South Dakota Fails to Ban Medical Cannabis In Schools & Public Parks

A South Dakota bill that would have prevented the use of medical cannabis on school grounds or in public recreational places has failed in the Senate.

Full story after the jump.

A South Dakota bill that would have restricted medical cannabis use from preschools, public and non-public school property, and any outdoor public recreation areas failed to pass the state Senate in a 20-12 vote, KELO reports. The measure would have also eliminated the authority of the state Department of Education to set guidelines for medical cannabis use in schools and allow individual schools to ban its use entirely.

Republican state Sen. David Wheeler said that the Education Department had already spent considerable time developing rules around medical cannabis in schools and that the measure would have thrown all of that out.

“…And then we’re going to treat medical marijuana differently than we treat every other drug, because now schools can just say ‘no, we’re not going to allow you to use this.’” – Wheeler via KELO

Republican state Sen. Jim Stalzer said the state’s medical cannabis law, which was approved by voters in 2020, requires schools to allow medical cannabis use, and the proposal gave both public and private schools the choice of whether to opt-out of those rules.

Lawmakers in South Dakota have been eyeing changes to the state’s medical cannabis law, which was approved by 70% of voters in the state. Last month, senators voted 25 to 10 to strip affirmative defense provisions from the law.

Affirmative defense provisions allow patients caught by police possessing cannabis products to get out of the charges by demonstrating a medical need for cannabis, even if they don’t yet have their medical card.

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