Columbia, S.C. — The South Carolina Compassionate Care Alliance, a statewide coalition of patients, families, and advocates working to establish a comprehensive medical cannabis program, is calling on state lawmakers to enact the South Carolina Compassionate Care Act in 2021.
On Election Day, voters in two more states legalized medical cannabis, bringing the total number of states with comprehensive medical cannabis programs to 36. In Mississippi, more than two-thirds of voters opted to enact a medical cannabis measure. Mississippi joins several other Southern states with medical cannabis programs, including Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, and Virginia. Seventy-three percent of Americans now live in a state that allows the medicinal use of cannabis.
The South Carolina Compassionate Act would allow patients with debilitating medical conditions and a doctor’s certification to safely access medicinal cannabis from state-regulated and controlled facilities. The proposal appeared to be primed for action in 2020 with meetings scheduled in the House 3M subcommittee and the Senate Medical Affairs Committee. Unfortunately, both meetings were canceled after the onset of COVID-19 stalled legislative efforts. The bills will be reintroduced for the 2021 legislative session.
South Carolinians overwhelmingly support allowing cannabis for medicinal use. According to a 2018 Benchmark Research poll, 72% of South Carolinians favor medical cannabis legalization, including 63% of Republicans.
Statement from Jill Swing, executive director of the SC Compassionate Care Alliance, and mother of a daughter with a seizure disorder:
“Thousands of seriously ill South Carolinians are depending on the legislature to enact compassionate medical cannabis legislation in 2021. For six years, I’ve had to continue to watch my daughter suffer while lawmakers drag their feet on this issue. My daughter and other South Carolinians deserve the same physician-guided treatment option as residents of Mississippi, Louisiana, and 34 other states.”
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The South Carolina Compassionate Care Alliance is a statewide coalition of patients, families, and advocates working to establish a comprehensive medical cannabis program in South Carolina.