LEGAL

The legality of cannabis for medical and recreational use varies by state in America, in terms of its possession, distribution, and cultivation, and (in regards to medical) how it can be consumed and what medical conditions it can be used for. Here are some facts on Marijuana laws in Myrtle Beach.

MYRTLE BEACH MARIJUANA LAWS

Simple possession of less than an ounce still carries up to 30 days in jail for a first offense or six months in jail for a second offense, and possession with intent or trafficking carry much more serious potential sentences. License suspension has not been a potential penalty in South Carolina since 2011.


OUR HISTORY



The South Carolina General Assembly (SCGA) is back at work and medical cannabis is literally already on the agenda.


  • H 3660 Compassionate Care Act (House version)
  • H 3449 Repeal Industrial Hemp Bill
  • H 3444 – Cannabis for vets with PTSD
  • H 3322 – Victim Restitution / Decriminalization
  • H 3276 – Decriminalization
  • H 3272 – Put Patients First Act
  • H 3269 – Amend trafficking penalties
  • H 3226 – Property Seizures
  • H 3081 – Medical Use of Marijuana Act
  • S 462 Controlled substances and forfeiture of property
  • S 384 Repeal S.C. Industrial Hemp Bill
  • S 366 Compassionate Care Act (Senate Version)
  • S 169 – Resolution for federal descheduling/ research
  • S 159 – Amend trafficking penalties
H 3660 Compassionate Care Act (House version)

House Bill 3660 is the companion bill to Senate Bill 366 (see listing above). It is known as the Compassionate Care Act.

The House version was filed by Rep. McCoy, Rep. Nancy Mace (R-Dist. 99, Berkeley and Charleston Counties), Rep. Bill Taylor (R-Dist. 86, Aiken County), Rep. Linda Bennett (R-Dist. 114, Charleston and Dorchester Counties),Rep. Seth Rose (D-Dist. 72, Richland County), Rep. Leon Stavrinakis (D-Dist. 119, Charleston County) and Rep. Gilliard.

Bill Status

Filed on Jan. 17, 2019, the bill was referred to the House Committee on Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs. Since then, six additional representatives have added their names to the bill. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.

This information was last updated by Myrtle Beach NORML on Feb. 28, 2019.

H 3449 Repeal Industrial Hemp Bill

House Bill 3449 was filed by 12 representatives.

The purpose of this bill is to repeal the state’s industrial hemp bill in light of the passage of the federal 2018 farm bill.

Bill Status

The bill was filed on Jan. 8, 2019, and referred to the House Committee on Agriculture, Natural Resources and Environmental Affairs. Since then, 10 more state representatives have added their names as cosponsors of this bill.

This information was last updated by Myrtle Beach NORML on Feb. 28, 2019.

H 3444 – Cannabis for vets with PTSD

House Bill 3444 is another collaboration between Reps. Rutherford and Cobb-Hunter.

The bill seeks to legalize possession of high-THC cannabis up to 28 grams, or one ounce, or 10 grams of hashish by a military veteran who was honorably discharged or who the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs has diagnosed with service-related post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) arising from their military duty during active combat.

Bill status:

Currently referred to the House Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.

This information was last updated by Myrtle Beach NORML on Feb. 28, 2019.

H 3322 – Victim Restitution / Decriminalization

House Bill 3322 was co-filed by 11 representatives.

This is a complex restitution bill that also happens to include a section on decriminalization for illegal drug possession.

It could decriminalize up to 10 ounces of cannabis and 100 hundred grams of hashish; possession would be a misdemeanor with penalties of not more than 30 days in jail and fines of between $100 and $200. Judges could also mandate that the offender participates in a drug abuse program.

This bill would raise the legal threshold for marijuana trafficking from 10 lbs to 20 lbs. For those caught in possession of between 20 lbs and 200 lbs (up from 100 lbs) of high-THC cannabis, not federally legal hemp, they face a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine. A second offense could lead to a maximum of a 15-year sentence (down from 20 years) and a fine of $15,000. Third-time offenders face a maximum of 20 years in prison and a $25,000 fine.

For those caught in possession of 1,000 or more high-THC cannabis plants (again, not federally legal hemp), the maximum prison sentence is 20 years (down from 25) and a $50,000 fine.

For those facing a third offense relating to narcotic drugs, marijuana, depressants, stimulants or hallucinogenic drugs, they face a maximum of 30 years in prison and a $50,000 fine. And convictions in other states count.

Importantly, in most of these instances, minimum sentencing requirements have been removed.

Bill status:

Currently referred to the House Judiciary Committee.

On Jan. 9, 2018, Rep. Wendell G. Gilliard (D-Dist. 111, Charleston County) and Joseph H. Jefferson, Jr. (D-Dist 102, Berkeley & Dorchester Counties) were added as cosponsors of the bill.

On Jan. 15, 2018, Rep. Mark N. Willis (R-Dist. 16, Greenville & Laurens Counties) was added as a cosponsor of the bill.

In late January, four more representatives added their names to the bill.

This information was last updated by Myrtle Beach NORML on Feb. 5, 2019.

H 3276 – Decriminalization

House Bill 3276 was filed by Rep. Ivory Torrey Thigpen (D-Dist. 79, Richland).

This bill seeks to decriminalize possession of up to 28 ounces or less of cannabis, or 10 grams or less of hashish. However, law enforcement officers could still issue a citation for these amounts. The bill also seeks to decrease penalties for first offenses of less than one gram of methamphetamine or cocaine base. The bill would require drug treatment for these offenses in addition to mandatory probation.

Bill status:

Currently referred to the House Judiciary Committee.

This information was last updated by Myrtle Beach NORML on Feb. 28, 2019.

H 3272 – Put Patients First Act

House Bill 3272 was filed by Reps. Rutherford and Cobb-Hunter.

This bill is similar to H 3081, the Medical Use of Marijuana Act, though it would require medical patients to obtain an identification card and would allow for registered grow and dispensary operations.

Bill status:

Currently referred to the House Judiciary Committee.

This information was last updated by Myrtle Beach NORML on Feb. 28, 2019.

H 3269 – Amend trafficking penalties

House Bill 3269 was filed by Rep. Marvin R. Pendarvis (D-Dist. 113, Charleston and Dorchester).

This bill is similar to Senate Bill 159. It would allow for those caught with between 10 lbs and 100 lbs of cannabis to serve a one-year term of house arrest, though prison terms for such offenses carry a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison. In this case, one of those years could be served under house arrest.

Bill status:

Adopted by the Senate Judiciary Committee and sent to the House of Representatives on Jan. 24, 2018.

This information was last updated by Myrtle Beach NORML on Feb. 28, 2019.

H 3226 – Property Seizures

This bill aims to alter current law regarding property and money seized during arrests when charges have not been filed within 30 days. The bill would also prohibit the seizing authority from forcing people to sign releases absolving them from civil liability relating to an unlawful seizure. The bill, should it become law, would also change how court proceedings are handled for property seizures if the value of the property does not exceed $7,500.  It could also change how seized property is returned to “innocent owners.”

Bill status:

Currently referred to the House Judiciary Committee.

On Jan. 15, Rep. Jonathan D. Hill (R-Dist. 8, Anderson County) was added to the bill as a cosponsor.

On Jan. 30, 2019, the bill was introduced in the Senate and reffered to the Judiciary Committee.

This information was last updated by Myrtle Beach NORML on Feb. 28, 2019.

H 3081 – Medical Use of Marijuana Act

House Bill 3081 was filed by Reps. Rosalyn D. Henderson-Myers (D-31, Spartanburg) and Gilda Cobb-Hunter (D-66, Orangeburg).

This bill seeks to allow medical marijuana patients to use cannabis, doctors to prescribe it and caregivers to act on behalf of medical patients. If passed, the bill would require the Dept. of Health and Environmental Control to maintain a confidential list of registered medical cannabis patients. It would also protect doctors and caregivers from liability and professional discipline for prescribing or assisting medical cannabis users. The legislation would allow for the registration of cannabis companies as well; those companies would be required to perform laboratory testing on their products. The bill would also establish an Emergency Medical Marijuana Access Program.

Bill status:

Currently referred to the House Committee on Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs.

On Jan. 16, Rep. Wendy C. Brawley (D-Dist. 70, Richland & Sumter Counties) and Rep. Peter McCoy(R-Dist. 115, Charleston County) were added to the bill as cosponsors.

On Jan. 29, Rep. Annie McDaniel (D-Dist. 41) was added to the bill as a cosponsor.

This information was last updated by Myrtle Beach NORML on Feb. 28, 2019.

S 462 Controlled substances and forfeiture of property

Senate Bill 462 was filed by Sen. Tom Davis (R-Dist. 46).

This is a companion bill to H 462. See listing below.

Bill status:

On Jan. 30, 2019, the bill was introduced in the Senate and reffered to the Judiciary Committee.

This information was last updated by Myrtle Beach NORML on Feb. 28, 2019.

S 384 Repeal S.C. Industrial Hemp Bill

Senate Bill 384 was filed by Sen. Paul Campbell (R-Dist. 44, Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester Counties), Sen. Davis and Sen. Kent M. Williams (D-Dist. 30, Dillon, Florence, Horry, Marion and Marlboro Counties).

This bill seeks to repeal the state’s industrial hemp bill in light of the passage of the 2018 farm bill.

Bill Status

The bill was filed on Jan. 17, 2019, and was referred to the Senate Committee on Agricultural and Natural Resources.

This information was last updated by Myrtle Beach NORML on Feb. 28, 2019.

S 366 Compassionate Care Act (Senate Version)

Senate Bill 366 was filed on Jan. 15, 2019, by Sen. Tom Davis (R-Dist. 46, ), Sen. Brad Hutto (D-Dist. 40), Sen. Mia McLeod (D-Dist. 22), and Sen. Marlon Kimpson (D-Dist. 42).

This bill seeks to legalize medical cannabis for patients with certain medical conditions. It does not allow for the smoking of cannabis as a concession to state law enforcement. This bill has been in the works for several years and is the most well-known, and, frankly, most likely to succeed of all of the cannabis reform bills in the S.C. General Assembly this legislative session. Though Gov. Henry McMaster has repeatedly said he will not sign into law a marijuana bill, at a press conference held on Jan. 15, Sen. Davis assured constituents and members of the media that he believes the governor will sign the bill. Sen. Davis calls this the “most conservative” cannabis bill in the country. Rep. Rutherford concurred during an interview with Carolina Cannabis News.

This bill also includes language concerning the hemp industry.

Bill status

On Jan. 15, the bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Medical Affairs.

This information was last updated by Myrtle Beach NORML on Feb. 28, 2019.

S 169 – Resolution for federal descheduling/ research

Senate Bill 169 was filed by Sen. Greg Hembree (R-Dist. 28, Dillon and Horry).

This bill — a concurrent resolution between the state Senate and House — seeks to urge the U.S. Congress to deschedule cannabis in the name of medical research.

Bill status:

On Jan. 10, 2019, this bill was on agenda for the Senate Committee on Medical Affairs.

On Jan. 17, 2019, the bill received a favorable report in the Senate Committee on Medical Affairs.

On Jan. 29, 2019, the bill was introduced in the House of Representatives and referred to that body’s Committee on Medical, Miltary, Public and Municipal Affairs.

The bill is now expected to be presented to the full South Carolina Senate, though a date is not yet known.

This information was last updated by Myrtle Beach NORML on Feb. 28, 2019.

S 159 – Amend trafficking penalties

Senate Bill 159 was filed by Sen. Karl B. Allen (D-Dist. 7, Greenville).

This bill seeks to amend marijuana trafficking penalties. Should it become law, a first offense “of at least ten pounds but less than one hundred pounds” of high-THC cannabis (i.e. not federally legal hemp) could still lead to a one- to 10-year prison sentence, but those convicted could serve up to one year of house arrest in the comfort of an electric ankle monitor in their home versus behind bars.

Bill status:

Currently referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee

This information was last updated by Myrtle Beach NORML on Feb. 28, 2019.



South Carolina Laws & Penalties


Offense Penalty Incarceration   Max. Fine

Possession

1 oz or less (first offense) Misdemeanor 30 days $ 200
1 oz or less (subsequent offense) Misdemeanor 1 year $ 2,000

Sale or Trafficking

Less than 10 lbs Felony 5 years $ 5,000
10 – 100 lbs (first offense) Felony 1* – 10 years $ 10,000
10 – 100 lbs (second offense) Felony 5* – 20 years $ 25,000
10 – 100 lbs (third offense) Felony 25 years* $ 25,000
100 – 2000 lbs Felony 25 years* $ 25,000
2,000 – 10,000 lbs Felony 25 years* $ 50,000
More than 10,000 lbs Felony 25 years* $ 200,000
To a minor, or within a 1/2 mile of a school, playground, or public park Felony 10 years $ 10,000
* Mandatory minimum sentence

Cultivation

Less than 100 plants Felony 5 years $ 5,000
100 – 1000 plants Felony 25 years* $ 25,000
1000 – 10,000 plants Felony 25 years* $ 50,000
More than 10,000 plants Felony 25 years* $ 200,000
* Mandatory minimum sentence

Hash & Concentrates

Possession of 10 g or less Misdemeanor 30 days $ 200
Possession of more than 10 g Misdemeanor 5 years $ 5,000
Subsequent offenses carry greater penalties

Paraphernalia

Possession of paraphernalia Civil Citation N/A $ 500

Educate the public

Marijuana resources to get educated.

Stop Arrest

It’s time to legalize recreational marijuana

Ending criminal prohibition

Eliminate federal criminal penalties


STATISTICS

AFRICANS IN AMERICA ARE VICTIMS

Africans in America were three times as likely to be arrested and charged with simple possession despite having similar rates of marijuana use as whites.

These arrests are made at the expense of preventing and solving violent and property crimes.


OUR TEAM


Statistics

PATIENT VICTIMS

Many Americans that are chronically ill have no means or hope of acquiring medical-grade Cannabis in amounts necessary to alleviate their suffering. They are forced to rely on pharmaceutical medications with debilitating side-effects and unsuitable for treatment of chronic, prolonged illnesses.

Science now shows using Cannabis can enable chronic pain patients to reduce their pain pills by up to two-thirds. History shows that our ancestors used this same combination, making Cannabis indica the most common ingredient in pharmaceutical preparations of the late 19th century.



Statistics

STUDENTS ARE VICTIMS

While some states have removed criminal penalties for marijuana, and many others have legalized it for medical and — more rarely — recreational use, the drug remains forbidden at colleges in such states.

Majorities of Millennials (74%), Gen Xers (63%) and Baby Boomers (54%) say the use of marijuana should be legal. Members of the Silent Generation continue to be the least supportive of legalization (39%), but they have become more supportive in the past year.



LEGAL ADVICE

CHARGED WITH SIMPLE POSSESSION?

In the Myrtle Beach area there may be several different ways to keep it off of your criminal record. The first thing you need to know is do not plead guilty at your bond hearing – the judge may offer you a fine and time served, in which case you are released from jail, but you will have a drug conviction on your record.

Plead not guilty, do not make any statements or answer questions by law enforcement, and the court will set a bond and then give you a court date. You will then have time to meet with a defense lawyer who can help you navigate the system and hopefully keep your record clean.



STATISTICS

INSIDE THE NUMBERS

The results from Benchmark Research shows that 72 percent of 400 South Carolinians polled support legalizing medical marijuana, including 84 percent of Democrats, 78 percent of independents and 63 percent of Republicans.

In simple terms it’s not drug king pens being busted and taken to jail for Marijuana. The average every day American is being victimized by laws that are way outdated. Meanwhile the support for legalization is there.


SOUTH CAROLINIANS SUPPORT LEGALIZATION
72%

DEMOCRATS SUPPORT LEGALIZATION
78%

REPUBLICANS SUPPORT LEGALIZATION
63%


RIGHT NOW

The South Carolina Compassionate Care Act (Senate Bill 366) would legalize marijuana and allow up to two ounces of cannabis (or the equivalent in cannabis products) for those with a debilitating medical condition, as prescribed by their doctor. Conditions such as cancer, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, glaucoma, PTSD, Chron’s Disease, sickle cell anemia, ulcerative colitis, wasting syndrome, persistent nausea, people undergoing end-of-life hospice care and more could allow patients to qualify for a medical cannabis card with their doctor’s approval and supervision.


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