Legalization of medicinal and recreational cannabis for adults only makes sense in South Carolina. Agribusiness (agriculture + forestry) is the state’s No. 1 industry, an ideal location for growing all forms of Cannabis sativa, which is the mother plant for Hemp and Marijuana. Hemp, is a botanical class of Cannabis sativa cultivars is grown specifically for industrial or medicinal use and is now legal here in SC. Cannabis (THC), also known as marijuana among other names, is a psychoactive drug also from the Cannabis plant and has been used as a drug for recreational and entheogenic purposes and in various traditional medicines for centuries. The medical use of cannabis is legal with a doctor’s recommendation in 37 states, four out of five permanently inhabited U.S. territories, and the District of Columbia D.C. The recreational use of cannabis has been legalized in 18 states,[a] Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, and D.C. Another 13 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands have decriminalized its use. The US House of Representatives recently passed a bill to decriminalize cannabis. (https://www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/house-bill/3617).
I will advocate for a vote to legalize medicinal and recreational cannabis in SC for the following three reasons:
- 1) To bring a lot more money in state sales tax revenue for South Carolina, which would help build up our rural and urban communities by bringing in more resources for schools, infrastructure, housing, mental healthcare facilities, and spur economic growth opportunities, without raising taxes.
- 2) To work with the state to expunge past convictions for this offense which again, disproportionately affects men of color, and instead of punishment, give ex-offenders educational opportunities to learn how to run this kind of business legally.
- 3) To build more trust between the civilian population and law-enforcement because the low-level crime of possession of marijuana within the legal limits will no longer be a criminal offense, allowing for more harmful crimes to be pursued or stopped.