea of legalizing marijuana and see what it can do for us.'"

Gallagher is a former classroom teacher and former president of the South Carolina Education Association. SCEA executive director Roger Smith says Gallagher’s opinions are her own and not those of the SCEA, which does not endorse her plan.

However, he says the additional money is needed. "I think it's enough to make a difference. Currently, we are underfunding, according to state law we are underfunding our public schools by roughly $700 million per year,” he says.

The field is crowded in the race for education superintendent. Eight Republicans and four Democrats are running in the primaries.

For the Republicans: Sally Atwater, Gary Burgess, Meka Bosket Childs, Amy Cofield, Sheri Few, Don Jordan, Elizabeth Moffly, and Molly Mitchell Spearman.

For the Democrats: Montrio M Belton, Sr., Sheila C Gallagher, Jerry Govan, and Tom Thompson.

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • MUGS: 15 Children Removed From Woodruff Home, Adults Arrested

    MUGS: 15 Children Removed From Woodruff Home, Adults Arrested

    Wednesday, August 27 2014 6:16 PM EDT2014-08-27 22:16:58 GMT

    Investigators say they found the trailer surrounded by piles of clothes and trash, a swimming pool with green water, animal feces and roaches on the floor of the home and unsecured guns and medicine bottles.

    Investigators say they found the trailer surrounded by piles of clothes and trash, a swimming pool with green water, animal feces and roaches on the floor of the home and unsecured guns and medicine bottles.

  • August Mugshots

    August Mugshots

    Monday, August 11 2014 4:01 PM EDT2014-08-11 20:01:35 GMT
    August arrests in Upstate South Carolina and western North Carolina.
    August arrests in Upstate South Carolina and western North Carolina.
  • Federal court filings show holes used for sex acts inside Bristol adult novelty store

    Federal court filings show holes used for sex acts inside Bristol adult novelty store

    Thursday, August 28 2014 1:58 AM EDT2014-08-28 05:58:06 GMT
    Federal court documents reveal in the past, the owner of an adult novelty store on State Street in Bristol, Va. was selling more than just lingerie, pornography and synthetic drugs. Instead, pictures filed at the federal courthouse in Greeneville earlier this month show waist-high holes in private rooms inside Exotic Illusions.
    Federal court documents reveal in the past, the owner of an adult novelty store on State Street in Bristol, Va. was selling more than just lingerie, pornography and synthetic drugs. Instead, pictures filed at the federal courthouse in Greeneville earlier this month show waist-high holes in private rooms inside Exotic Illusions.
Robert Kittle
Robert is the 7 On Your Side reporter covering politics and government at the Statehouse in Columbia, S.C.
  • Most Viewed Stories on WSPA.com

  • Top StoriesTop StoriesMore>>

  • High School Friday Night - Week 1

    High School Friday Night - Week 1

    Friday, August 29 2014 6:00 PM EDT2014-08-29 22:00:59 GMT
    Week one of High School Friday Night and Sports Xtra is upon us with the Christ Church Cavaliers trying to set a state record for consecutive wins when they take on visiting Abbeville tonight.
    Week one of High School Friday Night and Sports Xtra is upon us with the Christ Church Cavaliers trying to set a state record for consecutive wins when they take on visiting Abbeville tonight.
  • 2 Security Guards Found Dead Off Laurens Rd in Greenville Co.

    2 Security Guards Found Dead Off Laurens Rd in Greenville Co.

    Friday, August 29 2014 5:57 PM EDT2014-08-29 21:57:15 GMT
    A woman delivering newspapers found the bodies of two security guards at the old John D. Hollingsworth On Wheels textile factory at 3309 Laurens Road at 3:36 a.m.
    A woman delivering newspapers found the bodies of two security guards at the old John D. Hollingsworth On Wheels textile factory at 3309 Laurens Road at 3:36 a.m.
  • Police Searching For Missing, Endangered Woman

    Police Searching For Missing, Endangered Woman

    Friday, August 29 2014 3:36 PM EDT2014-08-29 19:36:28 GMT
    Missing: Pauline Pinson, 77Missing: Pauline Pinson, 77
    Greenville police need your help locating a missing woman. Pauline Pinson, 77, is believed to be endangered. She was last seen driving down Haywood Road.
    Greenville police need your help locating a missing woman. Pauline Pinson, 77, is believed to be endangered. She was last seen driving down Haywood Road.
Powered by WorldNow

250 International Dr.
Spartanburg, S.C. 29303

Telephone: 864.576.7777
Fax: 864.587.5430
Email: webmaster@wspa.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.