SC House committee prepares for medical marijuana hearing

A South Carolina House committee is holding a rare meeting Monday to hear people’s thoughts on a bill that would allow the use of medical marijuana in South Carolina.

The House Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee of the Whole meets at 10 a.m. to discuss the bill passed the Senate in February after a seven-year fight by Republican Senator Tom Davis of Beaufort.

Davis said his proposal would be one of the most conservative among the 37 states that have approved medical marijuana, including Mississippi, which signed a bill earlier this year.

The proposal specifies diseases that could be treated, including cancer, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, sickle cell disease and autism. And marijuana could only be obtained from specially selected pharmacies.

Smoking the drug would remain illegal in South Carolina. Instead, patients should use oils, ointments, patches, or sprays. Doctors would have to meet patients in person, and patients could only get a two-week supply at a time.

A House subcommittee made minor changes to the bill on March 31, cleaning up grammar and some typos in the bill and reinstating some podiatrists with additional training on the list of doctors who can prescribe medical marijuana.

The House committee also has a second meeting scheduled for Thursday, after the regular session of the House, if necessary.

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