Anyone familiar with South Carolina’s medical marijuana program knows that it is more like a CBD program, and it is one of the strictest in the United States. With a new marijuana-friendly bill introduced early for the 2019 legislative session of the South Carolina General Assembly, it looks like that may change.
South Carolina’s Current Cannabis Laws
- be diagnosed with Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome, Dravet Syndrome (also known as severe myoclonic epilepsy of infancy) or any other form of severe, uncontrollable epilepsy
- be unresponsive to traditional medical therapies,
- certified by a medical doctor or doctor of osteopathy licensed by the South Carolina Board of Medical Examiners
Also, if that wasn’t strict enough, you may not possess forms of cannabis that contain less than 98% cannabidiol, a.k.a. CBD, or more than 0.9% tetrahydrocannibinol, a.k.a. THC.
It just so happens that the $32,500 per year CBD-based Epidiolex is the only FDA-approved drug to treat Lennox-Gastaut Syndrome and Dravet Syndrome. It looks like patients don’t have much of a choice at all. There is good news though.
The other main thing that Julian’s Law established was “a statewide program for conducting clinical trials, if approved by the Food and Drug Administration.”
That’s where the newly introduced legislation comes into play…
Republican State Senator Greg Hembree from Myrtle Beach, South Carolina has just pre-filed a bill for the 123rd Session of the South Carolina General Assembly to “urge the federal government to work expeditiously to remove barriers to conducting research on the use of cannabis to treat medical conditions and illnesses.”
The objectives of the proposed bill are as follows:
Whereas, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has recently approved Epidiolex oral solution for the treatment of seizures associated with two rare and severe forms of epilepsy, Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome in patients two years of age and older; and
Whereas, the recent U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval of Epidiolex serves as a reminder that advancing development programs that properly evaluate active ingredients contained in marijuana can lead to important medical therapies, and controlled clinical trials testing the safety and efficacy of a drug along with careful review through the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s drug approval process is the most appropriate way to bring treatments to patients; and
Whereas, citizens across the country are using cannabis to treat a variety of medical conditions and illnesses, and cannabis is becoming increasingly accessible, despite the dearth of scientific research that exists on its efficacy overall and its efficacy as impacted by dosage amounts, drug interactions, drug composition, and drug side effects; and
Whereas, federal statutory and regulatory barriers have prevented thorough research on the use of cannabis to treat medical conditions and illnesses, and these barriers have undermined the ability of states to obtain clear, well-researched scientific evidence relevant to use of cannabis for medical purposes; and
Whereas, the federal government has a duty to protect its citizens by promoting research on the medicinal value, if any, of cannabis to treat a variety of medical conditions and illnesses; and
Whereas, it is the solemn duty of the states to protect the health and well-being of all people and to propose statutory and regulatory actions to accomplish that end. Now, therefore,
Be it resolved by the Senate, the House of Representatives concurring:
That the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina hereby urges Congress to take immediate and additional steps to promote and actively pursue scientific research and testing into the potential use of cannabis to treat other medical conditions and illnesses by removing the federal statutory and regulatory barriers that prevent these scientific endeavors.
Be it further resolved that copies of this resolution be transmitted to the President of the United States, the President and President Pro Tempore of the United States Senate, and the Speaker and Clerk of the United States House of Representatives and that copies of this resolution also be transmitted to the members of the United States Congress from this State.
The same bill was filed in the last legislative session, making it through the Senate but stopping in the House. Maybe this year, things will be different. In the meantime, be sure to subscribe to South Carolina cannabis news updates here so you never miss an update.
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