Medical Marijuana Bill in South Carolina Bolstered by Conservatives
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina Rep. Eric Bedingfield once shunned all marijuana use, but when his eldest son’s six-year struggle with opioid addiction ended with his overdose a year ago, the conservative Republican co-sponsored medical cannabis legislation.
“My mindset has changed from somebody who looked down on it as a negative substance to saying, ‘This has benefits,'” Bedingfield said recently.
The 50-year-old teetotaler believes marijuana may effectively wean addicts from an opioid dependence. Ultimately, the Marine veteran hopes medical marijuana can be an alternative to people being prescribed OxyContin or other opioid painkillers to begin with, helping curb an epidemic he’s seen destroy families of all economic levels.
Two decades after California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana, efforts to let patients legally access pot are slowly taking root in the South.
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Communal joints and blunts have long been a pillar of the weed tradition, and even if you grew away from them toward bongs and pipes, there is always the memories of rolling and passing blunts late at night with friends. You probably also remember the negative side—a wet blunt from someone’s lips, passed around to multiple people, accumulates and spreads germs.
Generally, we assume there’s low risk here—sure, you might catch the sniffles that your buddy has been nursing for a week or two, but that’s a low risk compared to the high return of friendship and camaraderie. However, there’s a more sinister risk lurking beneath your friends’ skin: oral herpes.
“If you have oral herpes and a cut on your lip, you could easily spread the disease by sharing blunts or joints,” said Dr. Carolyn Cegielski, a gastroenterologist from Mississippi.
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Mormons and Medical Marijuana: Utah’s Plan to Study Pot Goes Forward
Utah is a weird place. Coffee and alcohol are hard to come by, but in a state where politicians measure each other in shades of conservative, more and more Republicans are pushing for access to medical marijuana.
Utah lawmakers pushed hard to legalize medical marijuana this year, but a combination of uncertainty over what President Donald Trump’s administration planned to do and plain, old delay-and-obstruct tactics delayed the issue. But things are moving forward again after a plan to spend this year “studying” medical marijuana advanced to Gov. Gary Herbert’s desk for his signature.
And its only opponents are some of the state’s lone Democrats, who say that the plan is an unnecessary delay tactic—and that more than enough to justify legalizing medical cannabis is already known.
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