Medical Cannabis Bill Likely Dead in South Carolina Legislature

Medical Cannabis Bill Likely Dead in South Carolina Legislature
High Times

An effort to save a bill that would legalize medical cannabis in South Carolina failed on Wednesday in the state legislature, dimming its prospects this year. The State newspaper of Columbia, South Carolina reports that “House lawmakers on Wednesday voted 59-55 against an appeal proposed by House Minority Leader Todd Rutherford, D-Richland, to keep the bill alive,” which followed a request from a Republican member of the state House that “the proposal be ruled unconstitutional since it creates a new tax, arguing that revenue-raising bills can only originate in the lower chamber.” As the newspaper noted, the move “likely [ends] any hope of passage this year.” It marks a disappointing development after the bill won approval in the state Senate in February. Members of that chamber deemed medical cannabis a major priority at the start of the legislative session earlier this year. The bill’s sponsor, GOP state Sen. Tom Davis, has been pushing a medical cannabis bill since 2015. “If you pound at the door long enough. If you make your case. If the public is asking for something, the state Senate owes a debate,” Davis told The Post and Courier in January. “The people of South Carolina deserve to know where their elected officials stand on this issue.” Davis’s effort to get medical cannabis legalized in South Carolina has been marked by incremental progress. Per The Post and Courier, the Senate Medical Affairs Committee brought Davis’s bill to the floor in 2018, but “opposition blocked a floor debate from ever happening.” The newspaper said that the “2021 session closed last May with GOP leadership promising Davis he’d get a vote this year.” In February, the bill, known as the SC Compassionate Care Act, broke through and was approved in the state Senate by a vote of 28-15. “Even those…

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