State lawmakers moving forward with bill that would legalize medical marijuana in SC

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COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) — A bill that would legalize medical cannabis in South Carolina passed the Senate Medical Affairs Committee Wednesday.

The legislation is headed to the Senate floor for debate there. Rosemary Wallace said she is hopeful this is the year the legislation passes.

Wallace is an Army veteran and lives in Rock Hill. She has medical marijuana cards from Colorado and Florida. She said, “This is my home why should I be in a state where I can’t get help in.”

She said medical cannabis helps with pain and helps her sleep at night. She said she advocates for medical marijuana to help fellow veterans dealing with PTSD.

Wallace said, “It works for me. I’m walking, living proof that cannabis does work.”

She watched on as the committee voted 9 to 5 to give the bill a favorable report.

Before that vote, the bill’s sponsor Senator Tom Davis (R-District 46) called the South Carolina Compassionate Care Act ‘the most conservative medical cannabis bill in the country’.

Davis said he’s been working on passing this legislation for 7 years. He said every step of the way, from seed to sale, is closely monitored.

Sen. Davis said, “Even though burning leaf is the most effective way of getting cannabis in your system. I took that out of the bill — you can’t smoke cannabis in this bill.”

According to Davis, under the bill doctors have to meet with patients in person before prescribing cannabis and check for a history of substance abuse are some of the many safeguards in place.

Sen. Davis said he’s optimistic the bill will pass.

There is opposition from state law enforcement and the state Medical Association. Some lawmakers said they will follow their lead on this issue since they’ll be impacted the most.

Senator Kevin Johnson (D-District 36) said, “I think there are some good aspects of medical marijuana but there are some negative aspects and unintended consequences. I’m more concerned with that.”

Senator Davis said he’ll push for a vote on the bill before the cross over deadline next month.

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