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State medical association says physicians reluctant about medical pot

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Medical marijuana advocates have convinced South Dakota voters that legalizing the drug for medical use is a good idea, but they are struggling to do the same with many of the state’s physicians.

The South Dakota State Medical Association has concerns with the medical pot program. That’s a potential problem for medical pot advocates because the new law depends on involvement from physicians.

Dr. Benjamin Aaker

South Dakota State Medical Association President Dr Benjamin Aaker says they were opposed to the ballot issue. “It’s no secret the South Dakota State Medical Association was opposed to Initiated Measure 26, for a variety of reasons.”

While speaking before a South Dakota legislative committee holding hearings on medical marijuana, he said, “I’m not here to  talk to you to rehash that (voter passage). We’re not here to turn the clock back.  But you need to be aware we opposed this and we’re probably one of the most vocal oppositions to it. So there is a bias I have in coming to speak with you.  And I just want to have everyone aware of that.”

Advocates for medical pot use says that reluctance from some physicians and health care providers could result in a bumbling roll out of the program that will ultimately hurt patients.

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