The ballot victories for personal possession of cannabis in Washington and Colorado yesterday were HUGE! There are troubling elements, but rarely are those absent from Great Leaps Forward.
Nov. 12, 2012
Sen. John Smith
Anywhere SD 57709
Greetings, Sen. Smith;
SoDakNORML is committed to removal of cannabis from the realm of "crime." We believe that repeal of SDCL 22-42-6 (Possession of marijuana prohibited--Degrees according to amount.) would be a good thing. As we have stated in previous letters, that may not be politically realistic. In the cycle of political winds, we have seen South Dakota adopt cannabis laws that at first were pretty harsh, then were amended to make possession a petty offense, then were harshened again. We've seen possession of two ounces of "marijuana" grow in severity from misdemeanor to felony overnight, between June 30 and July 1, 1996.
If there is a conflict between public order and consumption of cannabis, we can only see that the conflict is that the law does not fit the situation. There is no evidence that the laws prohibiting cultivation, sale, possession and use of cannabis have prevented a single person from doing so. Those who choose to cultivate and sell cannabis are rewarded by being paid for the risk factor in their business. The prosecutions of those who get caught simply amount to job vacancies for someone else to fill, at greater profits due to the publicity their profession has recently received by the aforementioned prosecutions.
Please, repeal 22-42-6.
Assuming that appeal falls on ears that hear a different tune than ours do, but assuming those ears belong to compassionate beings, we have a secondary political position. What we are asking is nothing less than that the courts of South Dakota allow people accused of a violation of 22-42-6 to present evidence that they have a medical need for cannabis.
Many people achieve relief from adverse medical positions by using cannabis. It is inhuman, inconceivably cruel, to make them and the people who supply them with cannabis criminals.
There is no rational reason to prevent people accused of "possession of 'marijuana'" from presenting a "medical necessity" defense.
Very best regards,
[signed by 160+ South Dakotans]