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House committee passes bill requiring notice that medical marijuana card holders cannot legally own firearms

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PIERRE, S.D. (South Dakota Broadcasters Association) - South Dakota medical marijuana dispensaries would be required to add an acknowledgment on applications for cannabis that the user cannot legally purchase or own firearms or ammunition under federal law if they have a card.

While medical cannabis is legal in South Dakota and many other states, federal law still classifies all marijuana as a Schedule 1 drug with no medical uses and being highly addictive.

The House Judiciary Committee passed HB 1024 11 to 0 this morning (Friday).

The committee also passed a companion bill, HB 1036, requiring dispensaries to post a notice about the federal restriction. That vote was 8 to 4 in favor of the measure.

Republican Rep. Kevin Jensen from Canton sponsored both bills. Jensen teaches gun safety and courses for concealed pistol permits.

“The bill (HB 1024) only requires an additional statement on the medical marijuana card about firearms,” Jensen said. “It’s just an acknowledgment. Then it is up to the consumer.”

Jensen compared the notice to posting speed limits.

Cannabis Industry Association lobbyist Jeremiah Murphy spoke against both measures.

He said federal courts are still considering the constitutionality of the federal government’s position on medical marijuana. He said there are federal laws that say the federal government cannot interfere with medical marijuana.

“The (federal) law means what it means,” Murphy testified. “You can’t interfere with medical marijuana at the program or individual level.”

There was some opposition, however, to the bill requiring dispensaries to post that having a medical marijuana card legally precludes firearms purchase or ownership.

Some committee members felt the posting requirement was too much interference in an already heavily regulated industry. The bill would also provide a $250/day fine on dispensaries that fail to post the notice.

Both measures now move to the House of Representatives for consideration.



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