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  • Christopher D.

Is Marijuana Coming to South Carolina?

South Carolina remains one of the few states that has yet to legalize medical marijuana, despite growing support from residents and lawmakers. As the 2024 legislative session winds down, the future of medical marijuana legalization hangs in the balance. However, proponents argue that allowing access to this plant could provide much-needed relief for patients suffering from various debilitating conditions.

The Compassionate Care Act

At the center of the medical marijuana debate is the Compassionate Care Act, sponsored by Republican Senator Tom Davis. This tightly regulated bill would permit the use of marijuana products like oils, patches, and vaporizers for qualifying medical conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, and epilepsy. Smoking the raw plant would remain illegal.

Davis has spent a decade advocating for this issue, continuously refining the bill to appease conservative colleagues. "South Carolina is a more conservative state than California and New York," he explains. "I don't make any apologies for the fact that this is a very conservative, tightly regulated bill."

The Benefits of Medical Marijuana

Supporters of the Compassionate Care Act argue that medical marijuana could provide a safer alternative to addictive opioids and other prescription drugs. Patients and advocates have shared heartbreaking stories of loved ones finding relief from debilitating symptoms like seizures, muscle spasms, and chronic pain after using medical marijuana.

Stephanie Burgess, a family nurse practitioner at a hospice facility, emphasizes the need for this option, "It's really gut-wrenching to have these patients come in who are admitted to our facility and they are screaming and begging me for relief from their symptoms."

Despite the potential benefits, the bill faces staunch opposition from law enforcement agencies. State Law Enforcement Division (SLED) Chief Mark Keel has been a vocal critic, arguing that the Compassionate Care Act is a slippery slope towards full legalization.

"This bill does not follow that tradition of the medical model, which is why, in my opinion, it is not about medicine. This bill is about legalizing marijuana in South Carolina," Keel stated during a recent hearing.

The Path Forward

As the legislative session nears its end, the fate of the Compassionate Care Act remains uncertain. The bill has already passed the Senate but is currently stalled in a House committee. Senator Davis expressed frustration at the lack of progress, stating, "It's just been sitting in committee. And, look, that is frustrating."

Even if the bill fails to become law this year, supporters remain committed to the cause. Davis vowed, "I'll keep pushing this thing till we get it done," citing a poll showing 83% of South Carolinians believe doctors should have the authority to recommend medical marijuana.

South Carolina's medical marijuana debate reflects a nationwide shift in attitudes towards marijuana. Currently, 37 states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana, with an additional 21 states permitting recreational use.

Recent developments, such as the Drug Enforcement Administration's plans to reclassify marijuana as a less dangerous drug, could further bolster the case for medical legalization in South Carolina.

Why Get a Medical Marijuana Card?

For those suffering from qualifying conditions in states where medical marijuana is legal, obtaining a medical marijuana card can provide numerous benefits. It allows patients to access marijuana products from licensed dispensaries, ensuring quality control and safety.

Additionally, having a medical card protects patients from legal consequences associated with recreational use. It also enables them to purchase higher quantities and forms of marijuana tailored to their medical needs.

In the face of ongoing opposition, the path to medical marijuana legalization in South Carolina remains uncertain. However, as more states embrace this alternative treatment option, the pressure on South Carolina to follow suit may continue to mount, driven by the stories of patients seeking relief and a growing acceptance of marijuana’s potential therapeutic benefits.

Get Ready for Medical Marijuana in South Carolina

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

You’ll learn if you qualify for a South Carolina Marijuana Card and how to best treat your conditions with safe, effective medical marijuana. You’ll even save $25 off the cost of your evaluation!


Doctors Who Care

Relief You Can Trust.

South Carolina Marijuana Card’s mission is to help everyone achieve wellness safely and conveniently through increased access to medical marijuana. Our focus on education, inclusion, and acceptance will reduce the stigma for our patients by providing equal access to timely information and compassionate care.

If you have any questions, call us at (833) 781-6670, or simply reserve an appointment to start getting relief you can trust!

Check out South Carolina Marijuana Card’s Blog to keep up to date on the latest medical marijuana news, tips, and information!

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