South Carolina: Police Oppose Expanding Sick Children's Access To Medical Marijuana
By Steve Elliott
South Carolina state Sen. Tom Davis (R-Beaufort), author of a bill which made it legal for parents to possess the marijuana derivative cannabidiol (CBD) oil to control their children's seizures, plans to introduce another bill on January 13, the first day of the upcoming legislative session, to allow low-THC marijuana to be grown in the state. But state law enforcement has already expressed opposition to the plan.
Davis said he first heard about CBD oil from a constituent whose granddaughter in Charleston was having 80 to 90 seizures an hour, reports Steve Jones at The State. Within two weeks of his constituent's granddaughter getting CBD oil, Davis said, the seizures were reduced by 80 percent.
After researching, Sen. Davis learned that CBD oil had helped people in other states, so he introduced a bill which passed and was signed into law by Gov. Nikki Haley last summer. The new law made legal the possession of CBD oil to treat children with uncontrollable epileptic seizures, as long as it was authorized by a physician.
The bill limits the amount of tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) that can be in the oil (THC is the main psychoactive ingredient in marijuana). It is limited by the bill to just 0.09 percent, far below what is needed to produce a high.
Under Davis' new bill, the South Carolina Department of Agriculture would supervise growers, and the Department of Health and Environmental Control would make sure that the marijuana is of the low-THC variety. Growers would be audited, as well.
"What happens now is like the black market," Davis said of how South Carolina parents are currently forced to get CBD oil.
Janel Ralph, mother of five-year-old Harmony, who has epilepsy, wouldn't say exactly where she gets CBD oil, but it's a matter of "knowing someone who knows someone." Ralph said other South Carolina families -- which she called "medical refugees" -- have been forced to move to states such as Colorado and California for adequate medical treatment.
"It's incumbent on us to take the next logical step," Sen. Davis said.
Later in the session, he plans to introduce a separate bill to expand CBD oil's medical uses to include treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), autism, glaucoma and chronic pain. "I'm a big fan of CBD oil," he said.
Sen. Davis said that he doesn't think there will be much opposition to legislation allowing South Carolina farmers to grow the low-THC marijuana to supply the need for CBD oil. But as for expanding the illnesses that can be treated with it, "That's going to cause some consternation," he predicted.
Davis is correct. Already, four of the state's top cops have written the Legislature's Medical Marijuana Study Committee -- chaired by Davis -- objecting to any expansion in the state's medical marijuana law until the federal government addresses "marijuana's status as an illegal substance."
“We want to do everything in our power to bring relief and comfort to those who suffer,” the cops smarmily claimed, “but as law enforcement officers, and individuals who are entrusted to live by and enforce the laws of this state, we must stop short of condoning relief that comes through an illegal manner.”
The letter was signed by Chief Mack Keel of the State Law Enforcement Division, Sheriff Chuck Wright, president of the S.C. Sheriff’s Association, Chief Dan Reynolds, president of the S.C. Police Chiefs Association, and Colonel Mike Oliver, president of the S.C. Law Enforcement Officers Association.
Sen. Davis rejected their argument, saying that South Carolina has already decided not to wait on the federal government when it comes to allowing kids relief with CBD oil.
Photo of Sen. Tom Davis: FitsNews