South Carolinians traveling out-of-state for medical marijuana

South Carolinians traveling out-of-state for medical marijuana

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Jill Swing travels to Maine so her 8-year-old daughter Mary Louise can get the medical marijuana she needs for her epilepsy.

"Maine has reciprocity with other states and guest certification filled out by doctor," Swing said. "It definitely improves her quality of life."

At times Mary Louise has had 30-60 seizures per hour.

That's why Swing has been pushing to get the expanded form of medical marijuana in South Carolina.

In 2014, South Carolina passed a law allowing CBD in the state.

That derivative of marijuana does not contain a high level of THC, the ingredient that causes the "high effect."

And, CBD isn't as effective in treating conditions like epilepsy.

"South Carolina needs in-state cultivation of cannabis for medical use and full-spectrum cannabis therapies for any patient whose doctor feels they might benefit," Swing said.

Recently, republican representative Peter McCoy has joined the effort.

For him, Swing's battle hits home.

"My child suffered seizures early on, early in her life, she was 5 months old," McCoy said.

The ex-prosecutor's daughter Mae suffered from infantile spasms.

Mae, now 5 years old, is undergoing other treatments to manage her condition.

Still, he feels the expanded form of medical marijuana in South Carolina would be beneficial to the state.

"If it's there and the oversight is by a doctor and it can help, why not do it?" McCoy said.

25 states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana for either medical or recreational use.

McCoy stresses that the expanded expanded form of medical marijuana could be used to treat a number of problems like cancer, PTSD and epilepsy.

"My efforts are going to be to make this more accessible to folks like the Swings who are having to travel out of state for treatment."

He feels while the legalization of CBD was positive, more must be done.

"It's a good first step," McCoy said. "We need to go a step further than the actual CBD oil."

He'll continue his push in subcommittee and committee meetings in January.

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