Bill In SD House Would Allow For Medical Necessity Defense For Patients

A bill allowing patients who are charged with marijuana possession to present a medical necessity defense in court has been introduced in the South Dakota House of Representatives. To qualify, patients must possess a medical recommendation from their doctor to smoke marijuana as a part of their treatment.
House Bill 1120, introduced by Rep. Tom Hennies (R-Rapid City), will be debated in the House Judiciary Committee tomorrow morning.
“People need to understand that there are people in this state really hurting, and we’re allowed to give them morphine or Darvon, very serious drugs, but we can’t give them marijuana because of a national paranoia,” said Rep. Hennies, a former police chief. “People expect cops and judges to use common sense. This bill just reinforces that.”
A Senate bill calling for the legalization of medical marijuana, as opposed to HB 1120, which only allows for a medical necessity defense, was defeated in committee last week.
“What this bill (HB 1120) does, is take all the decision making on medicinal marijuana out of the hands of the legislature, and put it where it belongs, with local juries of an accused person’s peers,” said Bob Newland, president of South Dakota NORML.
For more information, please contact Bob Newland of South Dakota NORML at (605) 255-4032. To learn more about HB1120 please visit