The easiest thing for a legislator to do is nothing. That becomes less easy when she hears from a few people in her district about a law that is so unjust that it defies characterization. In South Dakota, state law specifically excludes a self-defense or "prevention of a greater harm" defense for using cannabis medically.
Accused of murder or manslaughter? You have the
option of producing evidence that you acted in self-defense, a version
of "prevention of a greater harm" (He would have killed me had I not
Accused of theft? "I took the car to drive the
woman to the hospital, because she was dying." Prevention of a greater
harm. Cases like these are rare, but they do occur.
Accused of assault? "He hit me first. He would have hit me again." Prevention of a greater harm. Cops, prosecutors, judges and juries listen to and consider these arguments often.
Accused of a violation of 22-42-6? You have
evidence that without cannabis, life is a much more bleak proposition
for you than with it. Your doctor agrees. Doesn't matter.
You are not allowed to present the "prevention of a greater harm" defense when you're accused of possession of cannabis.
In other words South Dakota law says that misery or
death in your life is a lesser harm than the principle involved in
preventing you from using a life-sustaining herbal remedy.
South Dakota Senator Craig Tieszen and
Representative Dan Kaiser have committed to introducing the Medical Necessity Act in the South Dakota legislative session which began
January 8 and will continue for 35 days.
Now we need the support of other credible
legislators. You can help by contacting your legislators and asking them
to support this bill. No sane person can oppose it, but if there is no
apparent support, your legislators can just ignore it. Do this now! This bill will be submitted before Jan. 26, 2013.
Also take the time to let Sen. Tiezsen and Rep.
Kaiser know how much you appreciate their doing the right thing while
expending "political capital" in doing so.