S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson described marijuana (cannabis) as “the most dangerous drug” in America. These comments are disingenuous and disrespectful to over two million patients in America that use cannabis for medical purposes to treat debilitating conditions. In 2017 (the most recent year for which S.C. DHEC data is available), 1,001 people died of a drug overdose in South Carolina – 782 from prescription drugs (primarily opioids) and hundreds more from fentanyl and cocaine. But cannabis didn’t account for any of those overdose deaths. Cannabis didn’t result in any overdose deaths in 2016, either. In fact, throughout all of recorded history, cannabis has accounted for zero overdose deaths. Cannabis is not without side effects, but when you examine the terrible side effects associated with many prescription drugs, such as organ failure, asphyxiation, and death, it’s no surprise as to why patients choose marijuana’s side effects – euphoria and enhanced sensory perceptions – instead.
Thirty-three states, the District of Columbia, and four out of five U.S. territories have comprehensive medical cannabis programs. Fourteen additional states allow more limited use of medical cannabis. Federal agencies, including the National Institutes of Health and the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicines, have recognized the potential of cannabis as a medicine. Whether or not Mr. Wilson will admit it, cannabis can benefit thousands of people in South Carolina.
So, Mr. Wilson, the danger here is not marijuana – it’s your disregard for facts and science concerning a legitimate medicine.
– David Mangone, Esq., Americans for Safe Access