South Carolina: Express your disappointment to your representatives and ask them to fight for medical cannabis patients!
S.C. House kills medical cannabis bill in procedural ruling after it passes Senate
Last update: May 13, 2022
“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.