South Dakota anti-pot lawmaker receives medical weed card to test system
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South Dakota anti-pot lawmaker receives medical weed card to test system

Fred Deutsch, a longtime opponent of marijuana in South Dakota (R-Florence), has worked to narrow the medical cannabis system for the state as much as possible. Now that he has a card, Deutsch wants to test it. Who is this guy, anyway? Deutsch urged fellow representatives to vote against a measure adding several qualifying conditions to state’s medical marijuana program, including post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and fought other provisions such as popup clinics. Deutsch told The Dakota Scout that he obtained a South Dakota medical cannabis card, but not to buy cannabis. Deutsch told The Dakota Scout he got a South Dakota medical marijuana card, but he didn’t buy any cannabis. KOTA reports that the Tea Party Republican had expressed his concerns in an earlier interview about the details of the medical cannabis system of the state. Each laboratory allows us to see the results of the laws that they have written. This should be a concern for everyone. Come on. If we’re talking about medical marijuana, we should allow people that really need it to have access to it, and we should prevent people that don’t need it from getting access to it as well.”Deustch also said that he aims to eliminate home growing altogether and only allow dispensaries to distribute, where cannabis can be tested and approved, to ensure that the black market is kept under control.The vast majority of dispensaries–medical and adult-use–are checking patrons for ID. South Dakota is unique among states because its adult-use marijuana law was approved, then overturned. South Dakota legalized medical cannabis in 2021. However, cannabis can only be bought by patients with medical cannabis card. Despite voting to approve a challenged bill for adult-use marijuana two years earlier, voters in South Dakota for the second time rejected a measure for legalizing adult-use marijuana in 2022. A majority of South Dakota voters also approved a ballot initiative to legalize adult use cannabis. According to election records, Constitutional Amendment A received 54% of the votes. A lawsuit filed by Gov. Kristi Noem, two highway patrol officers and the South Dakota Supreme Court prevented the voter-approved bill from ever being implemented. The South Dakota Supreme Court ruled in 2021 that the measure could not be implemented as it violated a requirement for constitutional amendments to deal with only one subject. Since then, Deutsch is working to narrow down the scope of the medical cannabis program. The Senate Health and Human Services Committee, however, rejected HB1129 and HB1172 in February of last year.


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