SC Legislators Hear Testimony on Medical Marijuana Legislation

South Carolina Legislators Consider Medical Marijuana Legislation, Hear Testimony from Possible Patients

medical marijuana legislationOn Thursday, October 2nd, South Carolina lawmakers heard testimony from chronically-ill patients and a doctor on the potential benefits of medical marijuana legislation in the state.

In June this year, Governor Nikki Haley signed a bill into law that made one specific form of medical marijuana legal – CBD oil, also called cannabidiol, which is a drug derived from one of two major compounds found in marijuana plants. CBD can be derived from marijuana as an oil and used to alleviate symptoms of some neurological disorders such as epilepsy. THC, another prominent chemical in marijuana, is responsible for the “high” or euphoric feeling sought out by recreational users. Although the FDA has not conducted specific tests into the effectiveness of this form of medical marijuana, many people believe that the CBD compound has medicinal properties that alleviate pain and discomfort from chronic conditions such as fibromyalgia, epilepsy, and cancer.

Now, lawmakers are considering expanding on that legislation, which would allow a wider variety of patients with chronic pain or cancer pain to have access to CBD oil. The medical marijuana meeting was held at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston on Thursday, and was one of three such gatherings the legislative committee has scheduled across the state.

“I’m in pain as I stand before you. I can’t take a lot of medicines,” said Summerville resident Frances Hoffman Darling, a retired social worker who suffers from a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis, who spoke before the state’s official Medical Marijuana Study Committee. “I can’t do much in my life. I can’t eat. I can’t sleep. I’ve ground most of my teeth off from being in pain,”

Hoffman Darling added that she has never smoked marijuana before in her life, and has no interest in it as a recreational drug. She is only interested in the pain-relieving aspect of medical marijuana. “I would like an opportunity to try this,” she said. “I should have the chance.”

Aside from concerns about abuse of medical marijuana legislation, South Carolina also faces an issue of supplying the drug to those with a prescription. Although it is now legal in South Carolina to be in possession of CBD oil with a prescription, the state does not have growers or pharmaceutical companies selling the drug in-state. People with prescriptions still have to travel somewhere like Colorado for access to their medical marijuana.

“There’s no legitimate supply,” said Jill Swing, whose daughter, Mary Louise, suffers from cerebral palsy and epilepsy. “You can go through a friend of a friend of a friend, but you don’t really know what you’re getting.”

“We’ve legalized its possession, but in a practical sense. … how does one go about getting the thing that we said is legal?” Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort, who introduced the CBD oil legislation in the state Senate, asked during the meeting Thursday.

“To me a logical corollary of that is being able to grow the plant, extract the oil from the plant and have some dispensation so patients are sure of what they are getting,” he said.

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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