Candidate for State Superintendent calls for legalizing pot - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina |

Candidate for State Superintendent calls for legalizing marijuana to help fund education

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Education Superintendent Candidate Sheila Gallagher Education Superintendent Candidate Sheila Gallagher
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

It's a proposal that's raising some eyebrows and drawing attention.

Legalizing marijuana to help fund education in the Palmetto State.

"You see, when it comes to public schools, we all know what's wrong, and some of us even know what's right," said Democratic Education Superintendent candidate Sheila Gallagher.

It's a speech that's drew a mixture of some applause and some raised eyebrows.

Gallagher is calling for more "green" for schools by legalizing "green" in South Carolina.

"It isn't about getting high," Gallagher said. "It's about investing $188 million every year until we have the best schools in the nation."

Gallagher, a former teacher and president of the South Carolina Education Association, said it's all about funding in a state that needs more dollars in classrooms.

"If people will take the time to look at what happened in Colorado and the State of Washington, they see there's money coming in," Gallagher said.

Gallagher said allowing marijuana to be taxed could open the doors to more teachers, better paid teachers, small class sizes and more classroom supplies.

"I think it's high time that somebody finally stands up and goes to bat for it," said Labor Party Congressional candidate Harold Geddings. "It used to be this big taboo thing, but I mean, you look at the polling data now, an overwhelming majority has done it at some points of their lives."

But Montrio Belton, another Democratic candidate for Education Superintendent is strongly opposed.

"I was shocked that that was coming from a public educator and a former health and P.E. Teacher," Belton said.

Belton said he's dedicated his entire career to keeping students off drugs.

"I'm sure my opponent, who's a former health and P.E. Teacher, would know that marijuana has been demonstrated to be a gateway drug," Belton said.

The other two Democratic candidates were also opposed.

Representative Jerry Govan said marijuana isn't a battle for the superintendent.

Meanwhile, Tom Thompson said it's a bold proposal but not one he'd be willing to endorse for now.

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