South Carolina Democrats gave medical marijuana a landslide victory Tuesday, with 82 percent declaring in an advisory vote that doctors should be allowed to prescribe the drug.
The question “Do you support passing a state law allowing doctors to prescribe medical marijuana to patients?” was approved by Democrats in all of the state's 46 counties during Tuesday's primary.
The nonbinding ballot initiative is the latest boost for legalized medical marijuana, which has been embraced by key committees in both the S.C. House and Senate.
"We had a lot of wins on Tuesday," said Janel Ralph of Conway, executive director of the Compassionate South Carolina patient advocacy group.
Ralph noted that state Rep. James Smith of Columbia, co-sponsor of a S.C. House bill allowing medical marijuana, won the Democratic nomination for governor. And John Warren, an Upstate Republican who supports the measure, earned a runoff with Gov. Henry McMaster.
Both Smith and Warren are military combat veterans who support medical marijuana in part as a means for treating veterans suffering from PTSD and other maladies.
Also on Tuesday, a key U.S. Senate subcommittee moved to include protections for state marijuana laws in a funding bill for the Justice Department.
In South Carolina's three largest counties, the measure passed overwhelmingly.