Key US senator says he’s open to medical marijuana legalization

Lindsey Graham, a leading U.S. Republican senator, opposes the marijuana legalization measure passed on Friday by the U.S. House of Representatives but said he’s open to legalizing medical cannabis.

That might be an important message not only in terms of possible pathways to federal reform but also might resonate in Graham’s home state of South Carolina, where state lawmakers are considering legalizing medical marijuana.

“Medical marijuana, I’ve heard from many people in our state, seems to have some value,” Graham told Charleston, South Carolina, TV station WCSC on Friday.

“If you can show me, and I think there’s evidence that it is helpful, then the medical marijuana idea I’d be open to.”

Hours earlier, the U.S. House passed for the second time in its history a comprehensive federal marijuana legalization bill called the MORE Act.

The measure has little chance of passing in the Senate, experts say, where it would need the support of at least 10 Republicans.

Even in the larger House, only three Republicans supported the bill.

In South Carolina, medical cannabis legalization is making progress.

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The state Senate passed a restrictive measure called the South Carolina Compassionate Care Act in February.

The bill is on Thursday’s agenda of South Carolina’s House Medical, Military, Public and Municipal Affairs Committee after receiving a favorable recommendation by the Health and Environmental Affairs Subcommittee.