On Thursday, South Carolina Senators voted 7-4 against a bill that would have created a safe and accessible medical marijuana program in the state.
According to WLTX, the bill would have permitted physicians to prescribe medicinal cannabis to patients suffering from debilitating medical conditions, such as cancer, glaucoma and chronic pain.
"This is something that is providing real relief to people who are suffering,” Sen. Tom Davis, the main sponsor of the bill, told the Senate Medical Affairs Committee.
Nonetheless, Davis was unable to sway his fellow committee members, many of whom stood adamantly opposed to the bill due to the possibility of legal medical marijuana making its way into recreating hands.
"Back in my district, every single medical professional that contacted me about this bill is against it," Sen. Kevin Johnson said. "And they explained to me why and they made some very valid points. And then all my law enforcement people in my district are against this bill."
"This is a bad idea," Sen. Mike Fair concurred. "It's a pathway to recreational usage."
However, according to Davis, the bill was written with precautions in place to prevent such "recreational usage," including a seed-to-sale tracking system.
While most definitely a setback for medical marijuana in the state, the Senate's rejection does not mean that medi-pot is completely off the table. A companion bill that's currently in the South Carolina House is giving cannabis activists hope.
"We're not completely dead-in-the-water yet because there is a companion bill in the House that has also already passed subcommittee," explained Jill Swing, the mother of an eight-year-old who takes CBD oil to reduce seizures. "So, I think what we do is go over to the House side and try to get them to push the bill from over there."
(Photo Courtesy of Pharm to Table)