Do you suffer from “glaucoma?” Or some form of chronic pain? If so, then the state of South Carolina is required to procure marijuana for you. And give it to you free of charge.
Seriously … there’s a little-known state law instructing the director of the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) to “obtain and distribute” marijuana to the people of South Carolina in a manner that “he” deems appropriate. That gender-specific reference is ironic, obviously, because the current director of SCDHEC – and potentially the biggest pot dealer from here to Gardenia – is a “she,” Catherine Templeton.
Anyway … when a pair of state lawmakers approached us with this tip we figured they were playing a joke.
Then we uncovered this statutory language …
SECTION 44-53-650. (SCDHEC) Director to obtain and distribute marijuana.
(a) The director shall obtain marijuana through whatever means he deems most appropriate consistent with federal law.
(b) The director shall cause such analyzed marijuana to be transferred to various locations throughout the State that provide adequate security as set forth in federal and state regulations for the purpose of distributing such marijuana to the certified patient in such manner as is consistent with federal law. The patient shall not be required to pay for such marijuana but the director may charge for ancillary medical services provided by the department to compensate the department for the cost, if any, of securing such marijuana, and providing it to the patient.
This “pot dealing” law originated in 1980 under Democratic Gov. Dick Riley – and was amended in 1993 under Republican Gov. Carroll Campbell.
Why do we bring this unknown statutory provision up now? Because according to multiple Democratic sources in the S.C. House of Representatives, S.C. minority leader Todd Rutherford is preparing legislation that would dramatically ramp up the production and distribution of medical marijuana in South Carolina – using this law as his basis for doing so.
According to these source, Rutherford’s bill will include government subsidies for South Carolina farmers to grow weed – as well as establishing system for regulating its distribution and handling any revenues it generates.
Translation? Like gambling … government wants to impose a monopoly on drug dealing, too.
Naturally, we oppose any unnecessary government intervention in the free market – especially a portion of the market it is unnecessarily criminalizing. South Carolina should absolutely “spread love with the bud,” but that process should not be regulated (and certainly shouldn’t be controlled) by government.
Incidentally, Templeton wasn’t immediately available to comment regarding the possibility of her assuming the role of “Big Worm” (a.k.a. “Big Perm”) in the Palmetto State. Of course that’s not surprising seeing as our founding editor’s official inquiry to her office was as follows: “Madame director, Are you holding?”
UPDATE: Seriously people? Sheesh … “Are you holding?” is colloquial for “are you in possession of any drugs that I might be able to procure for a mutually agreed upon price?”