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South Carolinian Democrats Vote ‘Yes’ to Legalizing Medical Marijuana

South Carolinian Democrats Vote ‘Yes’ to Legalizing Medical Marijuana

In a recent primary election in South Carolina, the Democrats held a ballot referendum to ask voters if medical marijuana has to be legalized.

Although the House and Senate Committees in the same state have 2 bills that could legalize medical marijuana, and these showed wide-spread support earlier this year, they were not voted on and it is not unexpected that voting will take place until next year.

In the Democratic primary, 82% of the voters indicated that they wanted medical marijuana to be legalized. These results seem to confirm an earlier poll  found that 78% of voters in the state approvedlegalization  of medical marijuana.

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Although this result does not change the law as such, it is likely to influence politicians into taking action. Only 39% of voters in the state support legalizing recreational marijuana.  
Historically, ballot referendums have often led to new laws being implemented at all levels of government. As South Carolinagovernor, Henry McMaster, is not in favor of marijuana legalization, he could decline to sign a bill, even if lawmakers voted on these.

It makes sense to legalize the drug

A former federal prosecutor of South Carolina, Bill Nettles is of the opinion that the drug should be legalizedfor a number of reasons, including moral and financial ones.   
According to Nettles, the opioid epidemic is costly and comes at a high human and financial price.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 40% of deaths caused by opioids result from prescription drugs with more than 115 people dying daily from opioids that have been prescribed. There have been no deaths from a marijuana overdose.

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The economic cost is also high. Opioidhas cost in the economy more than $1 trillion through lost tax revenue, health industry costand lost labor, with the health-care related costs topping $217.5 billion. The total economic cost in the past year is estimated at $115 billion.

Analysts believe that South Carolina will inevitably legalize with predictions that the legal marijuana market in the US will earn $9.7 billion this year.

Medical marijuana is also supported by quite a few conservatives. Both Rep. Mike Pitts (R) and Rep. Eric Bedingfield (R) support the legalization of medical marijuana. Several years ago, Pitts, a retired police officer, introduced a bill to legalize marijuana. Washington, D.C. and 29 other states have already legalized medical marijuana.

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