South Dakota Senate Authorizes Lawmakers To Set Medical Pot Conditions

South Dakota Senate Authorizes Lawmakers To Set Medical Pot Conditions
High Times

Lawmakers in South Dakota on Thursday took a step toward making significant changes to the state’s medical cannabis program. The Republican-controlled state Senate approved a bill that would broaden the list of qualifying conditions for a medical marijuana prescription, while also transferring the power to set those conditions from the South Dakota Department of Health to the state legislature. The bill passed by a vote of 20-15, according to local news station KELO, and the legislation now moves to the state House of Representatives, where Republicans also maintain a sizable majority.  Under South Dakota’s medical cannabis law, a patient with one of the following “debilitating conditions” may use medical cannabis once he or she obtains approval from the Department of Health: A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces one or more of the following: cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe, debilitating pain; severe nausea; seizures; or severe and persistent muscle spasms.  The legislation that was approved by the state Senate on Thursday would broaden the list of debilitating conditions to also include the following: Acquired immune deficiency syndrome or positive status for human immunodeficiency virus; Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis; Multiple sclerosis; Cancer or its treatment, if associated with Crohn’s disease; Epilepsy and seizures; Glaucoma; or Post-traumatic stress disorder.  The bill also removes language in the law that gives the Department of Health the authority to determine which debilitating conditions will be covered.  The measure was endorsed by a special legislative committee charged with providing oversight to the state’s medical cannabis law, which was approved by voters in 2020.  The chair of that committee, Republican state Sen. Erin Tobin, “said taking away the department’s authority to set conditions and putting it with lawmakers instead gave her more confidence to prescribe medical marijuana for a patient,” KELO reported. …

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