By Anthony Martinelli

A longtime leader of the South Carolina Sheriffs’ Association, the U.S. attorney for South Carolina from 2010 to 2016, and a former local police officer will testify in favor of legislation that would legalize medical cannabis.

At 2:30 p.m. ET today, Jeffrey Moore, Bill Nettles, and Raeford Davis will join leaders of Compassionate South Carolina outside the Gressette State Office Building (1101 Pendleton Street, Columbia) for a news conference in support of Senate Bill 212. The bill would allow patients with certain debilitating conditions to access medical cannabis if their doctors recommend it. They will then testify at the Senate Medical Affairs subcommittee hearing on SB 212, which is scheduled to begin at 3 p.m. ET in Room 308.

Jeffrey Moore served 32 years as executive director of the South Carolina Sheriffs’ Association before retiring in 2014. Bill Nettles served as U.S. Attorney for the District of South Carolina from 2010-2016. Raeford Davis spent four years as a patrol officer and two years as a detective with the North Charleston Police Department. He left policing in 2007 after being injured in the line of duty.

“This is sensible, compassionate, and responsible legislation,” Moore said in a press release sent this morning. “It establishes a tightly controlled program that would help a lot of seriously ill South Carolinians, including our veterans suffering from PTSD. This law was designed to serve and protect. It will improve the quality of life for patients while safeguarding the quality of life in our communities.”

More than three out of four South Carolina residents (78%) think cannabis should be made legal for medical use, according to a September 2016 Winthrop Poll commissioned by The State. Only one in six South Carolinians (16%) think it should remain illegal. Twenty-eight states have enacted comprehensive medical cannabis laws.

“Two-thirds of the U.S. population resides in states that allow qualifying patients to use medical cannabis if their doctors recommend it,“ Nettles said. “South Carolinians who could benefit from medical cannabis should not have to move away from their families, friends, and jobs in order to access it. Patients battling cancer, epilepsy, and other debilitating conditions need to have every option available in their treatment arsenal.”

Click here for the full text of Senate Bill 212.

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