New Medical Marijuana Bill Filed in SC

South Carolina Examines Another Medical Marijuana Bill

medical marijuana billSenator Tom Davis has filed another medical marijuana bill, after the success of the cannabidiol legislation passed by South Carolina’s lawmakers earlier this year.

Sen. Davis has championed medical marijuana legislation for years, and says he will file three more bills for consideration after the beginning of 2015. One bill proposes legalizing the ability of South Carolina farmers to grow medical marijuana that is specifically higher in CBD – often considered the medicinal compound in marijuana – and low in THC – the chemical compound that creates a “high” or euphoric feeling. Another bill will clean up the language in the state’s current hemp law.

However, the most ambitious of the three bills seeks to legalize medical marijuana as a prescription drug, so doctors can discuss the potential therapy with patients and prescribe the drug to those who may benefit from it.

South Carolina only this year passed an extremely limited medical marijuana bill, which allows patients with specific disorders like chronic epilepsy to use cannabis oil, or cannabidiol, to treat their disease. However, the legislation did not set up any way for patients to legally obtain the drug.

“It’s almost like a black market out there,” Davis said. “We provided relief for seizures, but we didn’t provide a means for people in South Carolina to obtain it. It is incumbent upon us to find a way to get it in South Carolina.”

“There is no reason to look at it differently than any other type of medicine like Percocet or Oxycontin,” he continued.

Davis’s bills will allow South Carolina to set up legal marijuana growing operations specifically for medicinal purposes, and set up responsibilities for oversight with state agencies. DHEC would test the marijuana for THC and CBD content, while the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division will ensure that medical marijuana growers are not also growing for recreational purposes.

“When people hear the personal stories of suffering and learn how they would benefit from medicinal marijuana, it breaks down those stereotypes and prejudices,” Davis said.

“There is always going to be abuse of the system by people,” Davis said. “As a policymaker, you weigh the costs against the benefits. In this case, the costs raised in the letter pale to the possible benefits of medicinal marijuana.”

However, law enforcement agencies have raised concerns about legalizing medical marijuana in South Carolina. Other states, for example, have had difficulties with greater numbers of Driving While Intoxicated, and more prolonged court battles around the issue due how long THC can stay in the bloodstream, making the driver appear intoxicated on blood tests.

“We fear that legalizing medical marijuana will lead to increased incidences of impaired driving while under the influence of marijuana resulting in additional highway injuries and deaths,” major law enforcement agencies wrote in a letter sent earlier this month. “We cannot begin to tell you how many burglaries and car accidents are caused, at least in part, by marijuana. With that being said, we cannot help but believe that cracking the door open to allow medical marijuana will open the door to increased marijuana usage in many demographics, not just for individuals who need medical relief.”

If You Face Marijuana Charges, Including for Medical Marijuana Use Charges, The Strom Law Firm Can Help

Although many states have passed medical marijuana legislation, South Carolina still has not legalized the use of marijuana for recreational or medical reasons. You could be charged with drug possession. If you or a loved one have been found with medical marijuana, you could face criminal charges ranging from misdemeanor to felony, depending on how much marijuana was on your person, and what your intent was with the drug. The drug crimes attorneys at the Strom Law Firm can help. Do not let drug charges for medical marijuana hurt your reputation or your future aspirations. We offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case. Contact us today for help. 803.252.4800

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