Is Weed Legal In South Carolina?

is weed legal in South Carolina

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South Carolina, like many of the southern states, is yet to get legal weed in either its medicinal or recreational form. However, despite their slow and wobbly start, there are definitely rumblings that South Carolina could be considering medicinal legalization in the near future. Once medicinal marijuana is legalized there is always a better platform for full legalization. Currently though cannabis is fully illegal and can be punishable by a prison sentence and a fine. 

is weed legal in South Carolina

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South Carolina State Laws

The laws of South Carolina are pretty harsh as the possession or sale of marijuana remains a criminal offense. Even first-time offenders can face a $200 fine and 30 days in jail for possession of an ounce or less. For subsequent offenses, this can go up to $2,000 and 1 year in jail. Possession of cannabis paraphernalia can even earn someone a civil fine of up to $500. Best to keep your bong hidden if visiting the state.

For sale or trafficking less than 10 pounds, punishments move up to a possible 5 years and a $5,000 fine. And for amounts larger than 10 pounds, maybe just stop reading now:

OffenseFineJail Time
First offense – 10 to 100 pounds $10,000 1 to 10 years
Second offense – 10 to 100 pounds $25,000 5 – 20 years
Third offense – 10 to 100 pounds $25,000 25 years (minimum)
100 to 2000 pounds $25,000 25 years (minimum)
2000 to 10,000 pounds $50,000 25 years (minimum)
10,000 + pounds $200,000 25 years (minimum)

Clearly South Carolina is still a state that takes marijuana seriously as a criminal offense. The penalties for trafficking and dealing can go up to 25 years mandatory minimum prison sentence and a fine of $200,000. At least the possession laws are a little less harsh. Basically weed is in no way legal or advisable in South Carolina. 

Growing less than 100 plants could land you with 5 years in jail, and a $5,000 fine. For growing more than 100, it’s a minimum 25 years in jail, with varying fines starting at $25,000.

Medicinal Marijuana In South Carolina

South Carolina will this year, after two years of faffing about, finally be considering the Compassionate Care Act. This bill has been mired in the senate until enough amendments could be made to make the bill palatable to the largely conservative state. The bill has become somewhat confusing to a political laywoman such as myself. But what I could glean from the tangle of non-committal information is as follows.

The pending legislation would allow patients with certain debilitating illnesses to have access to medicinal marijuana. The legalization of medicinal cannabis was supported by 61% of South Carolina, a smaller percentage than many states facing legalization, but a majority is a majority. There may be amendments to the bill which take botanical marijuana out of the equation altogether and only allow patients to access THC and CBD creams and oils. How this bill will end up only time will tell. Hopefully not too much time though, as they’ve already beaten around the proverbial till it’s black and blue. 

The Future For Weed In South Carolina

The future for legal weed in South Carolina does not look enormously bright. At least not in the immediate future anyway. Hopefully, the potential legalization of medicinal cannabis or cannabis products is a baby step in the right direction and will help the government to understand how helpful cannabis can actually be.

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Many states and countries are still struggling with the idea of legalizing such a long demonized substance. But as attitudes change, politics will eventually follow, one would hope. Even Utah, a deeply conservative state will have medical marijuana come March 2020. A great example of politics following attitudes, giving at least some hope for legal weed in South Carolina.

Tasha, a dedicated researcher with a Nursing degree from FAU in South Florida, has been contributing to the medical field for 5 years. Her expertise and commitment to healthcare research demonstrate her passion for advancing medical knowledge and patient care.