Marijuana victory resurrects SC cannabis issue - FOX Carolina 21

Marijuana victory resurrects SC cannabis issue

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(File: FOX Carolina) (File: FOX Carolina)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -

Another major victory in the Nov. 8 election - besides that of Donald Trump -  came for the legalization of marijuana in several states. 

Massachusetts, Nevada and California all legalized recreational pot use, while Arkansas, Florida and North Dakota legalized marijuana for medical use. The victory begs the question: Is South Carolina next to loosen restrictions on medical marijuana? 

One local advocate said Nov. 8 gave her hope. 

"I was very excited to see the results," said Emily McSherry, founder of Cannabis Forward, a local organization that fights to push cannabis initiatives forward in South Carolina and other states. McSherry suffers from a form of epilepsy. "After taking over 26 medications and combinations of medications to try to control the seizures, I turned to the internet, and it was a very fast search before I very quickly discovered that cannabis was being used for patients with epilepsy."

It awakened a passion in her to help others obtain medical cannabis for other ailments like cancer. Currently, cannibidiol oil, or CBD oil, is only available in South Carolina for patients with certain types of seizure conditions. Advocates propose legislators allow it to be used for other ailments. A bill died in the last legislative session which would have lifted restrictions on medical marijuana.

State Rep. Jonathan Hill (R-Anderson), a co-sponsor on that bill, said Tuesday's legalization of marijuana for recreational and medical use in several states makes the issue unavoidable in South Carolina. 

"I think that it's a question that South Carolina is going to have to make a choice on. I don't think that ignoring the issue is going to be something that is feasible here," said Hill. 

Back in April, former State Sen. Mike Fair (R-Greenville) voted against that bill. 

"I believe using marijuana is abusing your body," Fair told FOX Carolina in May. "Law enforcement people in South Carolina and probably nationwide - a huge percentage are opposed to legalizing marijuana."

The next legislative session will most likely see the issue again, according to lawmakers. However, they said they will only consider marijuana for medical use, not recreational. 

McSherry said she hopes this time, progress is made. 

"I think we are going to see the domino effect; the trickle-down cannabis effect, if you will, from California. We are going to see that within the next five years, I hope," said McSherry. 

Cannabis Forward holds a support group for people with conditions she says medical cannabis could help. The topic this Saturday at Vibrant Life Yoga in Greenville. The topic will be "Cannabis and Cancer."

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