If the South Dakota Legislature legalizes marijuana for all adults, we can cancel our medical marijuana program. So figures Representative Mike Derby (R-34/Rapid City), who, like a good Republican, just wants less government:
“When you look at other states the medical was able to roll out first and created a business model for that,” Derby says. “The other states, when adult use was passed, the medical side of the business almost went away.”
…“If you can have access to a dispensary for adult use, then why have a duplication of rules and regulations run by two different departments?” Derby says [Lee Strubinger, “Medical Marijuana Cards Coming Out as Lawmakers Try to Kill Program,” SDPB Radio, 2021.10.25].
Of course, in this case, achieving less government may require a 163-section bill which would repeal 95 statutes while creating 61 new statutes and amending 7 others. And among those new sections would be (Sections 62–68) a 15% tax on marijuana, including medical:
“We want to make sure it’s licensed, that it’s tested, keep it out of the hands of children, that there’s a taxation mechanism,” Derby says. “By having it go toward the adult use side, there’s an excise tax. There’s a taxation method that’s not there with medical [cannabis].”
Cannabis supporters say medical marijuana should not be taxed.
Matthew Schweich is with South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws.
“And as a matter of principle, we think that medical marijuana patients should not pay tax and that it’s understandable there would be a tax on recreational sales that should be a reasonable tax,” Schweich says.
That’s because those who qualify for medical cannabis deal with chronic illness and disabilities [Strubinger, 2021.10.25].
Less government, but more taxes? It sounds like Representative Derby has a Republican conundrum to resolve