South Carolina
Last Update: September 23, 2014

South Carolina Legislature passes, governor signs CBD bill

South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley has signed into law a bill, S 1035, that allows certain patients with seizure disorders to use cannabidiol (CBD) — one of the components of marijuana — or any “manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation” of marijuana that contains 0.9% or less THC and more than 15% CBD if their physicians recommend it. While this is an improvement to current law, it leaves the vast majority of medical marijuana patients without legal protections for using and possessing the medicine their doctors think is best for them. Please see our summary of the law for more details.  

Meanwhile, a bill introduced by House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford that would have created a workable medical marijuana program was not even given a hearing. If you are a South Carolinian, please email your lawmakers and ask them to consider a comprehensive medical marijuana program next year.

If you are interested in getting more involved and are a person with a serious illness, doctor, nurse, clergy member, Ph.D., lawyer, or other influential member of your community, please email

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Marijuana Laws in South Carolina

In 2012, marijuana possession arrests (as opposed to arrests for manufacture or sales) accounted for 88% of all marijuana-related arrests in South Carolina. Unfortunately, these arrests affect minority communities in South Carolina most harshly. According to the ACLU, black South Carolinians are almost three times as likely to be arrested as their white neighbors, despite similar use rates. These arrests are made at the expense of preventing and solving violent and property crimes. It is time that South Carolina reform its criminal penalties for marijuana possession to free up the necessary time and money to go after the violent criminals who cause true havoc in our communities.

You can email your legislators to ask them to change the penalty for marijuana possession to a simple fine or to ask them to end marijuana prohibition completely in South Carolina. If you’d like to volunteer or if you are someone with a special connection to the issue — such as a clergy member or current or past member of law enforcement — please email to see how you can be of special help.

For more information on South Carolina’s marijuana arrests, usage, and other related data, please see Jon Gettman, Ph.D.’s report.







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