South Carolina Capital

Brandon Davis

South Carolina May Legalize Medical Cannabis In 2019

Polling data and a pending compassionate care bill in the state legislature make a strong case for South Carolina’s likelihood to legalize medical cannabis during this year’s legislative session.

Full story after the jump.

A new poll from Benchmark Research shows a strong majority of South Carolinians support legalizing medical cannabis, The Herald reports.

The new results show 72 percent of polled South Carolinians support medical cannabis legalization. This follows two other high-profile polls since 2016 that showed similar results.

Medical cannabis advocate Bill Nettles, previously the state’s U.S. Attorney under President Obama, was happy with the results. “Government officials need to get out of the way of the will of the people,” said Nettles.

Janel Ralph, executive director of Compassionate South Carolina patient advocacy group, said, “This is the third poll that shows that the people of South Carolina are in favor of medical marijuana. Legislators are going to have to start looking at it seriously now.”

In the state legislature, two separate “compassionate care” medical cannabis legalization bills have been approved. They were not, however, considered for reconciliation before the end of last year’s session.

While Democrats in South Carolina are strongly behind cannabis reforms, some law enforcement interests are still against legalization and claim it would lead immediately to full adult-use legalization.

Ralph, at least, is confident that the upcoming legislative session will result in a medical cannabis law in South Carolina. “It’s just time,” she said.

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