South Dakota Senate lawmakers rejected a House-approved bill that would restrict patient access to medical marijuana.

The Senate Health and Human Services Committee voted 4 to 2 against the proposed legislation – HB 1004 – that would repeal provisions in South Dakota’s voter-approved medical marijuana laws allowing qualifying patients to grow their own cannabis plants for personal use.

The measure had previously cleared the House by 41 votes to 29.

However, House lawmakers struck down two other bills that would introduce restrictions on where qualifying patients could purchase and use medical marijuana. House Bill 1095 would allow local jurisdictions to prohibit medical marijuana businesses from operating in its jurisdiction, but was defeated in a 33 to 31 vote.

Another measure – HB 1095 – would introduce new restrictions on where qualifying patients could legally possess and use medical marijuana, but it was also rejected in a floor vote.

Though these efforts to restrict access to medical marijuana in South Dakota have not succeeded for now, they are just the latest in a long line of attempts by lawmakers to undermine the majority votes on Election Day 2020 in favor of legal medical and recreational cannabis.

Gov. Kristi Noem led a legal challenge against the adult-use legalization ballot measure on the basis that it violated South Dakota’s single-subject rule for proposed constitutional amendments. The state Supreme Court sided with the governor and ordered that the vote be declared null and void.

The voter-approved medical marijuana ballot initiative didn’t face such a challenge in court but has been subject to various attempts to water down the original proposal.

House lawmakers voted to postpone the date on which medical marijuana would become legal, but the effort ultimately failed and the enabling legislation took effect in July last year.

Several months later, a South Dakota legislative committee voted to remove provisions in the state’s medical marijuana law that allows patients to grow their own cannabis plants.

Meanwhile, marijuana reform advocates in South Dakota responded to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the voter-approved adult-use legalization measure by launching another drive to get such a proposal on this year’s ballot.

About the Author: Matt Brooks

Matt is a journalist from San Francisco who has specialized in marijuana policy for more than six years.

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