A new survey shows that a majority of South Carolina residents are in favor of legalizing medical cannabis.
According to the poll, 72 percent of South Carolinians support medical pot legalization.
The poll was conducted by Benchmark Research and involved a survey of 400 people residing in the state. Of those who are in favor of legalizing medical cannabis, 84 percent are Democrats, 63 percent are Republicans, and 78 percent are independents.
Medical cannabis is still illegal in South Carolina. However, in 2014, the state has allowed the use of cannabidiol (CBD) oil with less than 0.9 percent THC content to treat children with severe epilepsy.
Yes to allowing doctors to prescribe medical cannabis
In June 2018, the state’s Democratic primary voters overwhelmingly voted in favor of medical cannabis legalization in a non-binding ballot advisory question, with 82 percent of them agreeing to allow doctors to prescribe marijuana to patients.
The South Carolina legislature will reconvene on Jan. 8 for its 2019-2020 session. State lawmakers promised to raise the medical cannabis legalization issue again.
The Compassionate Care Act
Several bills have already been pre-filed in the South Carolina General Assembly. The one that appears to have the best shot at getting passed into law is the Compassionate Care Act.
The Compassionate Care Act was first introduced by S.C. Senator Tom Davis. It would allow doctors to recommend the use of medical cannabis by certain patients with debilitating medical conditions like cancer, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and post-traumatic stress disorder. This bill would also pave the way for the creation of necessary processes and programs that would oversee the cultivation, production, and distribution of cannabis in the state.
This bill was approved by both the House Medical, Military, Public, and Municipal Affairs Committee and the Senate Medical Affairs Committee last year. However, the session ended before a full vote can be cast.
Jill Swing, an advocate for medical cannabis legalization and one of the founders of the S.C. Compassionate Care Alliance, noted that they had a significant amount of forward motion in 2018 getting the bill out of the relevant committees in both chambers. She said that they are hoping to build on this momentum and make it their goal.
Swing added that they got a lot more lobbyists coming in on this issue and that it is just about getting a one-on-one time with the lawmakers.