SC Democrats will ask voters’ opinions on medical marijuana - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

SC Democrats will ask voters’ opinions on medical marijuana

Posted: Updated:
Gail Patterson, whose son died after a seizure she says would have been prevented by medical marijuana, speaks at a news conference in favor of a bill to legalize it. Gail Patterson, whose son died after a seizure she says would have been prevented by medical marijuana, speaks at a news conference in favor of a bill to legalize it.
South Carolina House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford, D-Columbia, announced Wednesday that the state Democratic Party will have a referendum question on the party’s June primary ballot asking voters whether they favor legalizing medical marijuana. He made the announcement at a news conference to push a bill he’s sponsoring that would do that.

Technically, medical marijuana has been legal in South Carolina since 1980, but the law directed the state Department of Health and Environmental Control to obtain and distribute the marijuana without the money or a plan for doing that, so the law’s been ignored, Rutherford says.

"My bill would authorize a person who has a debilitating medical condition, who has a medical verification form completed by a physician registered with DHEC, to obtain a registered identification card to use medical marijuana,” he says.

It would also provide for caregivers who pass background checks to get and administer medical marijuana, provide for the operation of dispensaries, and set up licensing South Carolina farmers to grow and distribute it. The bill would also provide penalties for those who get medical marijuana fraudulently. The medicine would also be taxed.

Gail Patterson’s son Marshal died after an epileptic seizure, which she says could have been prevented by medical marijuana. She also has epilepsy. "Now I live in fear of the same fate as my son," she says.

Steva Kiser of Gaffney knows how well medical cannabis can work. Her 2-year-old grandson Ezra had uncontrolled seizures from birth, which had caused other problems. His mother moved him to Colorado and he’s now taking cannabis oil, which does not have the mind-altering properties of marijuana.

Kiser says he’s now seizure-free and getting better. She used to pray for something to ease his suffering.

"Never did I think God would answer with marijuana,” she says. “I mean, you know, I'm an educator. I was so much against marijuana. But as I've educated myself and as I've learned about I've seen the miracles that have happened. I have a totally different attitude."

Rutherford says he realizes his bill is running out of time to pass this year, since a bill must pass in one body or the other before May 1 to have a realistic chance of becoming law. But he says this push to raise awareness, and the results of the June referendum, should build momentum to get his bill passed next year.

  • Charleston chefs battle it out over shrimp and grits

    Charleston chefs battle it out over shrimp and grits

    Saturday, August 30 2014 11:49 AM EDT2014-08-30 15:49:07 GMT
    The inaugural Shrimp and Grits Charleston will be held on August 30 from 7 PM to 10 PM at the Charleston Visitor's Center bus shed. The event will bring together 15 of the top chefs on the Charleston peninsula. The only requirement for the dish is that it has shrimp and grits, the rest is left up to the chef. The festival is also a celebration of all things local. The grits are from Adluh, the shrimp is donated by the South Carolina Seafood Alliance. There will be beers and cocktails from sev...
    The inaugural Shrimp and Grits Charleston will be held on August 30 from 7 PM to 10 PM at the Charleston Visitor's Center bus shed. The event will bring together 15 of the top chefs on the Charleston peninsula. The only requirement for the dish is that it has shrimp and grits, the rest is left up to the chef. The festival is also a celebration of all things local. The grits are from Adluh, the shrimp is donated by the South Carolina Seafood Alliance. There will be beers and cocktails from sev...
  • End of "100 Deadly Days" begins with two fatalities in Berkeley County

    End of "100 Deadly Days" begins with two fatalities in Berkeley County

    Saturday, August 30 2014 11:01 AM EDT2014-08-30 15:01:15 GMT
    Labor day marks the end of the year's "100 Deadly Days" of summer and the weekend started with two deaths on Berkeley County roads.Saturday morning at 12:49, 55-year-old Sedaris Mabry of Moncks Coroner, was struck by a truck on North Live Oak Drive. According to the Berkeley County Coroner Bill Salisbury, the accident happen near Berkeley Middle School. The truck left the scene of the accident and was found near 17-A and State Road by a Berkeley County Sheriff's deputy. At 2 a.m., 30-year-old...
    Labor day marks the end of the year's "100 Deadly Days" of summer and the weekend started with two deaths on Berkeley County roads.Saturday morning at 12:49, 55-year-old Sedaris Mabry of Moncks Coroner, was struck by a truck on North Live Oak Drive. According to the Berkeley County Coroner Bill Salisbury, the accident happen near Berkeley Middle School. The truck left the scene of the accident and was found near 17-A and State Road by a Berkeley County Sheriff's deputy. At 2 a.m., 30-year-old...
  • Colleton Solar Farm: A ray of hope for South Carolina

    Colleton Solar Farm: A ray of hope for South Carolina

    Colleton Solar Farm: A ray of hope for South Carolina

    Saturday, August 30 2014 8:00 AM EDT2014-08-30 12:00:15 GMT
    It's a farm, just outside of Walterboro, that is unique for the Colleton County area. This farm doesn't have any animals and it provides energy. Those who support solar energy say the Colleton Solar Farm is not only providing a ray of hope for the county but also South Carolina. The 14 acre space, just off of interstate 95 was once used for agricultural purposes, according to Mark Walling with Coastal Electric Cooperative. With more than 10,000 solar panels, and currently the largest to dat...
    It's a farm, just outside of Walterboro, that is unique for the Colleton County area. This farm doesn't have any animals and it provides energy. Those who support solar energy say the Colleton Solar Farm is not only providing a ray of hope for the county but also South Carolina. The 14 acre space, just off of interstate 95 was once used for agricultural purposes, according to Mark Walling with Coastal Electric Cooperative. With more than 10,000 solar panels, and currently the largest to dat...
Powered by WorldNow

210 W. Coleman Blvd.
Mt. Pleasant, SC 29464

Telephone: 843.216.4875
Fax: 843.881.3410
Email: news@wcbd.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.