KDLT Home KDLT on Facebook KDLT on Twitter Get the KDLT iPhone App Get the KDLT Android App

SD Lawmakers Debate Medical Marijuana



Bookmark and Share

On Tuesday the health and human services committee is scheduled to vote on an issue that has South Dakota legislators divided. The measure calls for letting people who are charged with possessing small amounts of marijuana to be able to defend themselves in court by arguing they need it for medical reasons.
    
The second legislative coffee for the 88th session of the South Dakota Legislature started out with quick responses to questions, then on to the next question. But there’s one measure that got lawmakers talking- a measure that would let people who are found with small amounts of marijuana defend themselves if it’s used for medical purposes.

State Rep. Anne Hajek said there is no need to fix something that isn’t broken.

"Our medical community is doing just fine with the options available to them. And I think this is just an excuse,” said State Rep. Anne Hajek.

An excuse she said will only open a door for more problems.

(It's) a gateway drug, and you will find no hard criminal drug users with something other than marijuana,” said Hajek.

But the biggest reason Hajek won’t support the measure is that there’s already leeway for those who say they are using marijuana for medical reasons.

“Prosecutorial digression, if someone is in a cancer state, I'm guessing there aren't too many prosecutors in this state that are going to go after them,” said Hajek.

State Rep. Marc Feinstein doesn’t quite agree.

“To do it for medical purposes, I think, that's a noble goal,” said State Rep. Marc Feinstein.

But Feinstein also said it may reduce stress for those who already use it, knowing what could potentially happen.

"Sometimes the right thing for their health may involve a criminal act, but if we can make it a legitimate defermative offense, I think it’s a positive step forward," said Feinstein.

But both agree, this measure could help take a closer look at South Dakota’s criminal justice system.

"Really it’s a positive step in reducing what happens in our criminal justice system,” said Feinstein.

“We do need to look at treatment issues and taking care of people, and incarceration is not the answer,” said Hajek.
Current and former law enforcement officers who also serve on the South Dakota Legislature proposed the measure.

< Prev Story Back To Top Next Story >
     

British Singer Joe Cocker Dies At 70

British singer Joe Cocker is dead at age 70.     His ...

South Dakota Deputy Among 19 Carnegie Heroes

A Hamlin County deputy who helped save a man and his 9-year-old son from drowning after their canoe ...

Avon Woman Dies In Crash Near Tyndall

An Avon woman died on Sunday in a two vehicle crash on S. D. Highway 37, six miles south of ...

Ian Keisacker Has Passed Away  Dec. 22

The Daily Scoop 12-22-2014  story with video  Dec. 22

Sioux Falls Casino Robbed By Armed Suspect  Dec. 22

Light Display Honors Deceased Husband  story with video  Dec. 21

SD Trying To Lure Lawyers Into Rural Practice  Dec. 21

Shopping Rush May Continue Till Christmas Eve  Dec. 21

Local Christmas Tree Farm Closed For Season  Dec. 21

Angel Tree Shines Light On Sioux Falls Agency  story with video  Dec. 21

Florida Police Officer Fatally Shot  Dec. 21

Firefighters To Give Toys To Hospitalized Children  Dec. 21

Woman Sentenced For Using Personal Data  Dec. 21

Freeman Nonprofit Explores $15M Arts Center  Dec. 21

USDA: SD Nov. Milk Production Increases  Dec. 21

SD Historical Society To Host NASA Webcast  Dec. 21

Officer Fatally Shoots Man In Rapid City  Dec. 21

MOA Officials 'Disappointed' With Protestors  Dec. 20

Reactions To Sony Cancelling, "The Interview"  story with video  Dec. 20

KDLT News Archive
     

Local Christmas Tree Farm Closed For Season

If you still don't have a Christmas tree, you might ...

Light Display Honors Deceased Husband  story with video

Decorating a home for the holidays has taken on a whole ...

Florida Police Officer Fatally Shot

Florida authorities say a police officer was shot and ...

Ian Keisacker Has Passed Away  Dec. 22

Woman Sentenced For Using Personal Data  Dec. 21

Shopping Rush May Continue Till Christmas Eve  Dec. 21

Avon Woman Dies In Crash Near Tyndall  Dec. 22

Officer Fatally Shoots Man In Rapid City  Dec. 21

KDLT News Archive
     

Heat Recall Skyforce Andre Dawkins  story with video

MIAMI, FL – The Miami HEAT announced today that they have recalled guard ...

Big Turnout For Snowfox Candy Cane Classic  story with video

SIOUX FALLS, S. D.   --  The three day Snowfox Candy Cane Classic swim ...

Comeback Coyotes Win At Montana  story with video

MISSOULA, Mont. —Tyler Larson scored six of his team-high 15 points in ...

USD Tops North Dakota For 7th Straight Win  story with video  Dec. 21

Jacks Work Overtime For Dramatic Win At Utah State  story with video  Dec. 21

Jacks Down Utah State To Win World Vision Classic  story with video  Dec. 21

PENTAGON CLASSIC: O'Gorman Tops Western Christian, Washington Falls  story with video  Dec. 20

O'Gorman Boys Bounce Back Against Watertown  story with video  Dec. 20

KDLT Sports Stories
     
Back To Top