Family members, lawmakers push for medical marijuana in South Carolina

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - On Thursday night, the group Compassionate South Carolina held a seminar to push for medical cannabis to be legalized in South Carolina.

"I believe if you fight hard for anything and reach out and explain things to people you can get anything done," South Carolina Representative Linda Bennet said.

The Compassionate Care Act is currently making its way through the South Carolina General Assembly but is still in committee, something Bennet said should be moving forward.

"There are stronger drugs than this already. People are addicted to them. We have an opioid crisis because of this. It's not that people are buying these drugs on the street. They're addicted to them because they're prescribed to them," said Bennet.

Bennet spoke to the group Thursday night showing her support for the bill.

Also in attendance, families pushing for the legalization of medical marijuana to try and help themselves, and loved ones.

"I have a special needs daughter who was born with an extremely rare genetic disorder, a duplication on the short arm of chromosome 16 and in addition to that has tethered cord syndrome. It gives her some difficulty with walking and she's been diagnosed with autism as well," Judy Ghanem said.

Her daughter, Kira, currently uses CBD oil and vitamins, and since using has allowed her to eliminate the other medications she was on.

However Ghanem said her daughter needs higher levels, something she can't get in South Carolina.

"I've seen what's done for her and I want her to have the advantage of alternative treatment that may help her more than the harmful medications the cause the side effects," Ghanem said.

"I dream about the day where she can have a better quality of life and not a social pariah because people and children don't want to be around her because of her behavior," said Ghanem.

That's why she is begging lawmakers to make her dream a reality, "It's very emotionally upsetting so I would ask them to please imagine it was one of their family members that were suffering and give them the option of some type of medial cannabis."

Something Republican Representative Linda Bennet hopes can become a reality in our state.

"it's a bill to help sick people and if we can make sick people comfortable and take away their side effects of chemo therapy and chronic pain and seizures, we have to do whatever we can," said Bennet.

She hopes her Republican colleagues in Columbia will feel the same way and get past the stigma.

"One of the biggest things is this will lead to recreational marijuana, well only if we let it. But in the meantime, we're talking about a medicine that can help people," Bennet said.

The bill is currently sitting in both the South Carolina House and Senate committees.

South Carolina would be the 29th state to legalize medical marijuana.

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