As with a number of other states, South Dakota will be voting on the question of whether marijuana should be legalized for the use of those who need it for medical reasons. This is on the ballot as Initiated Measure 13.
And no, for any who are interested, the fact that federal laws would supposedly trump state laws is not part of the basis of my thinking. As someone who believes that the federal government should get out of many areas of our lives in accordance with its enumerated constitutional role, I am fine with the state establishing law on this measure.
Among other things, the measure would allow individuals who need the marijuana for pain relief to designate someone else as their pharmacist, as it were. Limits are set for how much of the drug can be kept on hand, etc. As many have noted, the probabilities for abuse are extremely high (no pun intended). Why not simply have the marijuana available via a regular pharmacist with a prescription? Of course, we can essentially already do that with THC pills.
To my understanding, this is a solution in search of a problem. There really is no such thing as medical marijuana (just as there is no such thing as medical whiskey). Many different products may be used for medical purposes, but that does not change their primary use. The primary use of marijuana in the United States today is for recreation/buzz/relaxation–not medication.
If one wanted to write a measure that would broadly legalize the use of marijuana (much as tobacco is legal, well, somewhat) then one could maker a stronger case for passing it. The present measure, however, would seem to be one thing masquerading as something else.
Vote “No” on Initiated Measure 13.