Compromise reached on postponing IM 26 implementation

Published: Feb. 27, 2021 at 6:06 PM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Voters passed Initiated Measure 26 in November. The measure legalized medical marijuana in the state effective July 1st, but Governor Kristi Noem and the state legislature say they need more time to implement it.

The statehouse passed HB 1100, which initially would have pushed back the implementation date to July 2022. A compromise amendment was added to change it to January 2022.

Representative Chris Johnson voted for pushing back the implementation date. He says there simply isn’t enough time between now and July to make such a fundamental change in South Dakota.

”If the voters passed a measure to build a bridge across the Missouri River, are we expected to have that done by July 1st too? Just because we’ve talked about it for ten years does not mean that we spend the resources getting ready to do it simply because somebody might pass a bill. It’s not the way we do business in the legislature.”

Opponents of the bill argue that it’s the legislatures job to implement measures passed by the voters and see this bill as stalling what the voters want.

Representative Jess Olson voted against HB 1100. She says the need of medical marijuana for some South Dakota residents is too urgent for the legislature to stall.

”They don’t want to break the law, but some of them are because they are in such great need of medicine that isn’t opioids, and that’s who is affected the most on July 1st.”

HB 1100 now goes to the state Senate.

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