Candidate Proposes Legalizing Marijuana in SC to Raise School Mo - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

Candidate Proposes Legalizing Marijuana in SC to Raise School Money

Posted: Updated:
Democratic candidate for state superintendent of education Sheila Gallagher is proposing that South Carolina legalize marijuana as a way to raise new tax money for schools.

"Between the tax dollars you could bring in and stop putting some of our kids in prison and such, we could probably raise about $188 million a year, and if that would be the case that would be great because we could have the best schools in the nation, and that's what we're really looking for," she says.

Right now, Colorado and Washington are the only states that have legalized recreational marijuana use. Twenty states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical marijuana.

Colorado estimates it could bring in $98 million in marijuana tax money this year. The first $40 million is earmarked for school construction, but where the rest of the money will go hasn’t been decided.

Washington estimates it could bring in $190 million over four years. Its marijuana tax money is earmarked for health care, youth drug prevention, public health and research.

Gallagher knows it will be tough to get lawmakers in a conservative state like South Carolina to pass legalizing marijuana, but her plan is to get them to pass a constitutional amendment referendum, so it would be up to voters to decide. She says, "I'd like to turn it over to the people and say, 'Here's an opportunity. Let's look at this whole idea of legalizing marijuana and see what it can do for us.'"

Gallagher is a former classroom teacher and former president of the South Carolina Education Association. SCEA executive director Roger Smith says Gallagher’s opinions are her own and not those of the SCEA, which does not endorse her plan.

However, he says the additional money is needed. "I think it's enough to make a difference. Currently, we are underfunding, according to state law we are underfunding our public schools by roughly $700 million per year,” he says.

The field is crowded in the race for education superintendent. Eight Republicans and four Democrats are running in the primaries.

For the Republicans: Sally Atwater, Gary Burgess, Meka Bosket Childs, Amy Cofield, Sheri Few, Don Jordan, Elizabeth Moffly, and Molly Mitchell Spearman.

For the Democrats: Montrio M Belton, Sr., Sheila C Gallagher, Jerry Govan, and Tom Thompson.

  • Murder suspect from Connecticut fatally shot in St. George by law enforcement after confrontation

    Murder suspect from Connecticut fatally shot in St. George by law enforcement after confrontation

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 8:13 PM EDT2014-07-23 00:13:42 GMT
    Major Eric Watson with the Charleston County sheriffs office tells News 2 they’ve been called in by SLED to investigate an officer involved shooting in St. George.We're told SLED and the US Marshall's task force was there to serve a warrant just before 11 Tuesday morning at 114 Winningham Road at the Southern Inn. We're told the suspect from Connecticut is wanted for murder and probation violation. There was a short pursuit in the parking lot before the suspect drew a weapon and 2 SLED agents...
    Major Eric Watson with the Charleston County sheriffs office tells News 2 they’ve been called in by SLED to investigate an officer involved shooting in St. George.We're told SLED and the US Marshall's task force was there to serve a warrant just before 11 Tuesday morning at 114 Winningham Road at the Southern Inn. We're told the suspect from Connecticut is wanted for murder and probation violation. There was a short pursuit in the parking lot before the suspect drew a weapon and 2 SLED agents...
  • Inmates attempt escape by digging hole in detention cell wall

    Inmates attempt escape by digging hole in detention cell wall

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 6:39 PM EDT2014-07-22 22:39:14 GMT
     Officials say two inmates in Disciplinary Segregation broke shelves and pieces off a desk and then used these broken objects to dig a 21 x 32 in. hole in their cell wall.
     Officials say two inmates in Disciplinary Segregation broke shelves and pieces off a desk and then used these broken objects to dig a 21 x 32 in. hole in their cell wall.

  • Spartanburg Woman Accused Of Biting Repo Driver Has History Of Run-Ins

    Spartanburg Woman Accused Of Biting Repo Driver Has History Of Run-Ins

    Tuesday, July 22 2014 6:22 PM EDT2014-07-22 22:22:47 GMT
    According to Spartanburg Public Safety reports, Lakeisha Smith, the woman who allegedly bit a repossession employee, has been in trouble in connection with incidents during repos twice before.
    According to Spartanburg Public Safety reports, Lakeisha Smith, the woman who allegedly bit a repossession employee, has been in trouble in connection with incidents during repos twice before.
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.