New polls on cannabis
Libertarians have long been in favor of legalizing marijuana. Much of the effort to legalize marijuana has come from libertarian leaning Republicans. More recently, some establishment Republicans have started to embrace the idea. Even in the South, marijuana decriminalization is becoming popular. South Carolina has already passed a bill allowing people with certain medical conditions, like epilepsy, to posses Cannabis Oil. Recently bipartisan bills have been introduced to legalize medical marijuana and decriminalize the possession of marijuana for recreational/self-medicating use.
Presently South Carolina arrests over 15,000 people a year for possession of an ounce or less of marijuana. Each person is charged with a misdemeanor and faces up to thirty days in jail. This means that arresting people for small amounts of marijuana has become one of the leading functions of law enforcement in the state. The sponsors of the South Carolina House Bill 3117 say this a gross waste of police resources. The bill would make it illegal for police to make arrests for an ounce or less of marijuana. Instead they could issue citations for up to $200.