A South Carolina bill would legalize medical marijuana in the state, effectively nullifying the unconstitutional federal prohibition on the same.

Introduced by State Rep. Todd Rutherford, House Bill 3140 (H3140) sets up a state regulatory regime that would allow medical marijuana to make its way into the hands of the sick, something that unconstitutional federal law says is illegal.

Under H3140, qualifying patients would be allowed to apply for a medical marijuana registry card effective for one year. A patient would qualify if medical marijuana is found “medically necessary to address a debilitating medical condition.”

The bill would set limits for the amount a patient could possess, two ounces and six plants, while protecting patients, physicians, and caregivers, from state prosecution through an affirmative defense.

The Department of Health and Environmental Control would create a confidential registry of patients who had applied. Anyone who disclosed patient information from this registry, including public employees and local law enforcement, would be guilty of a misdemeanor, punishable by a five hundred dollars fine and/or six months imprisonment.


The federal government currently lists marijuana as a Schedule I narcotic and attempts to prohibit it for any purpose. Tenth Amendment Center national communications director Mike Maharrey says this clearly violates the Constitution.

“The Constitution delegates no power to the federal government to prohibit marijuana in the states. This power remains with the state governments and the people. Doubt me? Then ask yourself why it required a constitutional amendment to prohibit alcohol. There is no fundamental difference,” Maharrey said.

As more states take marijuana policy into their own hands, defying the federal prohibition, the federal government has become increasingly incapable of enforcing its unconstitutional prohibition. They simply lack the resources to stop the tidal wave. For those concerned about the health care and personal choices of people living in Virginia, this cannot come too soon.

Medical marijuana is an incredibly important issue pertaining to nullification and states’ rights. Because it is so overwhelmingly popular, medical marijuana can act as a metaphorical ‘gateway drug’ to the idea of state and local resistance to onerous federal laws. With this issue, it is possible to show the residents of your state that local control better serves the needs of the people than the top-down federal approach that has failed for so many decades.

Although it draws a legal distinction between recreational and medical marijuana, H3140 marks an enormous step in the right direction for both medical marijuana supporters and advocates of decentralized government in the state of South Carolina. It signals that the public is ready to throw off the shackles of ‘federal supremacy’ and take lawmaking into their own hands.


In South Carolina: Take the steps listed AT THIS LINK, to help support H3140.

In Other States: Contact your state legislators and politely demand that they introduce bills that push back against prohibition on medical or recreational cannabis. Start here.

TJ Martinell