Monday, June 19, 2017

SDSMA: cannabis is bad because it's illegal

interested party appears to be the only politics journal covering the South Dakota State Medical Association's white paper from early June and its obviously unanticipated foregone conclusion on cannabis as medicine.

Not surprisingly, it reads like a bulletin from the Republican Party's Drug Enforcement Administration. In fact, it relied on recommendations not from a medical doctor but from Bertha K. Madras, Ph.D, of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse.

SDSMA contends that although "marijuana and dronabinol decreased pain" the pharmaceutical industry produces opioids that are legal albeit highly addictive, easily abused and often deadly. South Dakota is among the worst states for opioid abuse. Besides, President Tronald Dump is sending more troops to Afghanistan to guard the opium crop essential to stocking America's opioid crisis.
Although there are different schools of thought concerning the efficacy of marijuana to treat certain medical conditions and concerning whether its possession and use ought to be decriminalized altogether, the fact remains that it is a violation of federal law and South Dakota law to possess or distribute it for any purpose. And while many states, including some close to South Dakota, have legalized the use of marijuana for medical purposes, writing a prescription for marijuana, even to a patient living in a state where its use and possession is legal, could result in a disciplinary proceeding brought by the SDBMOE. Accordingly, it is recommended that the practitioner not prescribe (either using a traditional prescription or a certification) marijuana unless and until changes in the law make it clear that doing so is legal, and then only when it is medically-necessary and appropriate. [Marijuana as Medicine]
According to the Journal of the American Medical Association opiate-related deaths have decreased some 33 percent in 13 states after therapeutic and casual cannabis were legalized.

Black market cannabis not tested or subject to regulation makes America and South Dakota less safe. Legalizing and regulating a product that so many people enjoy is reasonable public policy that would align with our life/safety concerns.
So, legalization initiatives have a clear Democratic benefit. Democratic-leaning voters, who otherwise might have stayed home, could turn out to vote on marijuana reform. Some may leave other parts of the ballot blank, but Democrats could see a meaningful benefit overall. In a race that is close, a few thousand votes here or there could force an incumbent Republican Senator to pack up his office or shift a state’s electoral votes from red to blue. [Brookings Institution]
South Dakota has the most draconian cannabis laws in the US: the law enforcement industry can even force catheters into urethras and penises to test possession by ingestion even as Big Pharma contributes to the campaigns of its attorney general.

2 comments:

Duffer said...

As it has happened in other states, reasonable people within the medical and legal communities will need to step forward and give legalization organizers the boost they need. Do not see that happening in SD any time soon. A pile of cash for a hard-hitting media campaign that exposes the opposition/special interests for what they are is what Ms. Mentele needs to have any chance of success with her initiatives in 2018. I don't see a payoff for an investor of that type here. Relying on SD voters to do something reasonable while at the ballot box is a fools errand. This state sucks - like a lot of others.

But hey - there are decent places to go if one wants to escape.

larry kurtz said...

With just a tiny percentage of people voting mandates remain impossible. The nutball legislature simply overturns the will of voters anyway. What gets written at this blog is simply meant as cautionary tales for the Democrats too stupid or stubborn to leave South Dakota.