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South Dakota lawmakers’ panel wants home-cultivated medical cannabis to be illegal, contrary to IM 26

The Legislature’s medical-marijuana subcommittee voted 6-4 Wednesday to overturn a key part of Initiated Measure 26 and make home-cultivated cannabis illegal in South Dakota.

But the panel fell one aye short of recommending the repeal of part of another state law that affects medical practitioners.

Physicians currently are required to say that their patients are likely to receive a therapeutic or palliative benefit when a patient applies for a medical card from the state Department of Health.

The South Dakota Association of Healthcare Organizations however wants it removed. The subcommittee’s vote was 5-4. That meant it failed because a majority of six was needed from its 11 members.

The recommendations go next in the coming weeks to the Legislature’s full marijuana-study committee for a second vote on whether they should advance to the 2022 legislative session.

Representative Fred Deutsch said he wasn’t comfortable with the change for physicians.

“We have a diagnosis-based medical system,” Deutsch, a retired chiropractor, said. Removing the requirement would make physicians “just a front” and would do “a great disservice to our public.” He added, “Let’s not turn our medical into a recreational program.” [Read more at Keloland]

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