Medical marijuana gaining momentum in SC. Primary vote could deliver another boost

Medical marijuana gaining momentum in SC. Primary vote could deliver another boost

In Top Stories by MediReview StaffLeave a Comment

COLUMBIA — In the flurry of activity near the end of this year’s legislative session, a proposal to legalize medical marijuana quietly passed committees in both the S.C. House and Senate and was sent to the floor of both chambers. The passage came too late for consideration in either the House or Senate this year. But the bill represents more than four years of legislative compromise that supporters say will have a much better chance of passing next year. And those chances could get a boost on Tuesday. A nonbinding ballot initiative — essentially a litmus test — on legalization of medical marijuana will be included on the Democratic primary ballot. "It allows the party to take the temperature of the electorate," said Bill Nettles, a former U.S. attorney for South Carolina. More: OPINION: South Carolina should allow use of medical marijuana Nettles heads Palmetto Medical Cannabis LLC, a group advocating for the legalization of medical marijuana in South Carolina. Nettles, appointed by then-President Barack Obama to serve as U.S. attorney from 2010 to 2016, requested both the S.C. Republican Party and S.C. Democratic Party include the advisory referendum on their primary ballots. The Democrats agreed. The Republicans didn’t. "It’s an issue that is becoming a larger part of the legislative and criminal justice discussions in S.C.," said Brady Quirk-Garvan, the Charleston County Democratic chairman. "This is a great tool to allow us to gauge how Democratic voters feel on this issue.” Efforts to receive comment from the Republican Party were unsuccessful Friday. Advocates note that legalization of medical marijuana has wide popular support in the Palmetto State. In a question asked exclusively for The State newspaper in 2016, a Winthrop University poll showed nearly 4 in 5 S.C. residents – or 78 percent – supported legalizing medical marijuana. […]

Leave a Comment