Companion bills to legalize medical cannabis introduced in South Carolina.
Senator Tom Davis and Representative Peter McCoy held a press conference to formally announce the companions bills that will be filed simultaneously in the state’s House and Senate.
If approved into law, the South Carolina Compassionate Care Act would allow those with a recommendation from a physician to possess and use cannabis and cannabis products, given they have a qualifying condition.
Qualifying conditions include glaucoma, cancer, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, HIV/AIDs, ulcerative colitis, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, PTSD, autism, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, Parkinson’s disease and neural-tube defects.
The measures are being introduced “To improve the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of South Carolina patients who can benefit from alternate courses of treatment instead of pharmaceutical,” says David Newsom, head of Government Affairs for SC Compassion, a nonrpofit medical cannabis group that has been working with the lawmakers to help draft the bills.
Newsom’s daughter, Harmony, has a rare genetic brain disorder that she was diagnosed with when she was just six months old.
“[S]he started having irretractable epilepsy and, you know, multiple, multiple seizures a day,” said Newsom. His daughter found relieve in CBD oil, which is legal in the state, but only for those with epilepsy and only if it has nearly no THC.
“Traditional pharmaceutical medications had made our daughter a zombie,” said Newsom who now just wants others who can benefit from it to have access to medical cannabis.
Last month Representative Todd Rutherford (D-Columbia) prefiled a separate medical cannabis bill, House Bill 3128 (H.3128), which would allow qualifying patients to possess up to two ounces of cannabis for medical use, and grow up to six plants.