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SD Family Coalition for Compassion Releases Medical Marijuana Bill Draft

South Dakota Family Coalition for Compassion has released its draft legislation to legalize medical marijuana in South Dakota. SDFCC's Melissa Mentele tells me her group is still seeking a legislative sponsor to throw this bill's 26 pages and 23 sections in the hopper.

The bill requires some reading; SDFCC could reduce that reading by cutting the Findings section, which takes up nearly a full page with text that has no legal effect. Findings are better saved for committee testimony and marketing. Use them for persuasion, not to clutter up the law books.

The bill allows any registered patient or caregiver to carry up to 2.0 ounces of cannabis. Registered cultivators may possess three cannabis plants kept in an enclosed, locked facility.

Not knowing the ins and outs of the cannabis industry, I perhaps do not fully grasp the need for the complexity of this bill. This bill strikes me as a rather complex solution—creating a new state registry and rules for one medicinal product—compared to the seemingly more straightforward policy of declaring it legal for physicians to prescribe cannabis and cannabis-based drugs (boom! one sentence, right?). But letting doctors write prescriptions doesn't solve anything if patients can't get those prescriptions filled. This medical-marijuana bill thus has to legalize a system of production. As a promoter of small business and independent agriculture, I can appreciate this proposal's effort to open the door for small producers to provide useful medical products and compete with Big Pharma.

But I wonder: will our legislators feel any need to take up complicated medical marijuana legislation if the tribes take advantage of the Justice Department's new reservation-pot policy and make the reservations safe havens for marijuana cultivation and use? Perhaps legislators will say, "Don't bother us; go see the 'medicine man' in Flandreau."

The 2015 Session of the South Dakota Legislature begins today. Governor Dennis Daugaard will blow some smoke in his State of the State Address at 1 p.m. Central; then we'll see if any legislators take up the call to let folks with cancer, glaucoma, and other ailments enjoy some soothing leafy smoke.


  1. larry kurtz 2015.01.13

    How ridiculous.

  2. JeniW 2015.01.13

    Cory, if the proposed bill is submitted to the LRC, wouldn't the LRC edit it, and leave out the parts that are not pertinent to the bill itself?

  3. Steve Hickey 2015.01.13

    Yes to the LRC question.

    Melissa, I stated I'm increasingly open to cannabis extracts but not to plants and smoking. No way to regulate dosage and law enforcement has legit issues, in my view. In chatting this weekend with a neurologist about your bill, she says no way, and she besides she lready prescribes canniboid drugs. Why aren't those enough?

  4. caheidelberger Post author | 2015.01.13

    JeniW, I would hope so... although the Abortion Task Force got to write all sorts of "Findings" into state law in 2005 (see SDCL 34-23A).

    Rep. Hickey, cannaboid drugs are already legal? Then indeed, I would share your question: what medical benefit is gained by the use of cannabis products considered in this bill that is not already available in the status quo? Is the focus of this bill making the treatment available without contributing to the profits of Big Pharma?

  5. JeniW 2015.01.13

    Cory, based on what little review I did, Maritol (an extract of marijuana, which is THC is legal, and has been used for years - I heard that from a doctor,) is more expensive than the marijuana that is sold to smoke.

  6. larry kurtz 2015.01.13

    Governor Daugaard: it's time to pardon Bob Newland.

  7. Melissa Mentele 2015.01.13

    Pastor Hickey I will first address your concerns. As I stated in the emails we have exchanged an extract only bill is not the right option. There is a very very limited population that kind of bill would help. In an effort to make this as easy to understand as possible to you I will tell you an extract only bill will help about 20% of children with intractable epilepsy. That # decreases as each child has different needs and the vital cannaboids THC and THCa are needed to work in synergy with the CBD. If those components are not available to work together you have just essentially passed a worthless bill. The rest of the patient population is completely shut out of access to cannabis. I understand you are a reader and like to learn so I am going to email you several reputable sources on cannabis information. I also cannot believe that a Neurologist told you no. I have a hard time believing that considering the use of cannabis is endorsed by the Epilepsy Foundation and the AMA. Its research and success stories are being followed very closely by Neurologists worldwide.
    As far as Marinol being used as broad blanket due to its synthetic cannaboids....well my only advice is to do some research before you throw your flag in that ring. It is not effective and being one of the most complex patients for pain management in the state of SD I will tell you it has come up in many conversations and the response from my physician team has been it is ineffective and is not a good option for anyone. It is also highly expensive, have numerous side effects and is synthetic. I dont see quack physicians either. My family physician of 17 years is a well recognized physician and is also part of USD Medical Schools teaching program, my pain management physician is a Harvard Grad with her MD coming from Weill Cornell University. I trust their judgement without question.

    As far as the bill being a bit windy you need to all look past that and see it covers EVERYTHING! It puts in place a system of setting up a safe legal and enforceable infrastructure to make legalization a smooth transition. It has timelines, penalties and is worth the read. Lawmakers have stated in the past there wasn't enough info, there were no safe guards and various other cop outs to addressing the actual issue. It would nice for once for all of them to stop thinking of reasons why to not support responsible expanded legal access and start looking at all the reasons they should support it.

    I will also throw this in the mix just because I am feeling a little defensive at the moment. If there isnt a sponsor that steps forward to put our bill in the hopper, we will spend the next 9 months collecting signatures and support to put i the expanded bill on the ballot. Yes I said expanded because if there isn't a reasonable compromise made we will pull out all the stops to get the signatures to put a larger bill on the ballot. The support is there. There are to many sick people that cannot wait any longer. Children die waiting for access to cannabis oil. For the epilepsy parents they live with the fear that any seizure could be the one that takes their childs life. So ask yourself do you want to be the one with blood on your hands because you are scared of a plant?

  8. larry kurtz 2015.01.13

    Ludicrous beyond comprehension.

  9. Melissa Mentele 2015.01.13

    Mr Kurtz what exactly is ludicrous? Your one liners are not helpful. If you have something to add then add it, otherwise walk away from your computer because you are poking a bear at this point.

  10. Melissa Mentele 2015.01.13

    I am sure there are people who just want to capitalize on legalization and feel that the only thing that matters is the money. For me I just want to shower without wanting to die, I want to hug my children, someday I want to hold my grandchildren, I want to go back to work caring for this states infirm and elderly, I want sick children to live, I want parents to sleep at night and not worry they will find their child deceased in their bed in the morning....the financial part means nothing to me. I have reflex sympathetic dystrophy caused by a work injury in July 2012. Put that in your Google browser and do some reading. Maybe then you will understand my motivation.

  11. larry kurtz 2015.01.13

    Yeah, right. Build a bill that looks like Minnesota's and I'll sell it.

  12. Ryan Gaddy 2015.01.13

    Melissa, we could provide all the medical evidence in the world to people on here, including Rev Hickey. . . The fact will remain that they are not Compassionate enough to allow people who are suffering the opportunity for SAFE ACCESS to Medical Cannabis. Rather than regulating and allowing the state to have full oversight, they would rather cast people to the pit. I suppose. . . We will have to storm the capitol building with a group of patients and face to face explain this. Legislators that want to avoid the conversation will not be able to hide from the people that they work for much longer. . . The voters of South Dakota will be heard. . . . rather than continue to be herded as sheeple choking on MISINFORMATION. Thank you Cory for reviewing the bill. We appreciate it! :)

  13. larry kurtz 2015.01.13


  14. Melissa Mentele 2015.01.13

    You mean the bill from my home state that is a failure and is already being contested by patients, advocates and caregivers statewide? No thank you. I have no desire to fight for legalization for the next 10 years....none what so ever. Pass a comprehensive expanded access bill the 1st time and the only issue we will have to deal with in the future is when some yahoo decides to fight for full legalization. That is not my fight. Do it right the first time.
    If you would like to talk to several people regarding the issues with MN bill email me I will hook you up with several people in MN who can educate you what is wrong with their bill and the reasons why it does not work. In fact if you have a question for any state I know someone who can answer it for you. I did my research before I started this journey and have talked to hundreds of people from patients, physicians, caregivers and growers. I would love to help you or anyone else understand why this bill works for our state.

  15. larry kurtz 2015.01.13

    Letting Marty Jackley know who has a cannabis license? No thanks.

  16. larry kurtz 2015.01.13

    The tribes can and will do this without any consideration from some earth hating legislature.

  17. Ryan Gaddy 2015.01.13

    Larry, Jackley only hunts Witch Doctors remember?(Bosworth) Why are you so afraid of our "Amazing" AG? I think after this bill passes, he won't have nearly as many cases clogging up the system. However, this bill does detail that law enforcement has the full ability to continue the bullshit drug war tactics on those that do not have a red card. Are you worried you'd be raided Larry?

  18. larry kurtz 2015.01.13

    Ryan, I live in the New Mexico high desert while my home state of South Dakota is becoming the laughing stock of the United States: your bill will not fly.

  19. Melissa Mentele 2015.01.13

    Why is full disclosure an issue? I would not care if I had to register in my own city if there was safe legal access I would put a damn yard sign up.

  20. Bill Dithmer 2015.01.13

    Melissa seems to be the only person that has a clue how cannabis works. Its not the THC, in any of its forms, and its not the CBDs either, its a combination of many, if not all the cannabonoids. What Hickey would support would no more help people like me then a baseball bat to my head. Dont get no ideas.

    What makes cannabis work is complicated. What isnt complicated is that it helps some people deal with their conditions without script drugs, or at very reduced rates.

    The only medicine known to man, safer then cannabis, is none at all. Bold statement? Until someone proves differently I feel confident making it.

    So far the only argument against is the dreaded "what ifs." While its fine asking for answers, make sure you arent over analyzing to protect your viewpoint. This isnt something new. The most current test subjects still alive started useing in the 60s, and yet the anicdultal evidence from these people is largely egnord. WHY? Thats over 50 years of research going to waste just because what they might or might not have to say wont fit the stoner mold.

    That being said the new bill wont make it out of committee.

    What if?

    The Blindman

  21. Ryan Gaddy 2015.01.13

    I do agree with you Bill. I don't go longwinded with the explanation of cannabinoids. However, the link I provided DOES. . . With MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS Like Dr William Courtney

  22. Christian 2015.01.13

    I will say there are some good points here. I have read most of the bill as written myself and find it to be less than what our state legislators will consider. There is no plan or direction just a long list of this-es and that's, basicly testimony. The bill needs to lay out a direction for all aspects from seed to sale. As a state we can take this opportunity and be an innovator in the legalization process making our state wealthy and not some big corporation.
    So... the state takes total control of production, processing, distribution. State owned green houses, facility's for oil, tenacure, and edibles production, all adding jobs. Distribution could be handled by an expanded dept of highway patrol for security and integrity reasons of course. And as far as distribution... we already have pharmacy's... just use em!
    I will be championing this idea and hopefully through due process and working together we can find a way to make access safe for anyone who chooses life over Drugs.

  23. larry kurtz 2015.01.13

    C'mon Bill: Melissa the only one who knows how cannabis works?

  24. Melissa Mentele 2015.01.13

    Christian I suggest you read the whole bill. It is seed to sale. You comments are not helpful if you dont know what you are talking about.

  25. Christian 2015.01.13

    ^there would be no tax either... all profits after expenses would go directly to the state, benefiting everyone, education, healthcare, roads & highways, and other infrastructure could all get there percentage!

  26. Bill Dithmer 2015.01.13

    No one knows Larry. But a clue is better then what most understand.

    The Blindman

  27. Melissa Mentele 2015.01.13

    What are you talking about? No tax? That right there is some pipe dream fantasy. Yes there will be a tax structure and yes the state will make its money. Why in the world would anyone consider a bill of this magnitude tax free. Sorry but that is the next generation of South Dakotans futures. Education is where the taxes should go along with helping SD Farmers & Ranchers. Family farms are being lost all over this state and our basic culture is being threatened in SD use the tax money to focus on our children, our families and SD futures.

  28. larry kurtz 2015.01.13

    Tax on medicine? GMAFB!

  29. Ryan Gaddy 2015.01.13

    You sales tax at pharmacies for pills. . . Why not this too? The tax revenue that Colorado reports are from a Rec style legalization. . .that is NOT WHAT THIS IS ABOUT in SD

  30. Melissa Mentele 2015.01.13

    I fill prescriptions to the tune 1200 a month. I pay taxes on that why wouldn't I or anyone else expect to not pay taxes on cannabis? The sir is insanity at it's finest.

  31. larry kurtz 2015.01.13

    The state of South Dakota has a 4.0% sales tax with an exemption for prescription medications. An income credit to compensate poor households may apply.

  32. Bill Dithmer 2015.01.13

    Ryan really? The site you directed me to was nothing but pot porn. It gives those in favor of legalization something to cheer about while doing nothing to educate other the wishful thinking.

    Yup, I'm long winded. Thats because while you choose to be satisfied with headlines, I'm anolitical. I have to read studies from reputable sources to help form mine. Then I take that information and combine it with not just my personal experiences but that of many others I personally know. When I'm through I make an informed decision.

    This whole movement has always been about knowledge and education, and never about what you would like to happen. If it was otherwise, cannabis would already be legal everywhere.

    If you dont educate first, it will never happen.

    The Blindman

  33. Steve Hickey 2015.01.13

    Melissa lives with a level of pain most of U.S. can't imagine.

    Melissa, don't take any of the pushback and criticism personal though it is a matter persobal to you. It'll take really thick skin to proceed with your bill.

  34. Steve Hickey 2015.01.13

    I meant most of us, not most of the U.S.. Stupid autocorrect.

  35. Ryan Gaddy 2015.01.13

    Steve Hickey, some people also live with depression that crushes their ability to do anything productive in society. That's a different kind of pain. Some people have been on antidepressants that cause suicidal thoughts and have complications from organs failing and malfunctioning by being poisoned by battery acid(Lithium Cabonate) for BiPolar disorder. Also some suffer from borderlien diabetes due to meds like ABILIFY. So why are you focusing on a physical pain manifestation schenario? Pain is pain. . . Cannabis heals pain. What do you need to see? Spell it out and quit avoiding speaking to me. I know you find me undesirable. I have quite a few friends that have told me your views on Ryan Gaddy and SDAP. But if you had ever returned my messages about a coffee meeting and spent the time to converse . . . You might find that I'm not a "Stoner Athiest Foul Mouth Pothead" as you put it in so many word. . . Come on Steve. . . I'm a voter. TALK TO ME . . . Please?

  36. larry kurtz 2015.01.13

    Lithium carbonate occurs naturally in the water found in limestone formations.

  37. Shawn K 2015.01.13

    To anyone that disagrees with medical Marijuana you are either uncompassionate or ignorant of the facts surrounding its medicinal effects. Watch the CNN documentary Weed and weed 2 by Dr. Gupta and then come back on here and say that it's not useful. THC as a cannabinoid acts differently when it is taken alone and when it is influenced by the other cannabinoids in the cannabis plant.

  38. Ryan Gaddy 2015.01.13

    Yes, Lithium carbonate is naturally occuring, but due to the potential for lithium toxicity, your blood levels must be drawn to ensure it isn't damaging your kidneys and liver. I have experienced lithium toxicity under a doctor's care. My face and fingers were tingling and I was extremely dehydrated. Cannabis toxicity is impossible. Lethal dosage is physically impossible. You cannot consume enough marijuana to kill you no matter what the ingestion method. I'm sure Bill would back up this statement. There has never been a cannabis OVERDOSE that resulted in DEATH in the HISTORY of HUMANKIND.

    See This video by Dr William Courtney

  39. larry kurtz 2015.01.13

    Look, Ryan: few here dispute the therapeutic or even the medical effectiveness of the compounds in and the palliative benefits of cannabis. Cory put this post up to add voices to the chorus who believe.

    Incrementalism is how Rep. Hickey and the anti-civil rights wing got away with codifying multiple chilling effects on women's rights. If you want to get a bill into committee with a sponsor you have to dish it out in small bites and add a dash of raising money sweetener.

  40. Jenny 2015.01.13

    You're in the wrong state, Ryan. Head to Colorado or California. It'll be years before SD legalizes any kind of cannabis. I do appreciate fighting for your rights, though.

  41. Ryan Gaddy 2015.01.13

    Sad that you have to pay them to do a job that they already are collecting a check to do . . . I do get what you are saying. I guess I just don't understand conservative logic. When proven studies by medical professionals have ABSOLUTE proof of medical value. . . Why are stuffy politicians keeping healing from people? If you can allow a DANGEROUS DRUG like OXYCONTIN to be sold at every WALMART, HYVEE and WALGREENS in the state, yet scoff at a licensed, state regulated dispensary model. . . There is a serious disconnect. See this article? This man DIED when POLITICIANS and LAW ENFORCEMENT took away medical cannabis from him midflight in his FIGHT AGAINST CANCER. If this happens in SD. . . I promise you, SDAP will file a lawsuit against the State of South Dakota in Federal court for assisting in a Negligent HOMICIDE. This PROHIBITION IS ENDING LIVES EVERY DAY! Rev Hickey of all people could appreciate a ticking clock. . . I hope you get your lung transplant sir, or pass a law to heal guys like you.

  42. Jenny 2015.01.13

    Ryan also has a good message about people judging him, when we don't even know him. He's probably a nice guy that is just out there trying to fight for what he believes in. Don't ever be ashamed of having a medical condition, Ryan. People judge others all the time. I've been on Lithium also, though it didn't effect me the way it did you, but I do know what it's like to be stereotyped. Keep on being involved in the political process, you have a right to be out there rallying for what you believe in. Be sure to vote and tell all your friends to also.

  43. Ryan Gaddy 2015.01.13

    I refuse to relocate at this time. My girlfriend's family if very rooted in the area and I love her dearly. I will not cut out my relationship to gain access to medications legally. I however will make this an issue with my government on a GRANDSCALE. You can't just tell people to move away the way Governor Daugaard and shithead Senator Rounds have told people. . . It's not RIGHT. . . I was born in California, and I've lived in SD more than half my life(Moved here at Age 11 to Ellsworth AFB) I, at this point consider the 605 my homebase.

  44. Jenny 2015.01.13

    This medical cannabis issue is just another example of how the state government of MN will work FOR the people and not go against them. Gov Dayton refused a medical cannabis law (he sided with the police forces) until enough people came to his office to visit and discuss the issue with him in earnest. As the populist he is, Dayton finally changed his mind in the end, realizing that enough people with medical conditions have truly benefited from it. MN government still has that populist spirit that works for the people. The one-rule government in SD is anti-teacher, anti-gay, anti-medical cannabis, anti-living wage, anti-progressve , anti-Native American, and etc, etc, etc.

  45. Jenny 2015.01.13

    You know Ryan, you can also go to Colorado to get a Doctor's prescription for cannabis and then just order it there. I knew a guy that did that. He lives in SD but orders it regularly from Colorado.

  46. Ryan Gaddy 2015.01.13

    @Jenny, THANK YOU :) My approach is crafted to be different than any other previous approaches in SD history. Our billboards are a historic achievement. I can say that since 1889, we have never seen POSITIVE MEDICAL CANNABIS BILLBOARDS. I don't care that an atheist broke out his checkbook to support SDAP. I can say he agrees with SDAP's message. . . however SDAP as a whole does not agree with Dale Hemming's religious preferences. It's no different than the Steve Team (Hildebrand and Hickey) in their team up against Chuck Brennan and payday loan rates. . . So if it takes a diverse group of people to change the laws in South Dakota, I SEE NO PROBLEM STANDING WITH PEOPLE THAT AGREE WITH ME. . . No matter what relgion, job title, sexual orientation, political party, etc. As Melissa has stated on several occasions, she will not personally align her group with the Sioux Falls Free Thinkers due to her religious values. But SDAP and SDFCC are preaching the same MEDICAL CANNABIS message. And together with other Groups like Embrace Medical Marijuana, Legalize South Dakota, and Legalize Black Hills. . . We will voyage to Pierre and will no longer stand for the label of "Pothead" or "Stoner". This is no different than calling a gay man a "Faggot" or a "Queer". I don't like being labeled, and I don't think anyone else does either. Labels cause division, and only through unity can we conquer the darkness of Prohibition!

  47. leslie 2015.01.13

    think about calling the jr. senator s.h. in print.

  48. bearcreekbat 2015.01.13

    Most of the advocates for legal medical marijuana in SD are fighting for everyone here, not just themselves. Hence suggesting that they move to another state, such as Colorado, simply misses the point of their goals - to help all people in South Dakota.

  49. Jaka 2015.01.13

    Kurtz-back off. I've only read 2 or 3 of your replies to Mentele and you are sickening me! She is posting info from a very personal painful experience that the rest of us need and don't need your ignorant responsorials.

  50. larry kurtz 2015.01.13

    "Jaka:" gafg.

  51. Les 2015.01.13

    I don't know Ryan Gaddy from Jack. I do know if I was a legislator he wouldn't get the time of day from me. I fully believe there is hope in medicinal MJ. Many statements here throwing callous comments are not helping any more than their opponents are.

  52. Bob Newland 2015.01.13

    There is a better bill available. It would simply allow people accused of possession of cannabis to present a defense in court that includes elements of evidence that they used cannabis therapeutically.

    Melissa's bill attempts to counter every stupid objection any legislator might have.

    The legislature will not be likely to pay much attention to either approach. Hickey pretends to be a sympathetic ear, but he will not acknowledge the evidence that answers his concerns. Most of the rest don't even bother to pretend to be sympathetic.

    "Let 'em eat Marinol!," they say, despite overwhelming evidence that Marinol rarely works.

  53. Melissa Mentele 2015.01.13

    Well now that turned into a train wreck real quick. Thank you everyone for the comments and Pastor Hickey thank you for the compassion as I know you understand what I live with daily. Ryan many times less is more and ranting, brow beating and threats get nowhere. SDAP needs to turn a page to constructive activism not just the I am right you are wrong mentality. This whole process is a discussion and a compromise. Let's stay focused on the issue and move forward. Those who support legalization I encourage you to step up and make phone calls to your district representatives tomorrow as part of SD Call Your Legislator Day. Thank You Cory for the nice post and for being fair & constructive. I wish you all the best & thank each of you for your time today. Kurtz you may want to invest in a happy hobby as you sound quite bitter. I suggest some Vit D and some volunteer work. Maybe that will make your soul a little less sad.

  54. Larry kurtz 2015.01.13

    My agenda is unwavering and will prevail, it's just that simple.

  55. larry kurtz 2015.01.13

    Newland, you are either on the bus or off the bus: pick a lane.

  56. larry kurtz 2015.01.13

    There is no future in having Marty's thugs lined up at reservation borders putting people in prison.

  57. Melissa Mentele 2015.01.13

    Well Kurtz, here's how I look at it. You said you have been doing this for 20 years....obviously no results. I on the other hand in just 3 short months have rallied over a thousand people, made contacts with every single legal state to get info, compiled the most comprehensive cannabis bill SD has ever seen and have opened my life up like a book to educate people. What are you doing? Obviously not much because before your identifying yourself today I had no clue you exsisted. Now I am done, I have work to do. Bob ignore the question he asked, we all know where you sit with your dedication to the cause. Armchair cowboys living in other states don't really need an answer on your intentions. Bless you all & good night.

  58. larry kurtz 2015.01.13

    Melissa's proposed bill represents a discriminatory chilling effect on those of us who choose cannabis as a legitimate palliative.

  59. grudznick 2015.01.13

    I bet my good friend Bob could beat Mr. kurtz arm wrestling with a funny cig in his mouth.

  60. larry kurtz 2015.01.13

    Anyone believing Marty will allow two ounces of cannabis with Melissa's proposed bill is delusional. Newland has my number, grud.

  61. Neal 2015.01.13

    This bill has precisely zero percent chance of success in the SD legislature. Don't be fooled by Hickey's glad-handing.

    Proponents would be smart to begin the 2016 ballot measure campaign now, and put all of your energy into that. That has a chance. This bill absolutely, positively, does not.

    Not hating on Ms. Mentele, who must be new to SD, or at least to SD politics. You'd have to be an idiot or completely heartless (or both) to not support the cause. The question is allocation of resources and effort. Every minute spent trying to persuade the legislature is wasted. Start the ballot measure campaign right now, coordinate the groups supporting the issue, and pour all of your time and resources into that.

  62. Bob Newland 2015.01.13

    Melissa has spent a great many hours and has garnered the help of a great many friends. She speaks on behalf of a great number of people made miserable by a miserable turn of the cards. She is right, and the law is wrong. The legislature will turn its back on her. Hickey will turn his back on her.

  63. Bob Newland 2015.01.13

    Oh, and Grudznick, you can come to my house for breakfast tomorrow. Tube steak, you worthless prick.

  64. Neal 2015.01.13

    CAH asked: "what medical benefit is gained by the use of cannabis products considered in this bill that is not already available in the status quo?"

    People who find a therapeutic benefit from marijuana report that Marinol doesn't work as well as smoke or vapor directly from the cannabis plant. Moreover, the psychoactive side effects (i.e., the reason people smoke it recreationally) are reported to be much greater on Marinol, which medical users don't desire. The plant itself works better than any derivative yet developed.

    But the bigger question is, if you agree that marijuana has therapeutic value, why does it matter in which form that medicine is consumed? Why is it somehow more legitimate if it's processed by some pharmaceutical company, rather than consumed directly from the source?

  65. JeniW 2015.01.13

    In Colorado they have marijuana in bakery items and in candy bars. That means that people do not necessarily have to smoke it to get the benefits, and probably not as expensive as Marinol.

  66. leslie 2015.01.13

    smoking causes cancer. we old people watch our friends and loved ones die of cancer right and left. you probably think you are invinceable. we all thought that too once. don't be stupid. yeah its cool to smoke pot and get high. we know.

  67. Neal 2015.01.13

    God forbid terminal cancer patients come down with a case of cancer, right leslie?

    Yes, smoking isn't good for you. No one said it is. That's why most non-terminal patients use vaporizers, or, as JeniW notes, edibles. There's several ways to use marijuana medically that don't involve smoking it, leslie. Educate yourself.

  68. leslie 2015.01.13

    dearest neal. you didn't get it. i tried to be very clear. i am well educated.

  69. Melissa Mentele 2015.01.13

    I am compelled to post some links for everyone. Here goes:

    If you think you know anything about cannabis then I hope you are familiar with how the endocannaboid system works if not then you need to start here:

    If you have questions about how cannabis can be used lets start with the basics. Woot ding ding you have all won a can smoke it!! Now if you were a real opponent you would have a little more info on its other delivery systems. Mary's is a great company and I have had the opportunity to use the THC Trans-dermal patches. They definitely trumped my Fentynal patches. No high, great pain relief, awake, engaged in life & great sleep. Fentynal makes me a worthless pile of shit. I cant function, I vomit the entire time the patch is on & I hate them. Here is Mary's website.

    Topically is another great delivery form for pain management. Think about your grandmas gnarled hands from years of work and arthritis. This is Grandmas medication and coincidentally the medicine that works for me.

    Now we cant forget edibles which are my least favorite. This is my personal opinion and not in any way to be used to make someone elses mind up for them. Now people these are definitely NOT your 60's brownies. This is actually a multi million dollar industry. A REGULATED TAX PAYING multi million dollar business.

    I bet we have an animal lover of 2 in this thread. Did you know there are cannabis based meds for pets also!! Shocking on that reversal of drug testing....usually companies test on pets then human....humans have been "testing" cannabis for years and now its Fido or Fluffy's turn for some natural relief. Considering there are days I love my dog more then anything, if Shelby had cancer I would treat her with cannabis. Heres a link for some more reading.

    Now as far as growing, access, who, why and what... I suggest you visit Flowering Hope. Jason Cranford is someone who can answer ANY question you have about cannabis and I mean ANY!

    I am going to bed now but I do hope before anyone else comments they at least take a moment to read the links and educate themselves a little before hitting post. Its NOT about smoking pot it is about saving lives and making sick people well.

    Peace & Love

  70. Les 2015.01.13

    The poisons of chemo are regularly forced upon minor children without regard to their or their parents beliefs.

    Med MJ will never pass SD legislation without giving way to and accepting a force such as a Mellissa Mentele to drive this thing home. The moment well known recreational users align it usually dies in committee.

    The effort required to educate has to be as great as the effort to prove by legislation, this is not a stepping stone to legalized recreational use.

  71. Deb Geelsdottir 2015.01.14

    In MN Gov. Dayton was opposed to the medical marijuana bill and was planning to veto it. The large group who campaigned for the bill to the legislature was chiefly composed of parents of small children.

    Dayton was laid up following hip surgery and staying home. The highly determined group came to the governor's mansion and took up positions at the gate. Their children were with them and they were carrying signs.

    Gov. Dayton, a truly compassionate politician, asked his aides to bring a representative of the group to his room. It was after that encounter that he changed his mind and agreed to support a very limited law.

    Ms. Mentele knows much more about the efficacy of the law than I do, but my point is to highlight their methods of lobbying. Perhaps that would be an effective tool for sufferers in SD. They have my full, if long distance, support.

  72. Bob Newland 2015.01.14

    Leslie, your posts belie your self-congratulatory statement. Well-educated people use capital letters to start sentences.

    Well-educated people also know that the incidence of lung cancer among cannabis smokers is way lower than among the general population.

    Lung cancer is virtually unknown among long-term frequent cannabis smokers who have not smoked cigarettes.

  73. larry kurtz 2015.01.14

    easy, bob. don't make me stone you.

  74. Bill Dithmer 2015.01.14

    First for the good news. really a fifteen minute climax? And it's edible!

    Also this

    Larry Kurtz has been blogging about this for a while, but the offical announcement just came yesterday. Several things here both for and against the opinion.

    First while I lived on the Pine Ridge, I did what I could to advance this cause thinking that if the tribe just went ahead and legalized both cannabis an hemp they would be on their way to financial independence both from the state, and the feds.

    The reelection of Yellowbird Steele dashed that hope all to hell. The people on the Pine Ridge voted to make alcahol legal on that reservation. But last week Steele was quoted as saying it will never happen on his watch. In other words, he is happy with the way things are now. Thats not leadership, thats erigence, and an oppertunity lost.

    Now for the bad. Why did the goverment find it nessasary to only let those living on indian lands grow and use without fear of prosicution? Why not everyone?

    It looks to me like this memo places one race, native americans, above all others. That is contrary to our constatution. Dont get me wrong, I like the fact that the memo was released, it just should have been all encompassing for all US people. Since the tribes already had the power to write their own laws, through sovereignty, why send this memo?

    Why do people leave SD? For us it was several reasons. I love my home state, but in the last forty years I found it harder an harder to conform to the cespool that was government. The continued idolization of Bill Janklow didnt help. The treatment of women, "MIND RAPE," and the continued theft of their reproductive freedom made me ill.

    SDs refusal to except that they are a nanny state is disappointing and completely misleading to those voters that really dont want to know.

    There are really great people that live in SD. The problem is that while almost every person that lives there has been helped by demacratic principles, they continue to make one mark on their ballet, GOP.

    Like it or not, SD has always tried to be an isolationist state. For that reason we were the last to feel the effects of recessions, but we never quite came back from those recessions the way the rest of the country did.

    We made a decision to move to Missouri for two reasons. First, we could afford to build our green business here, something that would have cost to much back home.

    And second, while cannabis remains illegal in most of Missouri, it has been decriminalized in the bigger cities. Its only a matter of a couple of years now, maybe sooner for medical.

    I could have stayed in SD and just wrote my books, but that would have meant going down the never ending road of illegality. I wanted more out of life then that.

    My health is dependent on cannabis.! I have tried all the pills and all the techniques from the age of twelve until now I've taken over 300,000 pills , most before 1985. Pain pills, muscle relaxers, and every experimental drug there was to help my condition. Many have now been banned for human use. I averaged a hypo and a half a week, from the age of twelve until the day I started smoking pot in the 80s. Except for marenol, there has been no more experimentation on my part. I found what works for me.

    There are no fixes, but there is relief. Whether its cancer, depression, or what I have, cannabis should be at least a tool in your fight to relieve pain.

    The reasons for not having legal cannabis are many, but the main one is or are "chinos." You all know who you are. They feel that only through your suffering, can "they" get you into heaven.

    Thanks, but I'll take my chances at paradise while I'm still alive. So much for the compassion in the book of fables.

    South Dakota should have signs west of Spearfush, and east of Sioux Falls on I90 that says "YOU ARE ON THE ROAD TO NOWHERE, WELCOME TO SOUTH DAKOTA."

    The Blindman

  75. jerry 2015.01.14

    Seems like there are other reservations in South Dakota that would not be as squeamish as Pine Ridge. The simple growing of hemp itself would be a huge money maker for the tribes as this is the kind of soil it takes to make a good crop. Go for it and lets let the Natives show us the way to progress. That happened in the past with agriculture and it can happen again. Let'r rip.

  76. bearcreekbat 2015.01.14

    I recall that a few years back Alex White Plume started raising hemp on the reservation. He tried this for two years, but each year the DEA sent out agents that destroyed his crops before he could harvest. The Tribe, however, supported Alex's efforts at that time, and the DEA did not charge him with a crime, although they threatened him.

  77. Deb Geelsdottir 2015.02.24

    I saw that BCB, and I'm not surprised. There are many weed smokers who have had and are having successful lives.

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