Former Democratic congressman Joe Cunningham, 39, announced his run to unseat South Carolina Republican Gov. Henry McMaster—with the promise to legalize medical and adult-use cannabis in his state. He believes that by doing so, the state could offer healthcare options and rake in potentially millions in tax revenue.
In one of the least cannabis-friendly states in the nation, legalizing both medical and adult-use cannabis would lead to drastic changes, given the state’s deeply embedded Southern culture. But Cunningham believes that the state is ready for change.
“This is going to be a game changer in South Carolina,” Cunningham told The Associated Press. “There are so many reasons why we need to do this, and the time is now.”
Cunningham became the first in decades to flip a South Carolina congressional seat from red to blue in 2018. Two years later, he narrowly lost the 1st Congressional District to Republican challenger Nancy Mace during the same night of several other GOP wins across South Carolina.
Cannabis is the only way forward if you want to win, the candidate said. “People are behind it, and politicians need to get behind it, too,” said Cunningham. State Law Enforcement Division Chief Mark Keel and other leaders pushed against