COLUMBIA, SC (WACH) --- A recent poll shows 61 percent of people in South Carolina would approve making medical marijuana legal.
The push to legalize the drug has been building for several years. Supporters said some adjustments to a new proposal will make it the law in South Carolina this year, helping people like Carla Reeves.
Reeves was one of many people at the State House on Tuesday. She wants lawmakers to legalize medical marijuana. “I’m buying it off the streets like most people, there's nowhere else to get it and you can’t get it on the streets now,” Reeves said. ”I don’t want to have to drive to another state but it’s looking like that.”
She has spent the last 42 years in a wheelchair after a diving accident when she was 15. Reeves said she copes with constant pain. She said after nine months of rehab, seizures and getting sick from her prescription medication it was cannabis that offered some relief. “It's been very hard, I couldn’t have done it without cannabis, I wouldn’t have done it without cannabis,” Reeves said. “Somebody told me if I got caught with drugs on the hospital property I would be thrown out so I smoked my first joint to get out of rehab.”
Senator Tom Davis and Representative Peter McCoy filed a measure Tuesday that would legalize the drug for medical use.
They said over the last few years they’ve worked with doctors, law enforcement and families whose children suffer from a chronic illness. “This is not a green bill it’s a mature bill this is a bill that has undergone four years worth of subcommittee processes, its undergone hundreds of hours of testimony,” Davis said. “This is all about empowering doctors, it’s all about giving them this particular options to treat their patients, it’s about doctors and patients deciding what's in that patient's best interest.”
The measures would require a doctor's approval. DHEC and SLED would be in charge of regulations. The bills will now be debated by several committees of lawmakers. “I just beat many things, I've beat tumors, I've beat breast cancer,” Reeves said. “I have beat the poisoning from the drugs and I beat the opium that they forced down my throat the past 10 years.”