COLUMBIA, S.C. (WBTW) — State lawmakers debated a invoice for the primary time in state historical past that may legalize medical marijuana in South Carolina.
Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort County, wrote and sponsored a invoice that he touts because the “most conservative” medical hashish laws within the nation.
Davis expressed his disappointment with the state GOP for its disapproval of medical marijuana.
Jill Swing advised legislators she noticed the advantages of medical marijuana firsthand along with her daughter.
“Sufferers on this state are struggling, and we’d like this medicine,” Swing mentioned. “To maintain it away from them due to concern and stigma is simply improper. It’s inhumane.”
Swing’s 14-year-old daughter, Mary Louise, has a debilitating seizure situation, and at one level was having as much as 1,000 seizures a day.
“We saved fiddling along with her medicines and nothing was working, and she or he was actually, actually struggling,” Swing mentioned. “I made the choice to take her to Maine the place they’ve a visiting affected person program in order that she may get hashish, legally, beneath a health care provider’s care and steerage.”
Swing mentioned that within the 5 weeks they had been on the facility she noticed a more healthy, extra impartial and vocal facet of Mary Louise.
“She shouldn’t should undergo again right here in South Carolina simply because she will’t have entry to a medication that I’ve watched the way it works for her,” she mentioned. “I’ve seen the way it modified her life.”
Swing mentioned the most important hurdle to beat within the basic meeting is the stigma and misinformation about hashish that impacts public and regulation enforcements perspective.
“I feel if lawmakers actually hearken to the information, they’ll land on our facet, however I do know that each single one which I spoke to yesterday is getting an excessive quantity of pushback from their sheriff.”
The South Carolina Legislation Enforcement Division and Sheriff’s Affiliation have been vocal about its disapproval of medical hashish, however Swing believes if the invoice turns into regulation, officers and regulation enforcement will turn into allies.
Gary Hess is a United States Marine veteran. He transitioned to civilian life after a suicide blast injured him throughout a tour in Iraq. Since then, he’s had a number of associated bodily and psychological sicknesses.
“I used to be recognized in a transition house with traumatic mind damage, persistent ache, vital listening to loss, post-traumatic stress dysfunction amongst a myriad of different situations,” Hess mentioned. “I used to be fed a pharmaceutical firehose, after which simply shy of ten years my psychological and bodily well being declined a lot that I believed taking my very own life was one of the best reply.”
Hess began to include medical hashish into his each day routine. Whereas he mentioned it was not the one contributing issue to his well being, it was part of the answer.
Hess is now the CEO of Veterans Alliance for Homeopathic Alternate options, a corporation he based to assist veterans via an expertise he went via himself.
“I can let you know that between my canine and built-in hashish each day is why I’m sitting right here in the present day,” he mentioned.
Whereas the subject continues to be extremely contested, some minds have modified in recent times.
“I feel the time has come for us to have this debate and fairly frankly I feel it’s acquired probability at passing this yr,” mentioned Sen. Stephen Goldfinch, R-Murrells Inlet.
Goldfinch acknowledges he was as soon as an advocate in opposition to the legalization of hashish, however after seeing the way it helped a younger lady firsthand, he modified his thoughts.
“I can not wrap my head round anymore why we drawback children with extreme epilepsy, why we drawback folks with stage 4 most cancers who’re in excessive ache, to be able to attempt to maintain a pothead from getting his palms on a joint,” he mentioned. “It doesn’t make sense to me. It’s the worst coverage ever. It’s an irresponsible coverage, and it isn’t a righteous coverage in any approach, form or kind.”
Goldfinch additionally understands why regulation enforcement officers are in opposition to it and acknowledges it’s a “slippery slope.”
“Medical marijuana will flip into leisure marijuana which can flip right into a free for all,” he mentioned. “The query may be very merely, if we now have the political braveness to boil it all the way down to this, does it matter? Does it matter on the expense of the individuals who really want it? Does it matter if potheads have just a little bit simpler entry to marijuana? And to me proper now the reply is not any. It doesn’t.”