[image-1]In honor of the official unofficial holiday that is April 20, a 420 rally will be held in Marion Square Thursday from 3-5 p.m. Organized by Lowcountry NORML, a local advocacy group that promotes the legalization and responsible use of marijuana, the event will include speakers, the formation of a “line of compassion,” and a brief moment of silent solidarity scheduled at 4:20 p.m.

According to Lowcountry NORML’s mission statement, the group serves to spread education about the legislative process and updated information regarding citizen-based initiatives and legislation designed to reform marijuana laws in South Carolina.
Twenty-eight states and Washington, D.C. have currently instituted medical marijuana laws that allow patients to legally access the drug, according to the Marijuana Policy Project. Of these states, only two are located in the South — Arkansas and Florida — but those states’ medical marijuana programs are not yet in place.

This most recent legislative session has seen South Carolina lawmakers from both the House and Senate push for the passage of the Compassionate Care Act, which would allow qualified patients to access medical cannabis at the recommendation of their physician. Under the proposed legislation, those diagnosed with cancer, glaucoma, post-traumatic stress disorder, HIV/AIDS, hepatitis C, Crohn’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, autism, or Parkinson’s disease would be qualified to register through the state’s Department of Health and Environmental Control, which would regulate dispensaries.

Patients would be limited to 2 ounces of dried cannabis per 14-day period.
For a closer look at patients struggling with access to medical marijuana and the effect it can have on the lives of those looking for a cure, check out City Paper’s profile on Jill Swing and her daughter, Mary Louise, who has cerebral palsy and intractable epilepsy.

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