Medical cannabis act stalls, prep begins for 2019
Last update: April 12, 2018
The legislative effort in to pass the South Carolina Compassionate Care Act in 2018 ran out of time before a key deadline, ending its chances for passage this year. Lawmakers and supporters have wasted no time looking ahead to 2019. The act — which would establish regulated access to medical marijuana for patients who qualify — gained a great deal of critical support from lawmakers this year. We will continue to build on that support, and we expect lawmakers to begin where they left off once the legislature reconvenes in January.
If you are a resident of South Carolina, make sure your lawmakers knows of your continued support. The bills put forth by Sen. Tom Davis and Rep. Peter McCoy are compassionate, carefully considered, and will be presented again next year. Lawmakers should know of your ongoing support. The drive to pass a workable program that benefits patients continues!
If you would like to get involved, please contact allies Compassionate S.C. for ways you can contribute!
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.
Thankfully, South Carolina lawmakers are starting to realize that it’s time to reform the state’s criminal penalties for marijuana possession to free up the necessary time and money to go after violent criminals who cause true havoc in our communities. Rep. Mike Pitts introduced H. 3117, which would have made possession of one ounce or less punishable by a civil fine of $100-200 and would not carry an arrest. While this legislation did not receive a floor vote during the 2015-2016 session, it’s important your legislators hear you support this sensible step forward.
Currently, 22 states — including North Carolina and Mississippi — have removed jail time as a possible penalty for marijuana possession.
For more information on South Carolina’s marijuana arrests, usage, and other related data, please see Jon Gettman, Ph.D.’s report.
- If you live in South Carolina, please email your lawmakers in support of compassionate comprehensive medical marijuana legislation.
- Ask your legislators to support common sense penalties for marijuana possession.
- Urge your lawmakers to end marijuana prohibition and replace it with a system to tax and regulate marijuana in South Carolina.
Contact us: 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 protected] and be sure to include your address or zip code.
Stay connected: To stay updated on the status of marijuana policy reform in South Carolina, be sure to subscribe to MPP’s free legislative alert service.