Faith leaders join in push for SC representatives to legalize medical marijuana

Faith leaders are pushing for the legalization of medical marijuana in South Carolina.       

On Wednesday, it seemed like a church service inside the State House, with clergy coming together, quoting scripture and supporting medical marijuana. 

“I'm here because I’ve seen it I’ve been approached by those who are hurting, who are saying 'we need that bill, it relieves me it helps me it comforts me,'” Terry Alexander, a representative for Florence, said. 

Alexander was on his pulpit Wednesday. He's not only a lawmaker but a Baptist preacher. 

He was joined by a rabbi and other clergy to push South Carolina lawmakers to pass a bill that would make medical marijuana legal. 

LINK: Report: Medical marijuana advances in SC Senate

“I dare say that in these polarized times a bill like this is good medicine for us all,” said Dr. Jeremy Rutledge, a pastor in Charleston. 

He spoke about his dad being diagnosed with cancer. 

“It was incredibly difficult to see someone we love so much in so much pain.”

Rutledge says he hopes medical marijuana becomes legal in South Carolina so that other patients will have options to ease their pain. 

“None of us should live or die in unnecessary pain.” 

The bills do not allow smoking marijuana, but vaping or using other delivery methods for medicinal purposes would be allowed.

“As we look to pass this legislation I want to think about if it was your family member," Richland representative Ivory Thigpen. 

People in York and Lancaster Counties have mixed opinions on whether they want their elected leaders to legalize medical marijuana. 

“I'm concerned about who's going to be prescribing it, I’m concerned that it could end up in the wrong hands, things getting so lax that it ends up in the hands of the wrong people,” said Anthony Pelham. He’s against legalization. 

June Webb, however, says she understands why some may need the drug.

“I have a daughter who's had cancer she didn't need marijuana for the pain but for those who do need marijuana for the suffering and the pain, I'm all for it,” she said.

Officials tell FOX 46 the Senate version of the medical marijuana bill is moving right along at the statehouse. It passed a Senate subcommittee Wednesday morning and is on its way to the full committee.