The South Carolina legislature is advancing a medical marijuana bill that could be considered one of the most restrictive programs in the country. This week the Senate Medical Affairs Committee passed the bill and now it awaits a vote before the full Senate. If passed the bill would have the Department of Health and Environmental Control providing regulations and licensing for all businesses involved in the program. One big unpopular rule would be the inability to smoke medical cannabis and instead being forced to consume in other ways which might be harder to accurately dose. Advocates of the bill are concerned that law enforcement officials are becoming too concerned about choosing which laws to support instead of enforcing what is the law. Recent polls place South Carolina alongside many other states in the U.S. with having most voters (78%) supporting medical cannabis.
The Compassionate Care Act, however, prohibits patients from smoking medical cannabis. For patients, the herbaceous form of cannabis is the most cost-effective, but dosing can be more challenging. Healthcare professionals also view smoke inhalation as a health hazard.
Other restrictions in S 212 would make South Carolina’s one of the most carefully regulated medical cannabis programs in the country. Those restrictions are the result of lobbying efforts by some in law enforcement.