PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — A bill seeking to add more regulation to where cannabis can be used under the justification of protecting children has failed in the Senate.
HB 1134, an act to revise provisions related to medical cannabis for the protection of youth, failed on Monday, with 12 Senators voting to pass the bill, and 20 in opposition.
Sen. Jim Stalzer (R-Sioux Falls) spoke in support of the bill, saying that the bill primarily deals with youth, schools and marijuana. He stated that the bill would amend the current law laid out in IM 26, adding preschools, public and non-public school property, any outdoor public rec. areas and more as places in which use of medical cannabis could be restricted.
Opponents of the bill say this is unnecessary.
Further opposition argument included concerns that the bill would remove the authority of the Department of Education to set guidelines for the use of medical cannabis in schools, and allow individual schools to entirely ban the use of medical cannabis.
“[The law] said you have to allow marijuana in public schools,” said Stalzer. “This gives the schools the option — either public or private — whether they will allow cannabis within the institution.”
Sen. David Wheeler (R-Huron) pushed back on this goal. “[The bill] removes the language in IM 26 directing the Department of Education to establish rules regarding use in a school,” he said.
Wheeler argued that the DOE spent considerable time establishing the current rules. “What this bill says is that actually we’re going to throw all that out, and then we’re going to treat medical marijuana differently than we treat every other drug, because now schools can just say no, we’re not going to allow you to use this,” he said.