SC lawmakers resume conversations on legalization of medical marijuana

Around the South

COLUMBIA, S.C. (WSPA) – Medical marijuana has been a hot-button issue across the country with many states legalizing the drug for medical and recreational purposes. In South Carolina, the question lawmakers have to answer is if medical marijuana should be legal.

The debate on medical marijuana continued Wednesday during a House Health and Environmental Affairs Subcommittee meeting.

“We’re elected to be here so it’s not tough for us. These are the decisions we make. For us it’s not about pros and cons,” said Rep. Christopher Hart, the chair of the subcommittee.

Bills filed in both the House and the Senate clear the way for South Carolina to legalize medical marijuana. At Wednesday’s meeting supporters of the bill presented their reasons the drug should be legalized for medical treatment.

A woman and her nephew explained to subcommittee members the problems he had while being on FDA approved prescription drugs to treat his epilepsy. The pair then provided the benefits the teenager experiences while being on THC based products.

“I used to take 20 pills a day and still had seizures. Now I take none and have no seizures.”

Opponents of the measure argued the potential consequences of legalization. Jarrod Bruder with the S.C. Sheriff’s Association expressed concerns about the possibilities of increased impaired driving.

“Marijuana does cause impairment, and you make poor decisions when you’re impaired, especially when you don’t have a dosage. And that’s one of the issues we’ve heard in this room is that as long as you go slow and lay low there is no amount you can’t have.”

The bipartisan proposal comes with strict guidelines as far as to whom medical marijuana can be prescribed and how much can be prescribed.

Those who would be eligible for medical marijuana under this bill would include those with cancer, neurological diseases, and other debilitating disorders.

The subcommittee voted Wednesday to not take any action on the bill until further testimony and information can be provided.

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