COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Lawmakers met to discuss medical marijuana in the Palmetto State on Tuesday.
The “Compassionate Care Act” would allow doctors to legally prescribe medical marijuana for some chronic conditions. Sen. Tom Davis (R-Beaufort) and Rep. Peter McCoy (R-Charleston) spoke about their medical marijuana bills at a press conference after it was introduced on the State Senate floor.
Sen. Davis said this is the most socially conservative medical marijuana bill in the country. He doesn’t want it to lay the foundation for recreation use in the state. “Each step of the process – from the growing to the processing to the dispensing is monitored in real time constantly by DHEC and SLED,” Sen. Davis said.
Sen. Davis shared some details on the Compassionate Care Act while surrounded by members of both parties in the House and Senate.
The Compassionate Care Act is proposing the use of medical cannabis for people with certain debilitating medical conditions. Those include: cancer, multiple sclerosis, a neurological disease, PTSD, glaucoma, Crohn’s disease, sickle cell anemia, ulcerative colitis, wasting syndrome, severe nausea in a person who is in hospice care, chronic medical condition causing severe muscle spasms, including multiple sclerosis: or “chronic or debilitating diseases for which an opioid is currently or could be prescribed by a physician based on generally accepted standards of care.
Some other provisions say certifying physicians must complete training that is specific to medical cannabis.
Another provision said smoking of cannabis is not allowed. It may only be used by patients in the forms such as vaporized flower or oil, gel caps, suppositories, patches, edibles or topical cream.
Sen. Davis said the medical cannabis will be tested by an independent testing lab to make sure it is safe and properly labelled.
Supporters say a benchmark research poll shows 72 percent of South Carolinians support medical marijuana. Others argue against it saying CBD oil is already legal in the state so there’s no need for medical marijuana.
The South Carolina Medical Association said they stand opposed to marijuana legislation. They issued the following statement:
“Supporters of marijuana are beginning to acknowledge many of the objections the South Carolina Medical Association and others have had to marijuana legalization efforts. Physicians remain opposed to marijuana and sections of this new bill forcing physicians to be the access point for marijuana in South Carolina. This bill circumvents federal law, disregards the scientific method, and will require careful study by physicians and lawmakers. Improving the health of South Carolina remains our top priority and legalizing marijuana will not do that.”
You can watch the full press conference here: