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South Dakota Lawmakers Voted Against Drug Testing Themselves

Beth Warden/Results Radio
Beth Warden/Results Radio

Yesterday (January 31) the South Dakota legislative panel nixed a bill that would have required all state lawmakers to be drug tested.  Why it was defeated may depend on who you ask.

After one lawmaker heard concerns about fellow law makers possibly ingesting marijuana, Representative Tim Goodwin of Rapid City introduced House Bill 1133. He said lawmakers should prove they’re clean if they’re going to set statute for drug dealers and users.  Republican Representative Dan Kaiser, a supporter, unsuccessfully urged the committee to pass the bill to lead by example.

Opponents said the bill proposal was only for ulterior motives. Republican Representative David Lust claimed cynicism or grandstanding was behind the issue. Other lawmakers said agreeing to be tested would validate the concerns of potential drug use among legislators, which was offensive.

The bill required that a positive test or a refusal to take one would have been reported to the presiding officer of the lawmaker’s chamber for discipline.

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