UPDATE: Restrictions with medical cannabis in South Carolina bill

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Friday, Janaury 18, 2019
News 12 at 6/NBC at 7

AIKEN COUNTY, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) – South Carolina lawmakers are trying to legalize medical cannabis again but one of our local representatives says it would be one of the strictest marijuana laws in the country.

Representative Bill Taylor tells News 12 this is a socially conservative bill that will be heavily monitored by the state.

It will not be like California or Colorado, who allow recreational use. This bill carries strict penalties for that.

“Lots of people like to look at the issue of medical marijuana as sort of a drug issue or not. You know, smoking dope and all of this,” said Taylor.

State Representative Bill Taylor is co-sponsoring the compassionate care act in the house.

"Understanding that people who are very very ill and can't be helped by other medicines or opioids or whatever can be helped, and it's scientifically proven that they can be helped," said Taylor.

He says this effort to legalize medical cannabis in South Carolina has been four years in the making.

"There's controls at every level which should give great comfort to people who are concerned about this," said Taylor.

Taylor says if this bill becomes law, agencies like SLED and DHEC will be monitoring physicians who prescribe this form of medication very closely.

"People need to get rid of the thought that people are going to be in their living room or bedroom smoking a weed, that's not how doctors are going to administer it," said Taylor.

The bill clearly states "the smoking of cannabis is not allowed."

It can only be used through things like vapes, oils, gel caps, edibles, patches or topical creams. Taylor says the consequences for trying to take advantage of cannabis won't go unpunished.

"For those who would be crafty to think this is a way to get there smoke, won't work. There's going to be controls and monitoring and try this, $5000 fine and jail time," said Taylor.
You'd be looking at a felony charge with up to five years in prison.

DHEC will be licensing one dispensary for every 20 pharmacies within the state. If Aiken or North Augusta was picked as a location, someone would have to open a new business for dispensing.

Tuesday, January 15, 2019
News 12 at 11

AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) – Medical marijuana could become legal in South Carolina. State lawmakers have introduced another bill that would do just that, but this bill would be one of the most strict marijuana bills in the country.

"As a mom I would much rather my son have a small high, and I know that sounds crazy, but you do not understand until you see your child lying, not breathing, unresponsive, and can't control anything," Quan Jenkins said.

Quan Jenkins' son Cameron was diagnosed with severe epilepsy when he was just baby.

"It hasn't been the easiest to live with this," Cameron said.

Quan says Cameron has spent most of his life in a hospital and has tried more than 150 medications that have not worked.

"We have people here in South Carolina, much like my son, that are just suffering because people will not pass this bill, like it's just talk and we really really need this," Quan said.

Medical marijuana is already legal in 33 states and Quan is hoping South Carolina will jump on board.
"We're not pushing for recreational use," Quan said. "This is strictly for treatment."

Quan says the misconception is what's keeping lawmakers from passing the bill.

"No we do not let Cameron smoke marijuana," Quan said. "That is the dumbest thing I've ever heard. I don't even know how else to put that."

This new CBD Store in Aiken is helping with Cameron's seizures. The CBD sold here is made from hemp with only a small amount of THC, but Quan says Cameron needs a higher dose.

"Personally as a mom, I know what it's like to see your child having all of these seizures and there's nothing you can do, but there's something that can be done," Quan said.

South Carolina lawmakers are already taking action on this. Today the bill was filed in both the House and Senate.

Quan Jenkins and Compassionate South Carolina are hoping it will make it to the floor for a vote by the end of February.