In a press release to S.C. media, Kevin Tolson, President of the South Carolina Sheriffs Association and York County Sheriff states he opposes legislation aimed at legalizing medical marijuana.
I’m writing to you personally because you need to know where law enforcement stands on an issue that’s making its way around the South Carolina statehouse. “To cut right to the chase, I am strongly against the bills trying to legalize “medical” marijuana in South Carolina. Simply put, it’s a dangerous idea, says Tolson.
I understand supporters of this bill are seeking to bring comfort and relief to friends and family members who are suffering from debilitating illnesses. I have extreme compassion for those individuals, but I can’t endorse or even ignore the attempt to provide relief through illegal methods, especially when those attempts will jeopardize public safety.
Tolson adds, “Marijuana is an illegal substance. It’s not medicine.”
He writes: Despite law enforcement’s best efforts, South Carolina consistently ranks among the worst states in the nation for drunk drivers. Impaired driving will only be further exacerbated if “medical” marijuana is legalized. Methods that determine the presence of THC in the bloodstream exist, but additional processes are needed to determine an exact level of impairment.
So, if this bill passes and “medical” marijuana becomes legal, law enforcement will have no way to legally determine impairment based upon THC or be able to successfully prosecute drivers who have it in their blood. Since marijuana remains federally illegal, marijuana-based companies largely operate in cash only. So, these businesses are far more susceptible to armed robberies. And collecting and remitting taxes based on proceeds that stem from the sale of federally illegal products becomes problematic.