2019 SC Compassionate Care

The first year of this biennial state legislative session ended on Tuesday. The Senate medical affairs full committee held hearings last month with no movement on S366, the South Carolina Compassionate Care Act. Voting on the bill was postponed until next year when the committee reconvenes and with S366 listed at the top of the calendar. A few committee members had expressed concern they did not feel they had adequate time to read the details of the bill and amendments in order to move the bill this year. The bill will pick up exactly where it left off, giving the members opportunity in the off-season to understand the bill thoroughly. The legislators will be in their home districts, giving patient advocates a local opportunity to meet with them in their home offices or at public events.

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Pivotal SC Medical Marijuana Poll

New data has surfaced from the public opinion polling and political strategy firm located in Atlanta, the Trafalgar Group. According to the survey, only 18.8% are opposed to any form of legalization – medical or otherwise,  and 4% of those feel it is inevitable anyway. The most impactful takeaway is that likely South Carolina voters in 2020 are 51.1% “more likely” to support a legislator voted in favor of a bill to legalize medical marijuana. Of those, 31.5% said they would be “much more likely” to support their senator or house member. Alternately, only 18.4% said they would be “less likely” to support a lawmaker who votes for medical marijuana and only 12.1% said they would be “much less likely.”  

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1st Senate Medical Affairs Subcommittee Meeting on S366

The first senate subcommittee meeting discussing the Compassionate Care Act took place in Gressette Building, room 105 at 10:00 am on Wednesday, February 27, 2019. Senator Davis, the subcommittee chairman, articulated in his introduction that he wanted: a tightly-defined medical cannabis bill that empowers physicians to allow patient use of cannabis for specific debilitating conditions when empirical evidence substantiates the benefits. He wants to ensure that the bill is clearly a medical bill in terms of substance as well as optics, and is not a precursor to adult use.

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Long-Term Care Facilities and Medical Cannabis

Caring for a loved one is an inevitable part of life for most people. Consider yourself blessed if you are able to care for an older family member. For families with children who need long-term care, it gets more challenging. In an attempt to improve our own daughter’s life, we simplify her medications and eliminate those with harmful side effects to avoid “polypharmacy[CL1] ,” using multiple drugs to treat a condition. As a special-needs mom, I live with concern about how will my daughter be cared for after her parents have departed this life.

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World Health Organization Recommends International Reclassification of Marijuana

The World Health Organization’s (WHO) Expert Committee on Drug Dependence (ECDD) has formally recommended that cannabis and cannabis related substances be removed the schedule IV of controlled substance and lowered to Schedule I. After officially assessing all available evidence, they have issued their recommendations on the therapeutic value and potential harm related to cannabis and cannabis resin. This is groundbreaking and a rebuke to the original recommendation in 1961, classifying cannabis as a Schedule IV by the Single Convention on Narcotic Drugs. The Single Convention encourages governments across the globe to prohibit the production, distribution, and use of drugs in this Schedule, so this change in the WHO’s committee is significant.

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“Divorced from Reality” – Fighting Against Medical Marijuana in South Carolina

“Divorced from Reality” was the expression used by Senator Tom Davis, a Beaufort Republican and sponsor of S366. He was describing today’s press conference orchestrated by SC Attorney Gen. Wilson, South Carolina Medical Association, the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division and the South Carolina Sheriff’s Association. Indeed, the rhetoric was surreal.

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Filed Today: 2019 Compassionate Care Act

South Carolina State Sen. Tom Davis and Rep. Peter McCoy on Tuesday, January 15, 2019, filied a bill titled the “South Carolina Compassionate Care Act,” in order to legalize in South Carolina the use of cannabis by patients. It would allow patients with certain specific medical conditions, subject to a physician’s authorization and supervision, and to legalize in this state, subject to regulation and oversight by DHEC and SLED, the cultivation, processing and dispensing of cannabis for such medical use. They have released the following statement:

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“The Controlled Substances Therapeutic Research Act” – SC Medical Marijuana Law

Every few weeks we have an advocate who brings up the old medical marijuana law South Carolina passed in 1980 known as the “Controlled Substance Research Act.” So, we thought we would ask an attorney to break down this old legislation. This will help to clarify what this law really says and why it is not workable to help patients gain access to legal medical cannabis.

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Yesterday’s Big Win: Medical Cannabis

Yesterday was a big win for Medical Marijuana. Every ballot initiative that legalized Cannabis for medical purposes passed by a large margin. These initiatives where both in very conservative republican dominant states, (politically very similar to South Carolina). This gives us hope that when the general assembly goes back into session in January they will look to their counterparts and start to vote the will of the people.

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MUSC’s Inaugural Medical Cannabis Conference by Katherine C. Mangus Lohr

 On September 28, 2018, I attended the Inaugural Update on Medical Cannabis at MUSC.  I gained an understanding of the current scientific and anecdotal data related to medicinal cannabis.  I also learned that South Carolina has a unique opportunity to further science, assert its state rights, pass conservative medical cannabis legislation, create a niche economy, and most importantly, help citizens who are suffering and unable to obtain relief from conventional pharmaceuticals.   

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