As a family medicine and public-health physician practicing in South Carolina for the past 40 years, I see the proposed system for making marijuana available for evidence-based medical treatments as severely flawed.
S.212 provides for a wholly unnecessary system of marijuana cultivation centers, processing sites and dispensaries. The Federal Drug Administration is already working with the federal Drug Enforcement Authority to increase legitimate research on marijuana products for medical use, and the DEA has a well-established system to handle prescription narcotics.
Since the Food and Drug Administration is expected to approve an oral solution of pure plant-derived cannabidiol in the next 12-15 months, the federal system logically should be the one used.
A clear majority of South Carolinians — 77 percent in a 2016 Winthrop Poll — agree that “medical marijuana” should be “regulated by the FDA like current medications.” FDA oversight under the auspices of DEA designation of marijuana as a legal Schedule II controlled drug is what our state needs. There is no need for South Carolina to re-invent the wheel.
Dr David Keely