S.D. lawmakers pass measure to allow medical marijuana
UPDATED 8:10 PM PT – Thursday, March 11, 2021
South Dakota moved to legalize medical marijuana after a dispute between the House and Senate to delay the process. On Wednesday, South Dakota Legislature could not agree on a way to rework a House bill that intended to push back the timeline to allow medical marijuana to late 2022.
Because of the dispute, Initiated Measure 46 will take effect July 1, 2021, and will legalize the use of marijuana for people with debilitating health conditions. This includes cancer, anorexia and anxiety.
Gov. Kristi Noem (R-S.D.) said she is most concerned about the provisions that allow people to grow marijuana at home.
“So that is the challenge,” Noem stated. “The amount of conditions that it can be prescribed for. Once a doctor writes that prescription, an unlimited amount of plants can be grown at home and how do we contain that and not make sure it is being utilized for different purposes?”
About 70 percent of voters in the 2020 elections were in favor of legalizing marijuana for recreational and medical use. However, Noem has opposed recreational marijuana and a decision on that is now pending in court.