The Compassionate Use of Cannabis

Phil Jensen


doctor_medicalUsually, when you hear about someone promoting the “compassionate” use of marijuana, just the tiniest bit of examination reveals that it’s nothing but a cheap “Cheech and Chong” smokescreen intended to facilitate and move us closer to the legalization of recreational drugs.

Unfortunately, as is usually the case with such things, “bad actors” make it difficult to help people who mean no harm. There are a small number of people out there with medical ailments that can benefit from treatment using the key ingredient of marijuana, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). Just like that sibling, classmate or kid who ruined it for everyone when you were a child, the professional potheads make it necessary to restrict substances that can have a legitimate benefit for some, but by and large become a pox and a poison on society in general.

Further, contrary to the monumental amount of BS peddled about legalizing drugs somehow reducing crime, even “medical” marijuana legalization has usually worked out pretty badly for those who have been foolish enough to perform this experiment in their jurisdiction.

Rick Kriebel 2016


Looking at the failed experiments of other states has usually been enough to thwart efforts to legalize marijuana in South Dakota, either for the subterfuge of “medical” use (funny how so many of the same people on the bandwagon for “medical” use are the same ones currently using it illegally and/or advocating for legalizing recreational use) or overtly for legalized recreational use.

But evil (unlike good people) never tires and never gives up, and pot advocates have been at it again this year. They tried to get it on the ballot for later this year, but ended up not getting enough verified signatures (that sort of disorder can happen when you use too much dope). They also got two Democrats (no surprise) and one Republican (sadly, not that big of a surprise these days, either) to submit a bill, SB 167, in support of “medical” marijuana, but it was withdrawn by the prime sponsor five days later.

But there is also SB 177 which also calls for the “compassionate” use of dope.

Woodrow Wilcox


An interesting thing happened with SB 177 during its Senate Health and Human Services Committee hearing yesterday.

First, a Jessie James of Parkston spoke in favor of the bill

Then, Tim Soundy, a medical doctor, Tom Martinec of the Department of Health, Brian Zeeb of the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation, Mark Jandt of the South Dakota Peace Officers, Trevor Jones of the Department of Public Safety, Tony Harrison (I believe a Rapid City police officer, if it’s the same person I’m thinking of), Staci Ackerman of the South Dakota Sheriffs Association, Paul Bachand of the States Attorney Association, and Terrance Dosch of the South Dakota Council of Mental Health Centers–all spoke in opposition to the bill.

Not too surprising so far.

Then came an amendment by Senator (and medical doctor) Blake Curd which significantly changed the bill, specifying that “Upon proper and thorough examination of a patient, a physician may prescribe the use of cannabidiol in liquid, oil, or pill form for treatment of intractable epilepsy.”

The amendment was adopted by the committee by a voice vote, fundamentally changing the nature of a bill which would allow people to smoke dope under the “compassionate” or “medical” excuse…to one that would pretty much ONLY benefit someone with a legitimate medical reason for and benefit from THC.

Could a pot head get high from the liquid/oral form of THC?  Probably. But the pothead constituency isn’t really interested in that. They want to smoke it, period.  Limiting the legalized use to this refined form, under the examination and prescription of a doctor, robs the “medical use of marijuana” vehicle of most of its appeal to drug legalization advocates.

Of course, drug legalization advocates will attempt to use even this as a step in their goal, disappointing as it is for them. Iowa has already taken this step in 2014, and “medical” marijuana advocates are back screaming for more.

But if good people can and will hold the line, such wise and strict limits could allow genuinely suffering people to benefit from this drug…without allowing our society to degenerate further into a culture of intoxication, crime and corruption.


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Bob Ellis has been the owner of media company Dakota Voice, LLC since 2005. He is a 10-year U.S. Air Force veteran, a political reporter and commentator for the past decade, and has been involved in numerous election and public policy campaigns for over 20 years. He was a founding member and board member of the Tea Party groups Citizens for Liberty and the South Dakota Tea Party Alliance. He lives in Rapid City, South Dakota with his wife and two children.
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