South Carolina Legislature Kills Medical Cannabis Bill

South Carolina’s Legislature declared its latest medical cannabis bill unconstitutional over a tax provision, defeating the bill for this year.

Full story after the jump.

South Carolina lawmakers on Thursday failed to pass this year’s medical cannabis bill despite making it further in the process than ever before, according to a WLTX report. Known as the Compassionate Care Act (CCA), the measure was declared “unconstitutional” when Republican Rep. John McCravy made a motion claiming the CCA should have originated in the House rather than the Senate because it imposed a tax.

House Speaker Pro Tem Tommy Pope (R) agreed, thereby killing the bill.

Democratic state Rep. Todd Rutherford appealed the decision, calling the action “an abomination of House rules and certainly an abomination of the General Assembly and the balance of power that we have.” His appeal failed on a 59-55 vote.

McCravy countered with the threat of three pages of amendments to the CCA, which he characterized as having “many defects.”

Rutherford noted, though, that the measure “has progressed because people are demanding change.”

“Seventy percent of people in South Carolina that are polled say they want the freedom to choose medical marijuana or not.” – Rutherford via WLTX

The CCA passed the Senate early in the legislative session this year but was blocked from debate in the House by opponents. If the bill is ultimately dead for the year, it will need to be passed again by both chambers next year.

The CCA seeks to set up one of the most restrictive medical cannabis systems in the country, allowing only consumption methods like oil, salves, patches, or vaporizers.

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