South Carolina’s Senate kicked off debate on a medical marijuana bill on Wednesday, marking the first time in the Republican sponsor’s eight-year legalization effort that his legislation has made it to the chamber floor. The body is expected to hold several full legislative days’ worth of discussion on the measure before taking a vote on it. The Compassionate Care Act was prefilled in late 2020 and passed out of the Senate Medical Affairs Committee last March, but a lone senator blocked it from reaching the chamber floor in 2021. Since then, the bill’s sponsor, Sen. Tom Davis (R), has redoubled his efforts to get the bill across the finish line. “What I’ve attempted to do over the last several months is make the intellectual argument,” Davis said, “make the argument based on logic, make the argument based on the law, make the argument based on what these empirical studies show.” Davis spent much of Wednesday’s floor session answering questions from critics who appeared to have little understanding of medical marijuana programs in other states. He emphasized that the new program would be relatively limited in scope, forbidding patients from smoking or even possessing the plant form of marijuana and restricting qualifying conditions to only those that evidence shows cannabis can help.

Ben Adlin, Marijuana Moment, 01/26/2022 16:05:00

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