A bill to greatly expand the list of conditions that qualify an individual to become a medical marijuana patient has been passed by South Dakota’s full legislature.
Senate Bill 1 was passed by the House in a close 36 to 32 vote earlier this month. The Senate quickly approved the finalized version of the bill themselves by a vote of 19 to 15. Passage in both chambers puts the measure before Governor Kristi Noem who now has the option of signing it into law, allowing it to become law without a signature, or vetoing it.
The proposed law, filed by Senator Ernie Otten, would expands the number of eligible patients by explicitly allowing medical marijuana for those diagnosed with:
- AIDS/HIV, ALS
- multiple sclerosis
- cancer (or who are undergoing chemotherapy)
- Crohn’s disease
- post-traumatic stress
Under current law medical marijuana is only allowed for those with a “debilitating medical condition,” defined by state law as “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, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis”.
Although the move change is supported by proponents of medical marijuana, most oppose a provision in the legislation that repeals the ability for patients and others to petition health department officials to add additional qualifying conditions in the future. Instead, only the state’s legislature will be allowed to add new medical conditions to the state’s medical marijuana program.
The full text of Senate Bill 1 can be found by clicking here.