MUSC Hosting Medical Cannabis Conference

Compassionate care group to discuss science behind decriminalization debate …

The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) is hosting a conference on cannabis this week.  And while the university and its department of psychiatry and behavioral sciences are not staking out a position on this hot-button political issue, they are endorsing “legitimate research to study topics and provide education to the public about current knowledge.”

The first annual “Update on Medical Cannabis Conference” will run from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. EDT on Friday (September 28) in the first floor auditorium (room DD110) of MUSC’s drug discovery building (70 President Street) in downtown Charleston, S.C.  A reception will be held following the event from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. EDT.

The conference – which is open to the public – is being sponsored by the South Carolina Compassionate Care Alliance (SCCCA), the Palmetto State’s preeminent advocacy organization for the decriminalization of cannabis for medical purposes.

“This will be a great day of education and networking with medical, research and legal experts on medical cannabis,” said Jill Swing, president and founder of SCCCA.

Swing’s daughter, Mary Louise, suffers from intractable epilepsy – often experiencing as many as 200 seizures per hour.

(Click to view)

(Via: Provided)

For the last three years, Swing has been a fixture at the S.C. State House – urging lawmakers to focus on this issue from the perspective of those who deal with medical issues and chronic pain.

Her patient-first approach has been well-received by legislators, in contrast to approaches employed by other decriminalization advocates.

Anyway, here is more on the MUSC event courtesy of a news release from Swing’s organization …

The agenda explores the most current evidence-based science of marijuana use as it translates to clinical and legal practice while gaining insight and a comprehensive understanding of the risks, benefits and therapeutic potential of cannabinoids. Highlights include discussions on research into the use of cannabis as medicine; regulatory, compliance and legal updates from the state and federal level; the role of nurses, veterans and treatments for PTSD; cancer clinical case observations and more. The program is accredited and includes APA, CME and CLE continuing education hours and credits – please see the agenda for details. The Medical University of South Carolina is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The Medical University of South Carolina maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

This news site has steadfastly argued in favor of decriminalizing marijuana and other drugs – and not just for medicinal purposes.  Of course, we have also attempted to balance our coverage with an appreciation for the necessary limits of such a policy  – while also letting opponents of decriminalization have their say on the matter (something we will continue to do).

There are legitimate health and public safety concerns related to decriminalization, and while we view this primarily as an economic issue and a liberty issue – we would be doing our readers a disservice not to at least raise those concerns.

On this issue (and every issue we cover), we have open minds … not to mention an open microphone for anyone looking to express their views on a particular subject.  That is what the marketplace of ideas is all about.

And we intend to be a fair marketplace when it comes to the debate over this issue – which is expected to be quite contentious when lawmakers return to Columbia, S.C. for the next regular session of the S.C. General Assembly.


Medical marijuana legislation introduced in 2017 by state senator Tom Davis – a longtime advocate of decriminalization – cleared a Senate committee back in the spring but failed to receive a vote from either legislative chamber prior to the close of the 2017-2018 session.  Still, Davis and his allies in the S.C. House of Representatives – including Peter McCoy and Mandy Powers Norrell – advanced the bill further than most expected.

Not surprisingly, proponents and opponents of the bill are reportedly gearing up for a major fight during the 2019-2020 session … developments we will be chronicling in a future post.

In the meantime, to learn more about the SCCCA,  you can follow the group on Twitter and Facebook.



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