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Medical Marijuana and the SC General Assembly

 The South Carolina House will decide if the state is to join 38 others in the nation by allowing prescriptions for medical marijuana. The Senate passed restrictive medical marijuana legislation recently and it is now up to the House to debate. Medical marijuana legislation was killed by the SC House two years ago.

The legislation, as passed by the Senate, only allows access to medical marijuana for patients with specific conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, sickle cell anemia, autism, and diagnoses related to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Access will require a prescription from a physician and dispensing by a pharmacist. It appears that creams, lotions, and some oral methods of use are approved. However, smoking of the product is not one of the methods allowed by this legislation.

Opponents of the bill include the SC Sheriffs Association and SLED. Opponents reportedly fear passing the bill could lead to increased illegal recreational use. It’s difficult to see how products which require a prescription and distribution through a pharmacy could increase recreational use.

What passing the legislation may not do is cut down on the illegal recreational use of marijuana in the state occurring now. However, there are citizens whose quality of life could benefit from a medical marijuana prescription. Those same citizens, if they wish those benefits now, must go the illegal route to acquire the product.

The House recently approved legislation which allows curbside delivery of liquor and other alcohol products to those over 21. Does it really trust a delivery driver to exercise more discretion in the delivery of a restricted product than a doctor or pharmacist? Or is the liquor just better for campaign contributions?

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