“More than People, They’re Patients”- Medical Cannabis, the Perspective of a Patient Advocate

Published: Apr. 26, 2022 at 4:42 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Medical marijuana has been a long process for the state of South Dakota.

Between voter approval in 2020, approving dispensaries, and receiving cannabis cards, medical marijuana may be legal in South Dakota, but it’s not accessible.

Currently, in Rapid City, there aren’t many physicians who are comfortable recommending cards for a variety of reasons. And if there is a physician that recommends cards, they are overwhelmed with the capacity of patient calls.

Liz Tiger, a patient advocate currently working on the medical cannabis aspect of patient care, said that when it comes to medical cannabis, it is important to remember these aren’t just people, they are patients who need relief.

Liz Tiger, West River Director of Operations, New Approach South Dakota: “Especially when we’re talking about medical cannabis is, first of all, we need to really remember that this is medical cannabis. So when we’re talking about patient rights, patient protections, and the things that patients need, we need to remember we’re talking about people with disabilities and chronic illnesses. When we’re making things more difficult for people to get their cards or to participate in the program, what we are really doing is we are blocking people who already have an immense hill to climb.”

Tiger says to remember that medical cannabis is something that the people of South Dakota want and have voted for.

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