Of the many issues before South Dakota lawmakers this Legislative session, Marijuana is one of them. The question no: is it time that our state makes changes to its medical marijuana laws? This one, House Bill 1227 is leaving some questioning its success.
This week, members of the Health and Human Services committee are expected to vote on the medical marijuana issue which has lawmakers divided.
HB 1227 calls for allowing those, charged with possessing small amounts of marijuana, to defend themselves in court by arguing they need it for medical reasons.
It was brought forward by current and former members of law enforcement who now serve in the South Dakota Legislature.
Representative Anne Hajek weighs in.
“It is a concern that we would take the medical marijuana and allow people to have it, use it as a defense. if they are arrested or caught with it,” Rep. Anne Hajek said.
Hajek calls the measure a ‘slippery slope’ saying it’s not a road our state should be going down at this time.
Attorney General Marty Jackley agrees.
“The dangers of marijuana whether medical or recreational it’s a gateway drug to more dangerous drugs, strong addiction, a lot of violence, and a lot of law enforcement problems come with medical and recreational use of marijuana,” Jackley said.
Hajek knows this type of measure could easily be abused and, while we can, we should be incarcerating those involved with producing and trafficking around our state instead.
“I’ve had a number of people, a number of people, who have worked in drug and rehab treatment centers who say don’t open that door. That’s where I am on it. I know there are a lot of people who disagree but many who agree,” Hajek said.
Attorney General Jackley said South Dakota voters have already said no, twice, to legalizing medical marijuana in the state: Once in 2006, again in 2010.
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