At a percentage ratio of 65:35 South Dakota voters have once again said no to the legalization of medical marijuana within the state. Even more disheartening is the fact that four years ago, 48% supported allowing those with debilitating medical conditions legal access to cannabis as opposed to the 35% who expressed there support for the bill yesterday.
The reason most opponents gave was the fear that legalizing marijuana for medical use would lead to an increase of cannabis use by those who had no medical requirement. This despite the fact that South Dakota’s proposed medical marijuana regulationswas more restrictive than those in other states; for instance, there would have been no storefront dispensaries in the state as patients or their designated care givers would have to grow and harvest their own marijuana. Those would have benefited from the bill would be sufferers of medical conditions such as:
- Lou Gehrig’s disease
- Chronic pain
- Severe nausea
- Muscle spasms or seizures.
Vermillion Police Chief Art Mabry said he was glad to see the measure fail because the burden of enforcement would fall on police officials, which would strain already stretched budgets. He admits, however, that ‘given the small measure of failure last time’ he is somewhat surprised at the outcome.
South Dakota is the only state to ban medical marijuana twice, which Mabry says ‘sends a strong message about the morals of South Dakota voters.’ I suspect that how you interpret the message depends on which side of the fence you sit.