SC Republican lawmaker fights for the use of medicinal marijuana

In this Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015 photo, Ashley Thompson, former high school agriculture teacher and now a grower for Ataraxia, inspects marijuana plants inside the "Mother Room" at the Ataraxia medical marijuana cultivation center in Albion, Ill. Marijuana strains with names like Blue Dream, OG Kush, Death Star and White Poison are now being cut and dried, and by mid-October, will be turned into medicine in many forms like oils, creams, buds for smoking, edible chocolates and gummies. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

Charleston,SC (WCBD)– A low country lawmaker breaks with his own party on the issue of medical marijuana. State representative Peter McCoy, a Republican, co-sponsored a bill that would allow the use of cannabis oil for medicinal purposes.

It was a position that McCoy says he never felt strongly about until 5 years ago. It was then that McCoy’s 5 month old daughter, Mae, began having seizures.

He says that even though Mae couldn’t express her discomfort to him, he says that as a parent he felt helpless. Unsure of what to do McCoy says that he took her to several medical professionals including those at MUSC and Johns Hopkins. He says that he also tried everything including diet and medicine, but nothing was working.

Now he says that doctors tell him cannabis oil may be the answer, but unless a child has severe epilepsy it is illegal to prescribe in South Carolina.

The proposed bill would make it legal for any accredited doctor to prescribe marijuana treatment, including pills or edible. The bill was read once in the House back in February and McCoy hopes to propose it again in November.

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