Rutherfords’ bill would authorize a person with a debilitating medical condition to use marijuana with a doctor’s order.
The measure allows marijauna to be used by patients with cancer, glaucoma, positive status for HIV and AIDS, cachexia, epilepsy, and multiple sclerosis.
The bill provides for the operation of dispensaries to cultivate, grow, and dispense marijuana for medical purposes– up to six plants (3 mature).
According to Rutherford, this type of marijuana use has been legal in South Carolina since 1980, when the Legislature passed the South Carolina Controlled Substances Therapeutic Research Act. It was signed by then-Gov. Dick Riley, a Democrat. But the act needed funding, and the legislature never funded it. Read previous South Carolina Radio Network story.
“The time has come to put aside archaic misconceptions of medical marijuana and put patients first,” said Rep. Rutherford. “I hear devastating stories every single day from people who are battling epilepsy or suffering from a brain tumor who desperately need medical marijuana to treat the debilitating symptoms. I want to help these people and the government should not be a barrier for them to get the medical services they need. Medical marijuana has been legal in South Carolina for three decades but the state has refused to initiate the process of allowing patients to obtain it and for licensed professionals to grow it.”
The bill would also allow the medical marijuana to be taxed.