Legislation Filed for Medical Marijuana in South Carolina
It appears this may be the year that medical marijuana arrives in the Palmetto State.
Republicans in the South Carolina House and Senate have pre-filed separate bills to legalize medical marijuana, according to Marijuana Moment.
The primary difference in the Senate version is the prohibition on smoking marijuana. Under the proposal, South Carolina patients would only have access to non-smokable preparations of cannabis.
Five other states—Minnesota, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia—have similarly-restrictive medical marijuana laws.
The House version would allow for possession and smoking of up to two ounces of flower. It also allows medical marijuana for conditions not approved by the Senate version, including chronic pain or nausea for those patients who are not homebound.
The House version would also allow doctors to recommend cannabis for “any debilitating condition the recommending doctor is qualified to treat.”
Medical marijuana must still get by Republican Gov. Henry McMaster, who has vowed to veto any marijuana bill opposed by law enforcement.
Should the legislative push fail, Senate sponsor Tom Davis says he will work to present the measure as a legislatively-referred referendum, similar to how New Jersey presented legalization to the voters last month.
Progressive Policies like Legalization Could Have Helped Democrats
Embracing marijuana legalization and other progressive policies like increasing the minimum wage would have helped down-ballot Democrats in the past election.
Despite the landslide win by President-elect Biden, Democrats lost seats in their House majority and failed to pick off vulnerable Senate Republicans.
Now, a poll commissioned by progressive groups Data For Progress, Justice Democrats, Sunrise Movement and New Deal Strategies shows that the failure to stand up for progressive issues may have been a deciding factor.
They polled voters in thirteen swing districts where Democrats lost or underperformed. They found 71 percent of Democrats and 63 percent of Independents—the voters Democrats need to lean their way—supported marijuana legalization.
But prior to the election, moderate Democrats in those districts fought to keep the MORE Act from being voted on, fearing backlash to working on marijuana legalization while coronavirus relief remained undone.
The MORE Act passed the House easily last week, and polls show even 51 percent of Republicans support it.
Mexican Supreme Court Extends Legalization Deadline for the Fourth Time
Responding to requests from the lower house of its legislature, the Mexican Supreme Court has extended a deadline for marijuana legalization to April 30, 2021.
In 2018, the court declared the prohibition of personal marijuana possession and cultivation to be unconstitutional and set a deadline of October 2019 for the legislature to craft legalization policies.
That deadline was extended to April 2020 and again most recently to this month, reports Marijuana Moment.
Legislation passed by the Senate would allow the possession of up to one ounce and cultivation of six plants, raising that limit from a previous proposal of four plants and removing a requirement for home grow licensing. Expungement of criminal records is also a part of the bill.
CBD Extends Shelf Life of Strawberries
Move over, CBD edibles, CBD tinctures, and CBD flower, there’s a new use for CBD out there—CBD fruit preserver.
A study released by the University of South Florida has discovered that the application of CBD to harvested strawberries “inhibited yeast and mold growth on strawberries.” CBD also reduced microbial load on the fruits and helped them maintain a better visual appearance.
“CBD oil has the potential to be used by consumers at home as an effective antimicrobial treatment and to extend strawberry shelf life,” researchers wrote.
Illinois Failing the Marijuana Diversity Test
One year into marijuana legalization there remains zero people of color in Illinois’s cannabis industry.
Despite promises to provide equity in marijuana legalization to minorities disproportionately impacted by the Drug War, cannabis in Illinois continues to be dominated by a small group of white-owned, financially well-backed corporations, reports the Chicago Sun-Times.
Dispensaries in Illinois have sold $580 million of recreational marijuana over the first 11 months of the year, according to state regulators, and more than $331 million of medical marijuana. Analysts expect total sales of legal marijuana in Illinois will hit $1 billion for the full year, surpassing predictions.