Earlier today, lawmakers reconvened in Columbia to continue their 2019-2020 session. Both the House and Senate are picking up the medical cannabis discussion where they left off. We need your help to make sure the legislature finally gives patients the relief they deserve.
Send your lawmakers a message in support of these bills right now. Our automated system makes it quick and easy to write your lawmakers. You can send a pre-drafted letter, make edits to share your story, or compose your own letter.
Here is a quick summary of where things stand, next steps, and how supporters can help.
Twin bills were introduced last year — one in the House and one in the Senate. Sen. Tom Davis (R) is the lead sponsor behind the Senate bill, S. 366, which was assigned to the Senate Medical Affairs Committee. In 2019, a Senate subcommittee held hearings and advanced the bill with some amendments. The full committee began work on the bill last Spring and is expected to take the bill up again in the coming weeks.
Over on the House side, Rep. Peter McCoy (R) sponsors the bill, H. 3660, which has been posted for a Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee (“3M”) subcommittee hearing next Tuesday.
We want pressure to continue during the session, so please stay tuned. Right now, you can take a moment to send a message to your Senator and House member in support. Help us ensure 2020 will be the year we finally see a law pass. Support S. 366 and H. 3660 today!
Our allies at Compassionate South Carolina are hosting a Lobby Day in Columbia on Wednesday, April 3 to make the case for a medical cannabis program directly with lawmakers. This event can have a huge impact at an important time — a key deadline is just one week later. If you are a patient, loved one, veteran, or medical professional, please consider attending!
Lobby Day enables those who support allowing medical cannabis to meet with their own senator and representative and talk about this important bill. Supporters will meet up, talk about the measure and get tips for talking with lawmakers, and make visits at the State House. For more information on the event, click here.
S. 366 emerged from the Senate subcommittee that was reviewing it and will be considered by the full Senate Medical Affairs Committee next Thursday. We want the committee to support the bill, vote "yes," and send it to the floor of the Senate for a vote. A summary of the bill is available here. You can find some key points in support of it here.
Let's keep the pressure up. If you haven't done so already, please send an email message to your state representative and senator in support. You can do that by clicking this link and forwarding a message today. Then, please pass this on to your networks so that they, too, can speak out for compassion.
MPP and Clergy for a New Drug Policy are reaching out to clergy – you can help
As South Carolina considers adopting a medical cannabis program, a recent poll shows how supportive South Carolinians continue to be. This support must certainly include members of the faith community.
We are eager to identify individual clergy we might contact and work with on this important issue. If you are a member of the clergy or you know someone who is and who supports this effort, please let us know. Clergy may also sign our online statement of support.
Thirty-three states have already approved cannabis as medicine. 2019 will likely be a pivotal year in the debate in South Carolina. Sen. Tom Davis and Rep. Peter McCoy have reintroduced bills this year that would establish a medical cannabis program for seriously ill patients in South Carolina.
Clergy have spoken out for medical cannabis in other states and are raising their voices in South Carolina as well. Clergy for a New Drug Policy, our ally around the U.S, has already begun meeting with individual clergy here. For a recent post on medical cannabis as an alternative to opioids, click here.
Those who choose the safer approach should not be treated like criminals, particularly when they are under the care of a physician.
Please contact us if you are a supportive member of the clergy or know someone who is. Together, we can lay the foundation for a compassionate and regulated program for many of our state's most vulnerable population.
Thank you for your help.
Sen. Tom Davis introduced a new bill today that would establish a medical cannabis program for seriously ill patients in South Carolina. The text of Senate bill 366 is available here. Sen. Davis' office sent out a summary of the bill, and we have our own as well. Rep. Peter McCoy is expected to file his own version in the House soon.
You lawmakers need to hear from you. Click here to forward a message asking for support.
Sen. Davis and Rep. McCoy sponsored medical cannabis bills in 2018, and in many respects this year's effort will pick up where last year's left off. Measures in both chambers passed out of committee last year, but time ran out before floor votes could be taken. Given the groundwork laid since then, we hope to see a bill pass and be presented to the governor for his signature in 2019.
At the same time, there are signs of increasing support among members of the GOP. Members of the Charleston County GOP voted yesterday in support of a resolution asking the state legislature to adopt a medical cannabis measure for patients in South Carolina. Based on recent polling, 63% of Republicans in the state support such a program.
2019 could be the year patients finally get a program they deserve! Make sure your lawmakers hear from you, and please forward this message to friends, family, and supporters in South Carolina.
Lawmakers reconvening for 2019 legislative session. If you live in South Carolina, click here to voice your support for medical cannabis in South Carolina!
Lawmakers are reconvening this week in Columbia as the 2019 legislative session kicks off. Two bills have already been introduced that would establish a medical cannabis program, with more on the way. This could be a big year for patients seeking access to medical cannabis in the Palmetto State.
The two bills that have already been introduced, one by Rep. Rosalyn Henderson-Myers and another by Rep. J. Todd Rutherford, would both create programs that are similar in many ways to the medical cannabis laws in 32 other states and Washington, D.C. In addition, Sen. Tom Davis and Rep. Peter McCoy, who sponsored legislation last year, are also expected to introduce their own legislation measures shortly. Similar bills passed out of the House and Senate committees last year, but didn't receive a floor vote before adjournment.
Make sure your lawmakers heard about a poll recently published by Benchmark Research, which found that 72% of South Carolinians, including 63% of Republicans, support providing access to medical cannabis for patients. Support is strong, and it's time to get it done.
Please forward this message to friends, family, and supporters in South Carolina.
South Carolina’s general election, set for Tuesday, November 6, is just 21 days away. The governor’s race and every House of Representatives seat is on the ballot. This is a particularly important election as lawmakers are expected to vote on a medical cannabis bill in 2019, and it will likely need the support of the governor. Those in office will have a huge impact on the future of South Carolina’s patients and their treatment options.
Our voter guide is now available online. It includes all House candidates who either co-sponsored the 2018 medical cannabis bill or who responded to our questionnaire on medical cannabis support. It also includes committee votes and the candidates for governor. While James Smith (D) is a strong supporter of allowing medical cannabis, Gov. Henry McMaster (R) said he would not sign a bill unless law enforcement signs off — which they show no inclination of doing.
Voters’ choices this year will have a huge impact on the future of cannabis policy in the state. If you are registered to vote, know where your candidates stand, and be sure to vote!
If you haven’t registered to vote yet, you have until October 17. For more information, including polling places and other key information, check out the state’s elections website here.
The Senate’s version of the South Carolina Compassionate Care Act passed today in the Senate Medical Affairs Committee. Lawmakers on the committee voted 8-6 in favor of sending the amended bill to the floor.
This is a tremendous step forward, but time is short for a vote by the full Senate. Lawmakers only have until April 10 to vote and send the bill to the House before time runs out this year.
The South Carolina Compassionate Care Act, introduced last year by Sen. Tom Davis and Rep. Peter McCoy, would allow patients with certain debilitating conditions to access medical cannabis if their doctors recommend it. The Department of Health and Environmental Control would regulate and license medical cannabis cultivation centers, processing facilities, dispensaries, and independent testing laboratories. The department would also issue registration cards to qualifying patients and their caregivers. Patients would not be able to smoke medical cannabis under the bill as amended by the committee. South Carolina would have one of the most carefully regulated programs in the country under this bill.
While it’s unlikely that the Senate will vote on S. 212 before the clock runs out, it’s crucial that senators hear from their constituents while the bill is on the floor. If the bill doesn’t pass this year, we can build momentum for next year.
If you are a South Carolina resident, please send an email to your senators asking them to support S. 212.
Today, South Carolina Sen. Tom Davis and Rep. Peter McCoy introduced comprehensive medical cannabis legislation — the South Carolina Medical Cannabis Act. The bill would allow seriously ill patients to safely access medical cannabis from regulated dispensaries. At a press conference in the capitol today, lawmakers, patients, and advocates discussed the legislation.
While 28 states and Washington, D.C. now have effective medical marijuana laws, South Carolina’s seriously ill patients remain criminals if they use a treatment option that is safer than many prescriptions.
Under the proposed law, the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) would license and regulate a limited number of qualified medical cannabis cultivation centers, processing facilities, independent testing laboratories, and dispensaries. It would issue registration cards to patients with qualifying medical conditions who have received written recommendations from their physicians, allowing them to purchase a limited amount of medical cannabis from a licensed dispensary.
If you’re interested in getting involved locally, visit the SC Compassion website, and please ask your lawmakers to support compassionate medical marijuana legislation.
If patients are to get the protections they deserve, they’ll need legislators who stand up for them. You can help make that happen.
If you are a South Carolina resident, find out where candidates in your state House and state Senate districts stand before you cast your votes on Tuesday, November 8.
1. If you’re not sure of what state legislative districts you live in, click here.
On Thursday, the South Carolina Senate Medical Affairs Committee voted 9-2 against the South Carolina Medical Marijuana Program Act (S. 672), effectively killing the legislation for the year. Fortunately, there is still hope the House will take action on its version of the bill — H. 4037 — which was approved by a House subcommittee by a vote of 3-1 last year.
If you are a South Carolina resident, please contact your lawmakers and tell them South Carolina patients deserve access to safe and effective treatment.
S. 672/H. 4037 would allow patients with certain serious medical conditions to use and safely access medical marijuana. The legislation also would create a reasonable, well-regulated system of access through growers, processors, dispensers, and certified labs.