Last Update: February 3, 2014
South Carolina Legislature reconvenes
The South Carolina Legislature has reconvened for the second half of the 2013-2014 legislative session. Last year, lawmakers failed to debate — and even to introduce — legislation making sensible policy changes to their state's marijuana laws. All it takes is the introduction of one sensible bill to spark a discussion, so please take a moment to contact your state legislators and urge them to introduce a medical marijuana bill.
Over a third of the country's population now lives in jurisdictions that protect the seriously ill from arrest and prosecution for using marijuana with their doctors’ recommendations. Twenty states and the District of Columbia have compassionate laws, and many more states are seriously considering passing legislation as well.
In order to move forward with marijuana policy reform, there needs to be an open discussion about the issue throughout the state. 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 email@example.com.
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Marijuana Laws in South Carolina
In 2007, marijuana possession arrests (as opposed to arrests for manufacture or sales) accounted for 91% 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.