South Carolinians want medical marijuana. According to a poll released this week, 61 percent of people surveyed would support cannabis as a treatment for various ailments. Only 31 percent opposed the idea.
The survey, conducted in December by Mason-Dixon Polling & Strategy, involved phone interviews with 625 registered South Carolina voters. The poll has a margin of error of 4 percent.
According to the Independent Mail:
The poll showed the lowest support for medical marijuana is in the Upstate, where 53 percent of respondents expressed support and 35 percent were opposed. Support for medical marijuana topped the 60-percent threshold in every other part of South Carolina, according to the poll.
“The numbers in the poll are positive,” Jill Swing, founder of SC Compassionate Care Alliance, told the Independent Mail.
This is not the first poll that shows South Carolina’s support for medical marijuana. A 2o16 survey revealed that nearly 4 in 5 residents – or 78 percent – support legalizing medical marijuana.
The 2016 poll results were encouraging for state Sen. Tom Davis, a Republican who supports the idea. According to a report in The State:
“People on a very broad basis, regardless of age, regardless of political affiliation, they recognize that cannabis has medicinal benefits,” said Davis, who also successfully pushed a 2014 law that allows S.C. residents with severe epilepsy to use a cannabis extract called cannabidiol as treatment. The derivative has low levels of THC, the substance in marijuana that gives users a “high.”
There are 29 states that have approved medical marijuana programs. In South Carolina, there were three bipartisan medical marijuana measures introduced in the state’s General Assembly last year, but none won passage.
Rep. Jonathon Hill, a Republican from Townville who supports medical marijuana, said the recent poll “confirms what we already knew,” according to the Independent Mail.
“I am hopeful of passing something this year,” said Hill, adding that he believes medical marijuana could serve as a “far less addictive and dangerous” alternative to opioids.
“We are going to save lives” if medical marijuana becomes legal in South Carolina, he said.