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Cunningham calls death of medical marijuana bill ‘historic failure of leadership’

South Carolina gubernatorial candidate Joe Cunningham criticized Gov. Henry McMaster and the...
South Carolina gubernatorial candidate Joe Cunningham criticized Gov. Henry McMaster and the state legislature after lawmakers tabled a bill that would legalize medical marijuana.(Live 5)
Published: May. 4, 2022 at 5:26 PM EDT
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CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - South Carolina gubernatorial candidate Joe Cunningham criticized Gov. Henry McMaster and the state legislature after lawmakers tabled a bill that would legalize medical marijuana.

That decision effectively kills the bill for the current legislative session.

The bill was tabled because of a technicality involving sales tax. Before the House began its debate of multiple bills, Rep. John McCravy (R-Greenwood) argued the medical marijuana bill was out of order because it would generate a 6 percent sales tax.

State law requires any bill that generates revenue to originate in the South Carolina House. But the medical marijuana bill was a Senate bill.

The House Speaker Pro Tem ruled in McCravy’s favor and an attempt to appeal that ruling failed in a 59-50 vote.

Cunningham, who is running against McMaster, released the following statement:

Gov. McMaster and his allies in the legislature could screw up a two-car parade. This is a historic failure of leadership by this governor and legislators to pass a watered-down version of the most conservative medical marijuana bill in the entire country. If Henry McMaster wanted this bill to pass, it would have passed a long time ago. But the reality is he doesn’t support this bill and he never did.

For far too long our state and nation have been held back by geriatric politicians who are incapable of seeing beyond their outdated worldview and doing what is in the best interests of the people they represent. Henry McMaster had the opportunity to move our state into the future but he chose to keep us stuck in the past. Just because the governor still lives in the dark ages, doesn’t mean South Carolina has to.

To our military heroes, patients suffering from chronic, debilitating, or terminal illnesses, and the overwhelming majority of South Carolinians who support medical marijuana, you deserve a hell of a lot better than this. Your governor failed you today. And he will continue failing you as long as he is in power. Vote him out.

This year’s regular legislative session will end next week, so another medical cannabis bill would have to be refiled next year.

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