Medical marijuana bill advancing in South Carolina House

AP photo

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – A bill legalizing the medical use of marijuana is advancing in the South Carolina House.

A House panel voted 3-0 on Tuesday to after listening to dozens of patients and their family members tell how marijuana can relieve their suffering from chronic pain, severe epilepsy, PTSD and other ailments.

Supporters argue the government shouldn’t prevent people from getting relief from a plant, while the synthetic opioids they’re otherwise prescribed are killing people.

The bill’s opponents include law enforcement agencies.

State Law Enforcement Division Chief Mark Keel says the proposal essentially asks the state to endorse a street drug to treat nearly everything. He asked legislators not to “be swayed by those who play upon your sympathies.”

The bi-partisan bill heads to the full Medical Military and Municipal Affairs Committee.