Columbia, SC (WLTX)- As efforts ramp up to push for legalizing medical marijuana in the state, opposition from the law enforcement community is making their voices heard as well.
A senate bill, called the Compassionate Care Act, would allow doctors to recommend the use of up to 2 ounces of marijuana for health purposes.
"Federal law now authorizes and allows states to proceed with medical marijuana laws," Sponsor of the bill Sen. Tom Davis said. "The Department of Justice has been told not to enforce federal laws in regards to those states."
The drug is said to have benefits for patients suffering from epileptic seizures, PTSD, and other ailments.
USC School of Medicine Professor and Researcher, Dr. Mitzi Nagarkatti, has studied the effects of THC on tumors in mice.
"We were the first lab to show that THC, which is the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, can kill tumor cells in the mouse model," Nagarkatti. "We have further done studies that show it can also be beneficial against human tumors."
But the law enforcement community is against the idea, and will be speaking to lawmakers at the public hearing on the matter in a couple of weeks.
"Any substance with potential for use as a medicine by the public needs to be regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, as all prescription medications are now to ensure the public’s health and safety," SLED Chief Mark Keel said. "Local legislation should not replace science."
Sheriff's association's Jarrod Bruder said they're concerns also lie in enforcing the substance that is classified by the federal government as a schedule one narcotic.
"There's not a dosage that comes with this and says 'this amount of marijuana makes you too high to function, this amount of marijuana makes you too high to drive,' We don't know," Bruder said. "There's entirely too much that we don't know about this that makes it dangerous for us to come up and say its okay to use."