PIERRE — Marijuana users and their advocates had a tough day at the Capitol Thursday.
That’s because legislators pushed forward with Gov. Kristi Noem’s plan to delay the implementation of medical marijuana while also killing a bill that would have decriminalized the drug.
Members of the House of Representatives debated House Bill 1100 for more than an hour on the merits of giving the Department of Health an additional six months to stand up a medical marijuana program and create a work group of legislators to help craft the program.
Originally, the governor called for a one-year delay. But Speaker of the House Spencer Gosch, R-Mobridge, who’s carrying HB 1100 on her behalf, adjusted the bill down to just a six-month delay in the spirit of compromise.
And a majority of his colleagues voted in support of the plan.
“They voted for medical marijuana; they didn’t vote for the details,” said Rep. Kevin Jensen, R-Canton, referring to the 70% of South Dakota voters who supported Initiated Measure 26 in November.