Thirty-seven states give their residents the freedom to use medical cannabis with a doctor’s approval. Although the South Carolina Senate passed a medical cannabis bill by a nearly 2:1 margin this February, South Carolina still isn’t one of them. The South Carolina Compassionate Care Act was killed in the House in May in a procedural ruling and vote.
Tuesday, November 8 is Election Day for the South Carolina House of Representatives and several other races. Don’t miss your chance to determine who represents you in the South Carolina House of Representatives next year — it could determine the fate of medical cannabis legislation in 2023.
Check out this voter guide that explains where South Carolina House of Representatives candidates stand on medical cannabis. (Senate seats are not on the ballot this year.) The voter guide includes responses to Sensible South’s candidate questionnaire along with information on which incumbents cosponsored medical cannabis bills and their past votes.
State legislative races have been so close some have tied. Don’t miss out on this chance to determine who represents you in Columbia. You may also wish to volunteer for or contribute to the candidates of your choice.
S.C. House kills medical cannabis bill in procedural ruling after it passes Senate
“The medicine that saves my life every day is illegal in South Carolina. I am asking my fellow South Carolinians, please support your veterans by asking your legislators to support compassionate legislation to bring this relief to everyone who needs it.”
— J., a female South Carolina veteran with PTSD and a severely painful kidney condition that medical cannabis has dramatically helped
For the first time ever, the South Carolina Senate passed a medical cannabis bill in 2022. The bill was later defeated in the House on a procedural motion, delaying relief for veterans and other suffering South Carolinians for at least another year.
On February 9, 2022, the South Carolina Senate passed S. 150 — The South Carolina Compassionate Care Act — on second reading in a 28-15 vote; upon third reading, the legislation was passed by a voice vote.
On April 7, the House 3M Committee passed S. 150 in a bipartisan 15-3 vote. On May 4, S. 150 was finally brought up on the House floor. Rep. John McCravy (R) raised a motion claiming it is a revenue-raising bill and as such was not allowed to originate in the Senate. (Senate bills can raise revenue if the revenue-raising component is incidental, and Senate counsel believed the bill was well within the Senate’s authority since its purpose was to legalize medical cannabis.) Speaker Pro Tem Tommy Pope (R) — a staunch opponent — ruled in favor of the motion. Then, House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford (D) appealed Pope’s ruling, and an opponent of the bill made a motion to table the appeal before it could be heard. In a 59-55 vote, House members tabled the appeal, making Pope’s ruling final and killing S. 150.
The House had its own version of the medical cannabis bill — which originated in the House and thus would not be vulnerable to that procedural challenge — but leadership failed to allow it out of committee.
While this is a huge disappointment, patients and advocates are not giving up. Every state House seat is on the ballot this year. Voters should reach out to their House candidates to see where they stand on medical cannabis legislation and work to help elect a more compassionate House this November.
And please also let us know if you are a patient who could benefit from medical cannabis, or a supportive medical professional, clergy member, veteran, or current or former member of law enforcement. Your voice is particularly powerful to this effort.
Earlier today, S. 150 — the S.C. Compassionate Care Act — was defeated in a procedural motion. Before debate on S. 150 could begin, Rep. John McCravy (R) raised a motion claiming the Compassionate Care Act is a revenue-raising bill and as such was not allowed to originate in the Senate. Speaker Pro Tem Tommy Pope (R) — a staunch opponent — ruled in favor of the motion to kill S. 150 after a lunch break.