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  • D.H. Reilly

How to Bring Medical Marijuana to South Carolina

How To Get Marijuana in South Carolina

The bad news is that you’re not yet able to get a South Carolina Marijuana Card.

The good news is you soon will be able to, and the better news is that you can play a part in speeding up that process!

With headlines from months ago saying that we’re only “steps away from legalization in South Carolina,” it can be easy to be cynical and assume it will never come. But if you look at the patterns set by other states, it becomes clear that legalization here is inevitable, and pressure and action on the half of Palmetto State voters can speed up its arrival.

Two Roads to the Same Destination, but Only One for South Carolina

As marijuana is still illegal at the Federal level, each of the 36 states that have established medical markets had to do so at the state level. And broadly speaking, there are two ways to change the laws of a state: Through legislative action by elected representatives and through voter initiatives.

Unfortunately, we only have one of those two paths open to us in South Carolina, as we have no legal mechanism whereby voters can place statewide issues on the ballot. So if we’re going to get medical marijuana here, we have only one option outside of legalization at the Federal level (which seems as inevitable as legalization at the state level, although far less imminent): We’ve got to get our State Senators and Representatives to pass a medical marijuana bill.

And the good news is that they’re in the middle of the long process of doing so.

The Writing is on the Wall: Medical Marijuana is Coming to South Carolina

As we told you last week, the State Senate is set to vote on a medical marijuana bill as their first act back in session next January. And as we also told you, all signs seem to indicate that the support exists among our legislators to put a bill in front of Governor Henry McMaster. And McMaster himself has said he’ll keep an open mind about medical marijuana, as he knows it could alleviate the suffering of South Carolinians.

So that’s it? Game over? Here comes medical marijuana?

Probably. But why leave it to chance?

May 14, 2021: Mississippi Supreme Court Tries to Overrule Voters

Legalization advocates in Mississippi thought they had finally won the right to legal medical marijuana, only to be reminded that nothing is a done deal until it is a done deal.

Mississippi voters overwhelmingly passed Initiative 65 in November of 2020. The initiative had been placed on the ballot thanks to grassroot efforts at securing signatures from supporters, and would have created a medical marijuana market in that state. With a decisive victory at the ballot box, it seemed that medical marijuana in Mississippi was inevitable.

In fact, the Mississippi Department of Health had already begun work on creating the state’s medical marijuana market when May 14, 2021 came. That’s the day the state Supreme Court overturned Initiative 65 on a technicality.

So that’s it? Game over? No medical marijuana for Mississippi?

Nope. Because Mississippi voters didn’t leave anything to chance.

Want Medical Marijuana? Make Sure Your Representatives Know.

Almost immediately after his state’s medical marijuana program was killed by the Court, Mississippi Governor Tate Reeves called upon state legislators to pass a medical marijuana bill for him to sign into law.

And that was a pretty big deal, because Reeves had been a longtime opponent of legalization. Nevertheless, he told legislators “It is imperative that we get it done, and get it done quickly." Why the sense of urgency? The governor said it was important to respect the “will of the voters.”

Public Opinion Polls: Turning Prohibitionists into Medical Marijuana Supporters

Whether Reeves threw his support behind medical marijuana out of a deep-seated love of Democracy or out of a fear of backlash from his constituents, he knew he couldn’t allow medical marijuana to die in Mississippi.

The polls told him how viable that strategy would be: Researchers found that a majority of Mississippi voters:

  • Still supported medical marijuana

  • Favored a law similar to Initiative 65

  • Said they would be less likely to support candidates who stood in the way of such a law

And now state legislators are negotiating a medical marijuana bill so that Reeves can convene a special session to pass it, perhaps as early as next month. The moral of the story: If enough voters crack the whip, politicians have no choice but to listen.

So What Does All This Have to do With South Carolina?


Mississippi is a deep-red state, and Republicans have traditionally been the most fiercely opposed to legalization.

Just as South Carolina is a deep-red state, and, yes, most of the opposition to medical marijuana in state government is on the GOP’s side of the aisle.

However, traditions have begun to change.

Jill Swing, the president and founder of the South Carolina Compassionate Care Alliance, said of public opinion turning in medical marijuana’s favor, “The greatest increase in support has been Republicans who support it.”

Swing said that while Republican lawmakers were once worried that supporting legalization would hurt their re-election odds, instead “they have been touted as heroes by stepping out and supporting medical cannabis legislation.”

If our representatives see that we want something badly enough, they’ll capitulate. Prohibitionist governors can call for special sessions to appease irate voters. Longstanding prejudices can be overcome in the face of changing times. And even deep-red states can come to embrace medical marijuana, if their residents want it badly enough.

And make no mistake about it: South Carolinians want medical marijuana. In fact, 72% of us favored medical marijuana in a poll conducted earlier this year.

And we can have it. We’ve just got to let our representatives know how we feel.

Are You Ready to Let Them Hear from You?

So how can you get medical marijuana in South Carolina? Let your representatives know that you want it, and you’re prepared to act accordingly at the ballot box if you don’t get it.

Don’t know who your reps are? No problem! There is a state government website for that. And once you know who it is you need to contact, there is also a site to help you reach out to them.

You could also seek out like-minded South Carolinians and pool your efforts. This petition, for example, has more than 11,000 supporters. You could add your signature, and copy a link to the petition into your emails to your representatives, to remind them of what they’re up against if they’re against medical marijuana.

You’re Almost There, South Carolina

We know how tiring it is fighting for change. We know how easy it is to become cynical and hopeless.

As one of person commented on the above petition four years ago, “Years later, and nothing. I hate our lawmakers.”

Yes, that’s one way of looking at it. Here’s another: Marijuana has been illegal at the Federal level for almost a century. The first state medical marijuana law was passed almost twenty-five years ago. Now there are only twelve states that haven’t yet created medical marijuana markets.

From complete prohibition to one state with medical marijuana in almost 75 years, from one state to 36 in another 25 years. And now your state legislature is less than a year away from deciding if South Carolina should make it 37 states.

You’re on the five yard line, South Carolina. Don’t give up now. Let them hear from you.

And Let Us Hear from You, too

Relief is now in sight, and there is no reason to wait a moment longer than is absolutely necessary before you experience it.

Reserve an evaluation with one of our doctors today, and we’ll book an appointment for you just as soon as South Carolina’s medical marijuana market is up and running.

Not only will you get to discuss your condition and if medical marijuana is right for you from the comfort of your own home via a smartphone or computer, but you’ll also save $25 off the cost of your evaluation!

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