GOP legislators to introduce medical marijuana bills

In this February 2014 file photo, Aileen Burger loads an oral syringe with cannabis-infused oil used to treat her 4-year-old daughter Elizabeth, who suffers from severe epilepsy, at her home in Colorado Springs, Colo. Legislators in South Carolina plan to introduce a bill that would permit certain medical uses of marijuana.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Republican legislators in conservative South Carolina expect to introduce bills next month allowing marijuana to be grown and prescribed for certain illnesses.

State Sen. Tom Davis and Rep. Jenny Horne say lawmakers need to give patients access to the plant’s healing properties in a controlled, legal way.

The two co-chairs of a medical marijuana study panel said Thursday they will file identical bills in their chambers in the coming weeks.

One would provide better access to a non-psychoactive oil derived from marijuana.

Last year, the Legislature approved letting people who suffer from severe epilepsy use oil to control their seizures. Davis says lawmakers need to follow-up by regulating the growth, testing and dispensing of the oil.

The bill expanding marijuana’s allowed medical uses will be a tougher sell.