Veterans Call for Cannabis Legislation

Veterans call on SC Legislature to enact comprehensive medical cannabis program.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, March 1, 2021

Columbia, SC — On Monday, a group of veterans held a virtual press conference to urge the legislature to enact a comprehensive medical cannabis program in 2021.

We apologize the recording is not available yet. Zoom is taking longer than expected to upload the recording. We will follow up with the link as soon as it is available.

The conference comes as momentum to pass a medical cannabis law grows within the legislature. Earlier this year, lawmakers introduced the South Carolina Compassionate Care Act (S. 150H. 3361), which would allow patients with debilitating medical conditions and a doctor’s certification to access medical cannabis from regulated facilities. 

South Carolina Compassionate Care and compassionate Care Alliance
South Carolina Compassionate Care Act (S. 150/ H. 3361), which would allow patients with debilitating medical conditions and a doctor’s certification to access medical cannabis from regulated facilities.

Speakers included David Newsom, a U.S. Army veteran whose daughter Harmony was born with a very rare genetic condition called lissencephaly (“smooth brain”), which causes seizures; Don Howell, an RN and Purple Heart recipient who served 22 years of active duty with the United States Navy as a Hospital Corpsman and administered care in multiple combat arenas, including Beirut, Somalia, and Desert Storm; Montel Williams, a decorated former naval officer, Emmy-award winning television personality, inspirational speaker, author, entrepreneur, and advocate for patients worldwide; Steven Diaz, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who was severely injured while clearing IEDs in Iraq; and “J.,” a female Army veteran who served for eight years, including a tour in Kosovo from 2003-2004, and who now suffers from an extremely painful kidney condition and CPTSD. 

A February 2021 poll conducted by the Marijuana Policy Project found that 72% of South Carolina residents support legalizing cannabis for medical use, with only 15% opposed. 

INDOOR CANNABIS GROW ROOM
A Medical Marijuana Grow Room like this indoor facility in Las Vegas, NV is what the veterans have been fighting for.

Thirty-six states across the country have comprehensive medical cannabis laws, including several Southern states, such as Arkansas, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Virginia. 

Statements from speakers:

“I am one of thousands of veterans who depend on medical cannabis to ease our pain and suffering. South Carolina needs to stop treating us like criminals and take patients off the battlefield in its war on marijuana.” 

–Montel Williams, decorated former naval officer, Emmy-award winning television personality, inspirational speaker, author, entrepreneur, and advocate

“Veterans suffer both psychical and emotional wounds and expect adequate care. When that care is insufficient, many turn to medical cannabis for relief. They should not have to fight another battle at home or feel ashamed because they want to heal.” 

–Steven Diaz, U.S. Marine Corps veteran and Project Manager, Hidden Wounds

“Cannabis has been a far more effective treatment for me than opioids. Opioids left me dependent and didn’t help my pain, my trauma, or my mood. Within weeks of medicating with cannabis, my pain was minimal, my kidney function improved, and my depression lifted. But the medicine that saves my life everyday is illegal in South Carolina. I am asking my fellow South Carolinians, please support your veterans by asking your legislators to support compassionate legislation to bring this relief to everyone who needs it.” 
 

–J., a female Army veteran who served for eight years


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The South Carolina Compassionate Care Alliance is a statewide coalition of patients, families, and advocates working to establish a comprehensive medical cannabis program in South Carolina. For more information, visit https://www.SCCompassion.com.
 
CSC.Health (Compassionate SC) is a statewide coalition of patients, families, and advocates working to establish a comprehensive medical cannabis program in South Carolina. For more information, visit https://compassionatesc.com.

Contacts: David Newsom, CSC.Health
(843) 582-6921,david@palmettoharmony.com

Judy Anderson Ghanem
480-766-9729, jgghanem@gmail.com

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