Republicans Embrace Medical Cannabis. In the red state of South Carolina, it may come as no surprise that the District 28 House seat currently held by Eric Bedingfield is being sought after by all Republican candidates. What might surprise some however is that in this group of four Republicans, ALL support medical cannabis in some form.
Once a liberal only idea, cannabis conversations are taking place more and more across the country. Finding way into not only conservative discussions publicly but in very open and supportive dialogue. Many no longer feel afraid that supporting medical cannabis is political suicide. Combining personal experience with recognition of growing public support to improve the health of human lives through medical cannabis is proving to be politically advantageous.
Mr. Bedingfield is one of the best examples of the evolving mindset around cannabis. As someone who once looked down upon it, he is now one of its strongest supporters. Initially he voted against the measure, but later had a change of heart and embraced CBD bill #S1035 which passed in 2014. Having lost his son to an opioid overdose, he is leading the charge that medical cannabis may effectively wean addicts from the grips of dependency. Vowing to continue his work until his term ends in January 1st, 2018, he is Chairman of the House Opioid Overdose Study Committee and is a co-sponsor of House bill #3521 legalizing access to medical cannabis for patients with qualifying conditions. His seat will be filled by one of four candidates; Ashley Trantham, Bill Welch, Jonathan Smith or Krystal Blume.
When asked by South Carolina Compassionate Care Alliance where they stood on legalizing cannabis for medical use, all four candidates eagerly responded. While support varied in degrees and in some cases had personal elements, all Republicans Embraced Medical Cannabis and appeared determined to continue the work Mr. Bedingfield began.
My best friend since 7th grade has cancer. I’m somewhat familiar with cannabis for medical purposes so I would ABSOLUTELY support your bill.Candidate Ashley Trantham
I am in total support of medical cannabis. I have seen first-hand that cannabis works!! Unfortunately, the parent had to obtain the medication illegally!! How can we as a state, deny a medication that has a proven track record and works, and say that you are unable to get in South Carolina!! I too will whole heartily support the Compassionate Care Act!!Candidate Krystal Blume
I support the use of cannabis oils in the treatment of folks in pain in place of narcotics. I am working to finish the work Eric Bedingfield started. Until I have more info I will not be able to answer your question fully. I have a son that’s 25 with Autism and would love to see how it could help him but until a complete study is done I do not have any idea what is best. I know the law enforcement on SC is not going to let this just happen, so we need good facts and a way to back up the study. Not trying to be wishy-washy but we all need to have the information to get to the next step if that makes sense.Candidate Bill Welch
I support what you’re doing and would continue to help you if elected.Candidate Jonathan Smith
Electing candidates that best represent the needs of the people and the state in which they seek to represent can seem like a daunting task, especially if you don’t know where a candidate stands on the issues that matter most to you. And while there are no democrats represented in this particular race, the long-held position of the left supporting cannabis for medicinal purposes, most certainly is. Republicans Embrace Medical Cannabis, you just have to be thorough in scrutinizing their views.
Thank you to each of the four candidates for promptly responding to our request. We appreciate your candid comments making clearer your support for our cause. We are hopeful that this discussion will assist voters in their choice for a new House representative in district 28 and that each of you continue the conversation no matter your future endeavors.
Mr. Bedingfield who brought awareness to the medicinal qualities of cannabis and who continues to fight to bring safe, legal access to patients in our state will be greatly missed. And while it’s hard when strong advocates leave, South Carolina Compassionate Care Alliance has a renewed sense of hope that the new house representative will continue not only the conversation but the fight to bring access to medication patients across our state need and deserve.
In a political atmosphere where division has grown, voters on Tuesday, November 14th may find common ground ‘growing’. Republicans Embrace Medical Cannabis in the most unlikely of places.