The House killed the last remnants of the medical cannabis bill Tuesday. Rising in opposition to a bill that had already been hacked from a comprehensive legalization of medical cannabis to a provision for the use of one marijuana derivative for one specific medical condition, Rep. Kristin Conzet (R-32/Rapid City) told parents wanting to give their kids cannabidiol to treat intractable epilepsy to drop Senate Bill 171 and leave South Dakota:
I don’t like the road that we are going down at this time. There are 39 options, that’s called 39 states, where if you have an issue, who wouldn’t move to that state? When I was sitting after the committee meeting, I got a phone call from my husband, and he said we’d be living in Colorado at this time if this was our daughter [Rep. Kristen Conzet, floor debate on SB 171, South Dakota House, 2016.03.08, remarks beginning at 6:51:46].
Rep. Conzet then doubles down on her branding of South Dakota as Greater Tuna with this defense of stick-in-the-mud-ism:
Now I don’t want to minimize the struggle and the strife that your family goes through. This is not a bill for South Dakota. We often wait. And that’s why we’re South Dakotans. We’re different cats. We have to wait and watch the rest of the country kind of muck up with the oil and the different things. We sit back and we pause and we make decisions that are the reason that we live here [Conzet, 2016.03.08].
There may be rational reasons for opposing medical cannabis. However, meta-acknowledging that we are a conservative state that responds slowly to new data and trends does not in itself justify not taking action. And no legislator should base a position on any bill on an invitation to opponents to go live elsewhere.