SC needs to stop denying medical marijuana to those who desperately need it

·3 min read

Medical marijuana

Marijuana is medicine, and for too long, access to this low-cost, effective medication has been denied to South Carolinians. This week, the state Senate has the opportunity to right this wrong by advancing the Compassionate Care Act.

This legislation is an incredibly restrained approach to medical marijuana and far from being a slippery slope to full-scale recreational use. Under the legislation, doctors are able to prescribe marijuana only to individuals subject to specific chronic medical conditions, such as epilepsy and post-traumatic stress disorder, or as an alternative to opioids. These prescribed individuals can purchase and use limited quantities of vape-able, topical, or ingestible marijuana. Smokable marijuana is specifically excluded.

Some will argue that because marijuana remains a Schedule 1 drug at the federal level, the bill cannot proceed. But let’s take a step back and be honest; the federal government gets stuff wrong all the time!

Medical marijuana isn’t a reckless experiment; it’s been well-tested in 36 states. Our state should no longer deny medicine to those who desperately need it. Continuing to do so would be cruel and antithetical to our shared values.

Trent Triola, Greenville

Migrant children

I am old and forget stuff, but some things stick. My fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Parish, took the time to tell me something on the Statue of Liberty:

“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

As former FBI Director James Comey said, “This country’s greatness and true genius lies in its diversity.”

Maybe the Governor didn’t know Mrs. Parish.

Brent Jeffcoat, Lexington

Vaccine passports

It is obvious that McMaster and the others on the Congressional delegation who oppose a “vaccine passport” are unaware of the following facts:

The requirements for attending a childcare or preschool facility in S.C. include a Certificate of Immunization covering Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis (DTaP), Polio, Haemophilus influenzae Type b (Hib), Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR), Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, Varicella (chickenpox), and Pneumococcal (pneumonia).

The requirements to attend any public, private, or parochial school, grades 5K-12 include a Certificate of Immunization covering Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis (DTaP), Tdap booster, Polio, Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR), Hepatitis A, Hepatitis B, and Varicella (chickenpox).

The laws and attendant regulations provide that “no superintendent of an institution of learning, no school board or principal of a school…may…enroll or retain a child or person who cannot produce satisfactory evidence of having been vaccinated or immunized so often as directed by the Department of Health and Environmental Control... Records of vaccinations or immunizations must be maintained by the institution, school or day care facility to which the child or person has been admitted.”

Frank Caggiano, Columbia

Healthcare politics

Recent news from the S.C. State House has focused on preventing abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected. We heard what the legislators thought, even though some disregarded the legal separation of church and state. Not one legislator is a licensed medical doctor or licensed psychologist or psychiatrist. Yet, these people set themselves up as being qualified to judge what is best for a pregnant female who considers ending a pregnancy.

A licensed medical professional and not a state legislator can help the female deal with her medical situation. Now we are reading that these same state legislators are making medical decisions for young people who are dealing with transgender issues. These lawmakers are not licensed in the healthcare field, but again are making medical decisions when they have not been asked to do so.

If our doctors, psychologists, and psychiatrists decided to pass legislation, would citizens sit back and let them do so?

Where healthcare issues are concerned, we need to let lawmakers and healthcare professionals switch places, unless our legislators all earn medical degrees before making laws about medical decisions.

Elizabeth Jones, Columbia