Over recent years, it has become clear that the nation is undergoing modifications in regard to its drug laws. As the opioid crisis has caused the country to reassess the ways it views certain substances, marijuana has all but quietly stepped into the picture. South Carolina may still be in a state of limbo when it comes to marijuana laws, but many experts see changes on the horizon.
Not only can a marijuana charge in the state greatly affect one’s reputation and career; it can start a vicious cycle of incarceration. The Marijuana Policy Project, an organization that continually updates the public on marijuana laws, stated last month that South Carolina lost its chance to pass an important bill this year. Efforts to pass the South Carolina Compassionate Act — a law that would have regulated access to medical marijuana for eligible patients — will now be included in lawmakers’ plans for 2019. The MPP echoes the nationwide concern surrounding the incarceration rates of minorities, as black South Carolinians face much higher chances of being arrested than white residents.
While recreational marijuana legalization may still have a long way to go in the state, ABC News also comments on potential changes in the South Carolina’s medical marijuana laws. Although lawmakers must now wait until 2019 to find out whether changes will take place, ABC states that many are hopeful. First introduced in 2017, the S.C. Compassionate Care Act presses the state’s Department of Health and Environmental to put the plans into motion, including aspects concerning the regulation of cultivation centers, processing facilities, dispensaries and other important steps involved in the maintaining of medical cannabis. Time is ticking, and meanwhile, countless South Carolina residents suffer from medical conditions, and countless others sit behind bars for benign marijuana possession charges.