Medical Marijuana Bill Passes Through South Carolina Senate Subcommittee

Medical Marijuana Bill Passes Through South Carolina Senate Subcommittee

A South Carolina Senate subcommittee passed a bill last Thursday to approve marijuana for medical use. The bill would make patients who suffer from a designated list of medical conditions eligible to obtain a medical marijuana license after obtaining a doctor’s prescription.

Following the subcommittee approval, the bill will now head to a full Senate Medical Affair Committee. The subcommittee will first meet to gather input from those opposing the bill in hopes of improvement.

According to the bill, a seed-to-sale tracking system would be put into place and the state Department of Health and Environmental Control would be in control of licensing cannabis growers, processors, and dispensaries.

During a hearing Thursday, the subcommittee heard from those opposing the bill, including Mark Keel, the State Law Enforcement Division Chief. Keel said that some doctors in other states with medical marijuana laws have become “pill mills,” just handing out medical marijuana prescriptions to anyone for a fee, even just to accommodate minor aches and pains. He said that those states have seen an increase in overall cannabis use, marijuana-fueled traffic accidents, and emergency room visits for children who ingested edibles. Keel spoke on how he feels about the bill,

“I don’t know of any other proposed legislation that I’ve been aware of, and certainly not since I was director of the Department of Public Safety and more involved with the legislature or since I’ve been the chief of SLED, that I think has the opportunity to negatively impact the state that we live in than this piece of legislation.”

Those who are sponsoring the bill disagree. They believe that there are, in fact, many conditions for which marijuana can provide relief.

One of the supporters, Sen. Tom Davis, believes it not politicians’ right to tell a patient he is not allowed access to something that could help,

“If a doctor, with all his or her training, believes something can be of therapeutic benefit, why in the world would we as politicians, for reasons that are non-medical, step in and say no?”

The bill making it through the subcommittee is a promising step in the right direction for those in South Carolina who need the benefits medical marijuana has to offer.

Senator Pushes to Expand Medical Marijuana in South Carolina

Senator Pushes to Expand Medical Marijuana in South Carolina

Tom Davis is the republican senator who authored and introduced the medical cannabis oil legislation in the South Carolina. The bill, S 1035, which Governor Nikki Haley signed into law in June of this year, allows physicians to prescribe cannabidiol (CBD) oil to patients with epilepsy to treat symptoms and seizures. Now senator Davis, pictured below holding a sign stating what he was thankful for on the holiday last month, is looking to expand the medical marijuana law to include patients suffering from many other debilitating medical conditions.

medical marijuana

The medical marijuana bill passed by the South Carolina general assembly in June also allowed the formation of a medical marijuana study committee with the purpose of learning more about the cannabis plant including how to cultivate it and how to use it for medicinal or therapeutic treatment purposes.

In the effort for education, the committee has held four hearings, so far, throughout the state where people come to share their personal experiences with the use of medical marijuana. From just four hearings, Davis reported that he was amazed at how much he has learned about how cannabis has helped to treat many different patients suffering from a variety of ailments, including post-traumatic-stress-disorder, autism, pain management, and glaucoma as well as epilepsy and other seizure disorders.

Science and humanity seem to be the inspiration for Davis. It is what he learned about the endocannabinoid receptor system in the human brain, and how it responds to the phytocannabinoids provided by using cannabis, combined with the first-hand human experience stories that have inspired him to push for the expansion of the medical marijuana program in the Palmetto State. He anticipates introducing the amendment when the legislature reconvenes in 2015.


photo credit: csgazette, Facebook

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