Protective measures for patients with medicinal cannabis go into effect today

The voter-initiated medical cannabis law in South Dakota went into effect today. 70 percent of voters approved the initiative measure 26 on election day.

Although patients are unlikely to receive state-issued IDs or access to cannabis products from state-licensed pharmacies until this fall, the South Dakota Department of Public Safety today issued law enforcement guidelines urging them to stop arrests of people who claim to be Identify patients and meet certain qualifications.

Specifically, the guidelines state that Highway Patrol members “do not arrest a South Dakota resident at the location of a stop or interaction who cannot present an unexpired cannabis medical ID” as long as the following conditions are met:

  • The individual has no more than three ounces of natural and unmodified marijuana as defined in SDCL 22-42-1;
  • The individual claims at the time of the interaction that the medical cannabis is intended to treat or alleviate a debilitating medical condition as defined by the Department of Health;
  • The individual prepares printed or electronic documentation related to the debilitating health status from a licensed medical practitioner.

In addition, Highway Patrol personnel will arrest non-resident cardholders for possession of cannabis or confiscate the cannabis or related paraphernalia if:

  • The cardholder presents an unexpired medical cannabis card issued by another state; and
  • He or she owns no more than 3 ounces of natural and unmodified cannabis as defined in SDCL 22-42-1.

Under the state’s emerging program, patients with “a chronic or debilitating disease or condition,” including AIDS / HIV, ALS, cancer, Crohn’s disease, epilepsy, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, or post-traumatic stress, are eligible for approval from their doctor to owning medicinal cannabis.

For more information on the program, visit the state of South Dakota here

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