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What You Missed: The crawl to legalized medical marijuana in South Carolina continues

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Give Republican state Sen. Tom Davis credit: He’s persistent. The Beaufort Republican has been working for years to try and get medical marijuana legalized in South Carolina, and now he’s indicated he’s willing to make several concessions in his proposed legislation in hopes of quelling the fears of some medical professionals and cops who have been stridently against the bill. According to Schuyler Kropf at The Post and Courier, Davis is set to cut down the number of illnesses marijuana could treat. Some of the ailments it could still be used for include neurological conditions such as Parkinson’s, Crohn’s, epilepsy and cerebral palsy, in addition to chronic pain. “Among his other offerings, he’ll require doctors who ‘authorize’ its use to a patient (as opposed to ‘prescribe’ since medical marijuana does not come in recognized milligram doses, Davis said) to do mandatory follow-ups with those patients,” Kropf reported. “Doctors would also have to stay in close contact with the pharmacist involved and get continual education on the drug’s usages.” As for the police, Davis is proposing allowing them to observe growing operations and dispensaries around the clock. South Carolina is, of course, slow on the uptake in regard to medical weed. Thirty-three states and Washington, D.C. have already legalized it.

John Matthews, longest serving black state legislator, is retiring

It’s the end of an era at the South Carolina Statehouse: State Sen. John Matthews, who has served in the South Carolina Legislature for 46 years, will retire at the end of 2020 session. The Orangeburg Democrat was first elected to the state House in 1974, and served 10 years in that chamber, and a subsequent 36 years in the Senate. He’s the longest-tenured African American legislator in South Carolina history. “While we have made tremendous progress in South Carolina, there are many more layers of progress to lay,” Matthews said, according to The Post and Courier‘s Jamie Lovegrove. “I will continue to be a supporting resource for anyone who wishes to make meaningful change in South Carolina, and I am excited for what the future holds.” Matthews, 79, represents South Carolina’s 39th Senate district that includes portions of Berkeley, Calhoun, Colleton, Dorchester, and Orangeburg counties. He currently is the assistant minority leader in the Senate. As Matthews has enjoyed a stranglehold on his District 39 seat for nearly four decades, his retirement is almost sure to touch off a heated race for the post.

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