Group of SC veterans wants medical marijuana bill passed

The veterans say it relaxes them, and helps them have a better quality of life.
Updated: Mar. 4, 2021 at 11:51 AM EST
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - A group of veterans wants lawmakers to make medical cannabis legal in South Carolina.

Compassionate SC says it helps with PTSD after returning from war zones. The veterans say it relaxes them, and helps them have a better quality of life.

Thirty-six states across the country have medical cannabis laws, but not South Carolina.

Don Howell is a nurse and Navy veteran.

“Lawmakers in South Carolina are the only ones who can make this happen,” he said.

Veterans held a virtual conference Monday to ask lawmakers to enact the South Carolina Compassionate Care Act, legalizing medical cannabis.

The bill allows patients with debilitating medical conditions, and a doctor’s certification, to access medical cannabis from regulated facilities.

“If you can curve that mood then you can help that person achieve a better quality of life and that’s what cannabis can do,” Howell said.

Montel Williams is a former veteran who uses the drug for his MS. He joined South Carolina veterans to call on state lawmakers to pass the bill.

“(Veterans) leave parts of themselves and all they want to do is come home pain free and live a normal life,” Williams said. “Unfortunately states like South Carolina don’t allow for that.”

Steve Diaz served as a Marine when he was wounded overseas. He’s seen many of his friends turn to opioids and says cannabis is safer so he would like to see it legalized in the state.

“I hate to see our vets live in the shadows,” he said. “They’re already doing that when it comes to PTSD.”

This isn’t the first time the bill has been introduced, but the group of veterans think it will pass this year.

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