SLED chief for expunging minor violations, not for marijuana …

SLED Chief Mark Keel.

Mark Keel, chief of the State Law Enforcement Division, said he favors legislation that would expunge the record for minor violations, but he opposes the Medical Marijuana bill being considered by the General Assembly.

Keel spoke Tuesday morning at the Greater Cayce-West Columbia Chamber of Commerce Breakfast meeting at Columbia Metropolitan Airport.

Keel said he has communicated with Ted Pitts, head of the S.C. Chamber of Commerce. Keel said there is agreement among business owners that it would be beneficial to wipe the record clean for offenses that include disorderly conduct, misdemeanor fraudulent check writing and many other smaller, non-violent infractions.

Keel said no serious crimes should be expunged, especially offenses related to violence.

Keel said thousands of records are expunged already to help with employment of individuals who are not deemed to be a risk.

Keel also said he is not in favor of a medical marijuana bill being considered in South Carolina.

Keel demonstrating with a list of the number of offenses on the books. (Photos by Terry Ward)

He said the bill being proposed would require a recommendation from a doctor, not a prescription. The marijuana would be distributed in two ounces in a two-week period to smoke for chronic pain.

Keel said marijuana is still not legal under federal law. He also said if marijuana is a being considered as a drug the Federal Drug Administration should be the approving agency, not the state legislature.

Keel cited Arizona as as state where marijuana is found to be prevalent in more fatal traffic accidents than alcohol.

Keel also said worker absenteeism and workers compensation claims are higher among marijuana users.

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