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SC Lawmaker Proposes Legalized Medical Marijuana

7:30 PM, May 22, 2013   |    comments
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(AP)

Columbia, SC (WLTX) -- Did you know that according to South Carolina law, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control has the authority to obtain and distribute medical marijuana?

That's as long as it's in line with federal law.

Now one House lawmaker says it's time for South Carolina to catch up with other states legalizing the drug.

Representative Todd Rutherford attempted to put an amendment addressing the drug in a controlled substances bill Wednesday afternoon. He say the state law addressing medical marijuana was passed back in 1980.

Read the SC Law Code Here: SECTION 44-53-650.
(you will need to scroll down to the noted section)

Rutherford's change would have allowed DHEC to create a program for farmers to grow marijuana and licensed physicians to prescribe it for patients.

His move was shut down with others saying it was irrelevant to the bill, but Rutherford says the drug can help those suffering from various conditions, and he is not giving up.

"I'm a person that hates smoking," Rutherford said. "I led the charge to ban smoking in restaurants and bars, but marijuana comes in many forms. It can be placed in food, it can be inhaled in vapors and so it's not just something that you have to get through smoking. But its time for legalization has come and gone. South Carolina just needs to get on board."

He says he has other plans to address medical marijuana before this session ends next month and again next year if necessary.

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