South Dakota to Prohibit Medical Cannabis Use by Law Enforcement

A South Dakota legislative rules review committee ruled that the state can prohibit the use of medical cannabis by police officers and 911 dispatchers.

Full story after the jump.

The South Dakota Legislature’s Rules Review Committee on Monday determined that the state’s Law Enforcement Officers Standard and Training Commission can prohibit medical cannabis use by members of law enforcement and 911 dispatchers, KELO reports. The ruling comes despite a provision in the state’s medical cannabis law that prevents state boards and commissions from penalizing for cannabis use.

Republican Rep. Jon Hansen, who voted to accept the package with the committee’s three other GOP members, said allowing medical cannabis use by law enforcement could cause problems if an officer involved in a shooting were to test positive for cannabis.

Rep. Kevin Jensen, another Republican member of the committee, noted that it is illegal for a firearm dealer to sell a gun to someone who admits on the federal form to using cannabis or other controlled substances.

Last month, a federal bill was introduced that would allow individuals with medical cannabis IDs – and those in states where cannabis is legalized – access to firearms.

The package was opposed by Senate Democratic leader Troy Heinert and his colleague Rep. Ryan Cwach.

In November, South Dakotans voted to approve both medical and adult-use cannabis reforms; however, the latter is being challenged in the state’s Supreme Court, which heard arguments in the case late last month.

The plaintiffs in the case are two law enforcement officers who filed the challenge at the behest of Republican Gov. Kristi Noem. In February, a lower court invalidated the reforms ruling that the amendment violated state law by dealing with multiple issues.

The medical cannabis reforms, though, are expected to take effect as planned on July 1.

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