By Anthony Martinelli

Companion bills to legalize medical cannabis have been filed in South Carolina.

Senator Tom Davis and Representatives Peter McCoy held a press conference this morning to formally introduce the companions bills that have been filed simultaneously in the state’s House and Senate.

If approved into law, the South Carolina Compassionate Care Act would allow those with a recommendation from a physician to possess and use cannabis and cannabis products, given they have a qualifying condition.

Qualifying conditions include; glaucoma, cancer, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease; HIV/AIDs, ulcerative colitis, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, PTSD, autism, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis; Parkinson’s disease and neural-tube defects.

According to Senator Davis, the measure; “will ensure seriously ill patients are able to access this medicine safely and legally; if their doctors believe it will help them”. Davis notes that; “South Carolinians suffering from debilitating conditions deserve the same chance at relief as the roughly 200 million Americans living in states that have adopted similar laws.”

“This legislation is about helping people who are in need, who are suffering, and who are in pain;” said Representative McCoy in a press release. ”There are so many circumstances in which medical marijuana can provide substantial help to families and friends in South Carolina. I’m hopeful that with the filing of this bill we can raise awareness and move the ball forward when it comes to treating South Carolina citizens with epilepsy; PTSD; cancer; and many other debilitating conditions.”

Last month Representative Todd Rutherford (D-Columbia) prefiled a separate medical cannabis bill, House Bill 3128 (H.3128), which would allow qualifying patients to possess up to two ounces of cannabis for medical use, and grow up to six plants.

In 2014, South Carolina passed a bill allowing the medical use of low-THC cannabis oil; however, the extremely limited law only applies to those with epilepsy.

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