CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – Gubernatorial Candidate Joe Cunningham on Wednesday voiced his support for legalizing marijuana while appearing at a 4/20 event.

Cunningham and Charleston Hemp Collective hosted an event at Holy City Brewery to raise awareness about what he believes are the merits of legalization.

Cunningham said that he believes legalization is what constituents want, but politicians aren’t listening. Although there are multiple bills under consideration, Cunningham said that he believes a pro-legalization governor is the key to getting those bills passed.

“No one is not using marijuana because it’s illegal right now,” Cunningham explained. He reasoned that if people are going to use it, the government might as well legalize it, tax it, and use the money to do things like fix roads and increase teacher salaries.

“This is a great opportunity for our state. It’s a great opportunity for an additional stream of revenue. It’s a way to help out our veterans, those people who are suffering from PTSD or any other illness attributed to injury from serving overseas. [There are] A lot of different reasons to legalize marijuana.”

In addition to the financial benefits, Cunningham said that legalizing marijuana would be a step in the right direction when it comes to social justice.

“If you’re Black, you’re four times more likely to get arrested for marijuana than if you’re white, even though the rates of use are the same,” he explained. In certain counties in the state, Cunningham said the likelihood goes up. Cunningham said that a number of South Carolina counties rank among the top 20 in the nation for highest rates of arrest for marijuana.

Cunningham will appear at a College of Charleston bully pulpit series Wednesday afternoon before returning to the concert at Holy City Wednesday evening.