Any bill that is passed by state lawmakers would need to be signed by the governor to become law. We asked each candidate where he or she stands on the issue, and the responses we received are below. The question each candidate answered was:

Do you support making South Carolina the 30th state to allow seriously ill and dying patients to possess and use a limited amount of cannabis for medical purposes, if the patients’ doctors recommend it?


Candidate name: Rep. James Smith
Party: Democrat
Position: Did not respond to survey question, but served as vocal co-sponsor of H3521
Comments: “I am the only candidate that has led the fight on this issue, and unlike my opponents I will not attempt to raise $400 million and tax sick people.”
Co-sponsored H3521 in the House


Candidate name: Marguerite Willis
Party: Democrat
Position: Did not respond to survey question
Public comments: “As governor, I’ll support offering medical marijuana as a prescribed medicine for the care of the chronically ill. I know the power of palliative care. Medical marijuana has proven safe and effective. The time for study has passed. It’s time to implement it.” Source


Candidate name: Phil Noble
Party: Democrat
Position: Did not respond to survey question
Public comments: Signaled support for medical marijuana, possibly offsetting harm from the opioid crisis. Source


Candidate name: Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant
Party: Republican
Position: 
Comment: I support trying this sort of treatment in a very limited and controlled clinical setting, such as hospice. We don’t want to be Colorado, but we want to explore all options to alleviate pain and suffering for those at the end of life.
Public comments: “I do not support recreational use of marijuana, but I am open to limited use of medical marijuana. I would suggest we start with a very careful approach to medical marijuana. One suggestion would be to limit it to hospice patients. Let’s begin there. Everyone would agree that if someone is under hospice care, they are on their deathbed and seeing the last days of their life. And I think that everyone would agree to giving them whatever they need to feel comfortable.” Source


Candidate name: Catherine Templeton
Party: Republican
Position: Yes, I support allowing medical cannabis in South Carolina.
Comment: “I support making South Carolina the 30th state to allow seriously ill and dying patients to possess and use a limited amount of cannabis oil or supplements for medical purposes, if the patients’ doctors prescribe it.”


Candidate name: Henry McMaster
Party: Republican
Position: Did not respond to survey question
Public comments: He has stated that “It’s a bad idea to legalize marijuana. …I don’t think it’s healthy,” although it is unclear if the governor draws any distinction between medical cannabis and marijuana intended for adult use. Source


Candidate name: John Warren
Party: Republican
Position: Did not respond to survey question
Public comments: Signaled support for allowing access to medical marijuana. Source


Candidate name: John Yancey McGill
Party: Republican
Position: Did not respond to survey question
Public comments: In a lunchtime speech delivered to the Aiken Republican Club, McGill said he’ll back medical marijuana if it’s regulated and controlled correctly. “If MUSC and some of these medical institutions could have access to it, and they regulated it for that purpose, I think that you couldn’t go wrong doing it,” McGill said. Source


Candidate name: Martin Barry
Party: American Party of South Carolina
Position: Yes, I support allowing medical cannabis in South Carolina.
Comment: None
Public comments: None on record