Even Conservative Republican Voters in South Carolina Want Medical Marijuana Legalized Says New Voter Poll

South Carolina voters on medical marijuana

GOP voters want medical cannabis legalized in South Carolina, new poll finds

According to a recent surveymost Republicans and more than three in four adults in South Carolina supports legalization of medical marijuana. A slightly lower percentage in the state also supports legalizing recreational cannabis use.

The latest survey results were released months after a medical examination measure of marijuana in south carolina passed the Senate but failed to advance to the House of Representatives.

The South Carolina House of Representatives successfully ended seven years of attempts to pass what was considered the nation’s toughest medical cannabis law in May, ending the latest attempt at legislative reform. Lawmakers rejected the proposal based on a technicality of sales tax.

Finally, according to South Carolina Rep. Nancy Mace, it’s time for our state to move forward with the legalization of medical marijuana. Nancy Mace is a strong supporter of reform. She also advanced her legalization bill, the States Reform Act (SRA), in 2021. The reform is supported by the “vast majority of South Carolinians,” she added.

According to a representative of the Republican State, those who oppose the reform are “on the wrong side of history”.

Winthrop Poll Results

54% of Americans support the legalization of recreational cannabis, according to the Winthrop poll, which was conducted ahead of this month’s midterm elections. However, 78% of individuals support the legalization of cannabis for medical use.

In the medical marijuana debate, a large majority of both major parties support reform, with 71% Republicans and 82% Democrats in favor. When it came to legalizing adult use, there was a larger gap, with Democrats supporting the policy change to a greater extent (67%) than Republicans (only 39%).

Scott Huffmon, director of the Winthrop poll, says “support for medical marijuana has spread in South Carolina, with significant majorities from both parties endorsing it.” However, there was a significant split between parties, although just over half of respondents favored the legalization of recreational marijuana.

To achieve this result, the survey was conducted between October 22 and November 8, and 1,298 registered adults from South Carolina participated in interviews for the survey. The vote would have a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percentage points.

Impact of Cannabis Legalization on South Carolina Politics

Marijuana legalization has impacted South Carolina’s gubernatorial race, as incumbent Henry McMaster (R) beat former Democratic congressman Joe Cunningham to win the election. Because Cunningham supported the legalization of marijuana, McMaster tried to convince voters not to support him. Cunningham also lost his bid for re-election to the House of Representatives in 2020 to now become a representative. Nancy Mace (R-SC), who is a leading proponent of marijuana legalization and introduced legislation to do so last year.

It’s time for our state to move forward with the legalization of medical marijuana, Mace said in an interview with Marijuana Moment last week. She added that the “overwhelming majority of South Carolinians” support reform.

South Carolina Republican Party Chairman Drew McKissick voiced his objection to Cunningham’s proposal to legalize cannabis for medical and recreational purposes and claimed the Democratic candidate was “playing with fire” in endorsing the idea .

But interestingly, a Republican lawmaker from South Carolina defended Cunningham last year. At the time, Rep. Tom Davis (R) argued that his own party’s attitude was ‘intellectually lazy’ and ‘doesn’t even bother to provide proven facts as they exist’ on cannabis medical.

A Davis-sponsored medical cannabis legalization initiative earlier this year passed the state Senate with broad bipartisan support. Yet it was blocked in the House due to a procedural problem. Later he tried a different path for reform, but it failed.

“One of the most conservative medical marijuana proposals in the country has been technically defeated; it needs to be brought back to a vote and passed. That would be my suggestion to state lawmakers,” Mace told Marijuana last week. Moment If you oppose sensible changes like State Sen. Tom Davis’ Compassionate Care Act, you’re on the wrong side of history.

According to a previous poll in February, voters in South Carolina were five to one in favor of legalizing medical marijuana.

For his part, McMaster has repeatedly opposed legalizing marijuana for adult use, calling it a “horrible idea” that isn’t “sane” in 2017. And while the vast majority of his party agrees that patients should have access to medical cannabis, the governor has been ambivalent about other ideas, not supporting Davis’ measure earlier this year.

If the legislation made it to his desk, he said he would have to consider “a lot of things” carefully before deciding whether to support or oppose it.

The Current State of Cannabis Legalization in South Carolina

South Carolina is one of 13 states that prohibit the use of marijuana. However, some state officials and doctors continue to advocate for the legalization of medical marijuana. They claim it may be a better treatment for patients with serious illnesses than some pharmaceutical drugs.

In South Carolina, marijuana is not legal. Recreational use is not permitted. Low-THC/high-CBD oil is legal, but farmers and processors must obtain licenses and permits.

Medical cannabis containing no more than 0.9% THC is acceptable for patients with some seizure disorders that have not improved with conventional treatment.

The penalties for marijuana in South Carolina are relatively severe:

    • A first conviction for recreational use is also a misdemeanor, with consequences ranging from a year in jail to a $2,000 fine.

In 2018, South Carolina had the second highest number of marijuana arrests in the nation, with 34,229 arrests.


The legalization of recreational and medical marijuana in South Carolina is moving slowly. Indeed, the modification of the legislation requires a legislative act, which is held once a year. It may meet more than once a year to discuss specific legislation. And more importantly, the state does not have an electoral initiative process, hence the slowness of the process. However, the silver lining is that cannabis acceptance continues to grow in the state, and sooner or later full legalization will take place in South Carolina.

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