South Carolina Marijuana Legislation
SC Compassionate Care Alliance
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Details of the Legislation
South Carolina Marijuana Reform. On January 10, Sen. Tom Davis and Rep. Peter McCoy introduced The South Carolina Compassionate Care Act, which would allow qualifying patients with debilitating medical conditions and a recommendation from their physician to use and safely access medical cannabis. The Department of Health and Environmental Control would regulate and license cultivation centers, processing facilities, dispensaries, and independent testing laboratories. The department will also issue registration cards to qualifying patients and their caregivers.
The South Carolina Marijuana Program. To qualify, patients must have at least one qualifying debilitating medical condition and a written recommendation from a physician who is responsible for the ongoing care and treatment of the patient’s debilitating medical condition. Patients must apply to the health department for a registration card that will allow access to dispensaries and provide legal protections. Cards must be renewed annually.
The bill’s qualifying conditions are: cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), autism, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, Parkinson’s disease, neural-tube defects, or the treatment of these conditions, or a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition (or its treatment) that produces: cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe, debilitating pain; severe nausea; seizures; neurological disorders; or severe and persistent muscle spasms. The bill would also create a Medical Cannabis Review Board, which would consider petitions to add other serious conditions to the program.
We Are SC Compassionate Care Alliance
The South Carolina Marijuana Bill
Welcome to the first day of the 122nd session of the South Carolina General Assembly. It is a day which brings new hope to patients here in South Carolina.
My name is Jill Swing. I am the President and co-founder of SC Compassion Compassionate Care Alliance. SC Compassionate Care Alliance is a true grassroots organization made up of patients, parents with chronically ill children, and other advocates from across the state. My own 9-year-old daughter, Mary Louise, has a severe form of intractable epilepsy. At one point she was having 800-1,000 seizures per day. By age six, her doctors told us they had run out of options that traditional medicine might offer so we began seeking alternatives. About that time, we heard about a little girl in Colorado whose severe seizures were completely halted using a cannabis derived oil that was high in CBD but low in THC.
We had considered moving to Colorado but it just seemed too difficult with our established lives here in SC. My mother-in-law met with Senator Tom Davis of Beaufort and told him our story. Shortly thereafter, the CBD bill was introduced. That began my personal journey into medical cannabis advocacy. That bill was passed but did not provide any sort of supply for the oil. We had to turn to an underground network of parents to purchase the oil the State told us we could now possess. I can tell you, this is no way to get medicine for your sick child. Supply was inconsistent and we were ripped off along the way. But we did what we had to do.
Although we saw immediate improvements with cannabis-derived CBD oil, it wasn’t until I had the opportunity to treat her legally last summer in Maine using whole plant therapy, including higher levels of THC, that I witnessed greater seizure control and improved quality of life. In the interim, I continued to advocate for a comprehensive medical cannabis program here in South Carolina that would provide safe, tested products and I also continued to network with patients and parents who also understood the need for such a program. It was through that network, and, with the help of a few other amazing parent/advocates, that SC Compassionate Care Alliance was born.
SC Compassionate Care Alliance has quickly become the leading voice of the medical cannabis movement in South Carolina. Our purpose is pure. We only want to improve the quality of life for ourselves and our loved ones.
28 States now have comprehensive medical cannabis programs. Meanwhile, patients here in South Carolina have one of 3 options: Patients here in South Carolina can treat illegally and risk arrest or losing the children they are trying to help. They can contemplate moving to one of the other 28 states which allow legal access to medical cannabis….Leaving behind their families, jobs and established support systems. Or, patients in South Carolina can simply stay here and continue to suffer. Quite honestly, these are decisions NO patient should be forced to make.
We are called SC Compassionate Care Alliance because medical cannabis legislation is about compassion. It’s about getting medicine that is safe and regulated into the hands of those who might medically benefit. It’s about listening to advocates who have shared their stories in hopes of bringing a comprehensive medical cannabis program to our state.
Advocates, like Seneca resident,SGT. Brent Jesmer, who served our country in Korea, Afghanistan, and Iraq. Advocates, like Amanda McNabb of Summerville, whose daughter Allie died last summer due to complications from a brain tumor, just one week before her 10th birthday. She was in Colorado, 2000 miles away from her family and friends, and the treatment they sought there was unfortunately too little too late.
These are the faces of the SC Compassionate Care Alliance. We are your friends, neighbors and co-workers. We are members of the PTA, members of your churches, and members of your community. We stand united with one voice and one mission: To bring medical cannabis to South Carolina in a regulated but accessible manor.
The war on “marijuana” is a war on families. We are tired of watching our loved ones suffer…our families torn apart…and our lives destroyed over a beneficial and often life-saving plant. And so we choose to use the scientific term, “cannabis” as opposed to the slang term “marijuana” because we view cannabis as medicine that has been proven by scientific research and overwhelming public evidence.
SC Compassionate Care Alliance embraces the motto of our state “While I breath, I hope” Thankfully, we have lawmakers in the South Carolina General Assembly who ARE compassionate and they have listened to our pleas for help, giving us that hope.
Today, we extol the introduction of the South Carolina Compassionate Care Act.
Please join us in our efforts to bring Compassionate access to Medical Cannabis treatment to the State of South Carolina.
Founder, Executive Director
SC Compassionate Care Alliance