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Medical marijuana, State Rep. Fred Deutsch voices potential issues

SD State Rep. Fred Deutsch expresses his concerns with where medical marijuana may lead.
SD State Rep. Fred Deutsch expresses his concerns with where medical marijuana may lead.(KOTA)
Published: Aug. 18, 2021 at 2:24 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Medical marijuana is just ahead in the coming months as South Dakota prepares guidelines on just how that will happen.

Some legislators are concerned as to what direction the medical industry may be leading the state.

South Dakota State Representative Fred Deutsch supports medical marijuana for those that need it, but is concerned that without the proper parameters those who don’t need it will still have access in a kind of recreational capacity.

Deutsch says the more you legalize it and provide access to it, the higher the chance of ending up in the wrong hands... primarily children’s.

He says that he doesn’t see value in the recreational adult use of marijuana for South Dakotans, and says that other states have showcased this.

He calls Colorado the poster child, “states are called the laboratories of democracy. So, each laboratory we can see the kinds of outcomes they’ve attained from the laws they’ve written.”

He says Colorado is open about their mistakes. He says that a couple he’d like to see corrected are caps on THC percentages and the total amount of marijuana one can possess at a time.

He’s worried that medicinal marijuana may be a pathway to recreational and is fearful that doctors may write prescriptions without genuinely looking into a person’s conditions. Particularly, he’s referring to things like existing websites that will provide a doctor from several states away.

”Doctors can make a hell of a lot of money just opening up their ‘Doc in a Box Shop,’ and that concerns me. That should concern everybody. I mean, come on. If we’re talking about medical marijuana, we should allow people that really need it to have access to it, and we should prevent people that don’t need it from getting access to it as well,” says Deutsch.

He says that he’d like to eliminate home growing altogether and to only allow dispensaries to distribute, where the drug can be tested and approved, making sure black market selling is kept to a minimum.

Deutsch thinks that if recreational marijuana were to be brought to a vote in the state legislature right now that it would be close.

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