Cannabis in South Dakota is growing in popularity among patients with conditions aided by its use.
From mental ease to acute pain management, cannabis is rapidly becoming the treatment of choice for over 10,000 people in South Dakota.
The medicinal herb has a cousin, Hemp, useful in textiles and as a cover crop to restore surface nitrogen in fallow years.
Like water, Aspirin, and fast cars, cannabis can be abused, but cannabis does not fit the "addictive" category lacking physical withdrawal symptoms (admittedly cannabis, like exercise, can be habit-forming).
For nearly 100 years cannabis prohibitionists targeted cannabis producers and users with negative propaganda and Neural-Linguistic Programming. Are these targeted individuals immune to the power of suggestion?
Christopher Hitchens was reviled by many Christian and other communities. It doesn't make him wrong about something important.
"[Self fulfilling prophesy is bad]" -- Christopher Hitchens
If we repeatedly drill people with negative messages, targeted individuals will form negative world views. This holds true of cannabis advocates and many others.
Stripping aside the bias, South Dakota's decisions should be guided by ground truth.
South Dakota would be wise to purchase above-board testing services from the public to understand contents of black market transactions. Residents must be assured immunity from prosecution in return for surrendering samples for analysis, reporting.
As long as the medicinal program allows such bold intrusions on private property, the state is sponsoring the consolidation of the cannabis market and creating unnecessary bloat in the cannabis supply chain. Yet, cannabis supply chains benefit from fragmentation of the market since its growing methods scale up and down with relative ease using a broad inventory of growing tools that can also be used with other crop types.
The scope of South Dakota cannabis laws should be expanded to match understanding of the plant's true effects. Cannabis' effects have been exaggerated. This self fulfilling prophesy drives black market sales of kids seeking excitement. Without the influence campaigns exaggerating cannabis' effects sales would decrease. More deserving of your focus, however, is the presence of sugary sweet snacks around cannabis users; a true and present risk to long term health.
From a healthcare perspective, the crux of the issue with cannabis is the method of consumption. Smoking in pipes is the most harmful. Water filtered pipes are marginally better, while joints are the safest method to combust the plant material and inhale its smoke, tar, Benzine, and many known harmful carcinogens. Eating cannabis has limitations with how much can be absorbed using that method, while proper herbal vaporization (nebulization of a properly cured flower) promises a safer alternative to joints. This is not a recommendation, but rather an informed review of the facts of cannabis consumption for legislative and community review. I know you good people out there want to make an informed decision. It is barbaric that the preferred method of consumption is smoking, since the least harmful (herbal vaporization) is also the most expensive and time consuming.
We seek to understand cannabis aside from the sophisticated military grade weaponization of prohibitionist propaganda using disinformation (gateway drug, makes a person stupid, and so on). This kind of conditioning belies the truth about a person's true tendency to benefit, or not, from cannabis.
South Dakota's medicinal program has cash flowed millions in fees for the state of South Dakota, while the black market is likely thriving. With more freedom in the marketplace and a discontinuation of campaigns (shadowy or otherwise) disparaging cannabis advocates, we believe the market would achieve better community health outcomes and more people achieving their dreams.
Particularly, the psychology industry and rehabilitation industry that likely drives cannabis addictive like behavior as persecuted individuals seek escape. Cannabis, as a placebo, can also be mistaken for a drug capable of escapism.
The key takeaways for decision makers about the cannabis issue is to draw the lines and make the connections outside of the box. Laws should not be used to try to shape upstream thinking in our society. Rather, our thinking as a community should constantly shape our laws outside the realm of thought, association, expression, and other constitutionally protected restrictions on government.