S.D. Tea Party Leader: Medical Pot Leads To Widespread Laziness


Tea Party of South Dakota
Allen Unruh: “They would not want to work”

​“One of the side effects is, they would not want to work.” ~ Allen Unruh, organizer for a local South Dakota Tea Party group

Supporters of a measure to legalize small amounts of marijuana for medicinal use in South Dakota on Monday sought to assure the public that it would not create pot dispensaries or open the door to full legalization.

“This is about ill people,” said Tony Ryan, a retired police officer whose wife suffers from multiple sclerosis. “It’s only about ill people. It’s not a free-for all.”
​The rally also came on the same day that conservative firebrand Allen Unruh, an organizer for a local Tea Party group, denounced the medical marijuana measure as a back-door effort to legalize cannabis, which Unruh complained would lead to “widespread laziness” among users.
“One of the side effects is, they would not want to work,” Unruh said. “Unemployment is already through the roof.”
(Damn, I don’t really feel like doing the rest of this story, man. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. Just kidding!)

In a refrain that’s already familiar from New Jersey and the District of Columbia, South Dakota’s version of a medical marijuana law was called “the most restrictive medical marijuana law in the nation” by supporter Emmett Reistroffer, campaign director for the South Dakota Coalition for Compassion, reports Jonathan Ellis at the Sioux Falls Argus Leader.
(Maybe I’m a hopeless idealist, but just once — just once — I’d love to hear an activist say “this medical marijuana law would be the the most compassionate and patient-friendly in the nation” rather than “the most restrictive in the nation.” I mean, after all, what’s so noble about denying medicine to more people who need it than do other states?)
Supporters made their remarks during a rally launching their campaign. The rally featured endorsement speeches from Kermit Staggers, the former city councilor and Republican state senator, and Democratic state Rep. Martha Vanderlinde, a registered nurse.

Tea Party of South Dakota

Meanwhile, Unruh’s Tea Party group was host to a luncheon featuring Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead and state Rep. Blake Curd, a Sioux Falls surgeon, who spoke against medical marijuana.
Experience in other states, Sheriff Milstead claimed, shows that the number of “so-called patients” quickly grows while the number of physicians prescribing marijuana stays the same (a patently false claim, but since when has that ever stopped the Tea Party?)
Curd claimed that “marijuana is not a regulated drug, unlike other drugs that doctors prescribe,” which would certainly come as a big surprise to the 400,000 Americans who are arrested for its possession every year.
“I think you’re looking at something that doesn’t have a useful place right now,” Curd claimed.
Meanwhile, at the rally supporting medical marijuana, Vanderlinde said she’s encountered many patients in her 28-year nursing career who would have been helped by marijuana.
Cannabis is relatively inexpensive, Vanderlinde said, compared to a lot of pharmaceuticals prescribed to people with chronic illnesses. And unlike any of those pharmaceuticals, patients can grow their own supply.
“It will improve the lives of many South Dakotans,” she said.
Staggers said he hopes it can help a close personal friend who has suffered from debilitating pain for six years.
“This person I know who is suffering from pain is not about to break the law, but this person is hoping that Initiated Measure 13 passes,” Staggers said, referring to the medical marijuana ballot measure.