By Colin Demarest
A state Senate committee Thursday struck down a bill that would legalize medical marijuana in South Carolina, amid warnings by the committee chairman that the measure would take the state “one step closer to Colorado.”
Sen. Harvey Peeler, who chairs the Medical Affairs Committee, was among seven lawmakers who cast negative votes. Four senators supported the measure introduced by Sen. Tom Davis, R-Beaufort.
Davis and Sen. Brad Hutto, D-Orangeburg, stood strongly behind the bill they co-sponsored. Davis faced heavy questioning and criticism from senators Michael Fair, R-Greenville, Kevin Johnson, D-Clarendon, and Creighton Coleman, D-Fairfield.
“What we have before us is the product of what we’ve learned,” Davis said. “It’s approached in a very conservative way.”
Davis also mentioned that DHEC officials, the group that would be put in charge of setting up South Carolina’s medical marijuana infrastructure, were in the audience.
SLED Chief Mark Keel, who has publicly opposed the measure, was also in attendance.