As states celebrated cannabis on 4/20 this week, South Carolina’s push for legalizing medical marijuana seems to have hit a wall.
Despite having two bills on the docket for the legalization of medicinal marijuana, the S.C. Compassionate Care Act has stalled in a Senate subcommittee, making it impossible to pass the bill this year.
Advocates believe that last year’s failure of the bill in the House might have pushed the issue to the back burner of many lawmakers’ agendas.
The legislation, sponsored by Republican Sen. Tom Davis, aims to make cannabis legal for certain residents with specific medical conditions. It’s expected to move out of the Senate subcommittee at the start of the next legislative session.
Lawmakers who support the measure worry that South Carolina’s stalling puts the state behind the rest of the U.S.
Meanwhile, lawmakers are calling for the release of inmates held on marijuana-related offenses, with one legislator proposing to make April 20 “420 Day” and pardon 20% of inmates convicted of simple marijuana possession every year going forward.
Additionally, a poll of 1,298 respondents showed that more than three-fourths of South Carolina voters are in favor of medical cannabis.
“Support for medical marijuana has been growing in South Carolina with sizable majorities from both parties favoring it,” said Scott Huffmon, director of the Winthrop Poll.