SIOUX FALLS, SD – Bill Stocker isn’t a typical proponent of marijuana reform – he’s retired from the U.S. Marine Corps and Sioux Falls Police Department.
“I’ve been in uniform for 37 years and I’m a disabled veteran,” says Stocker.
You may know Stocker from television commercials that support Amendment A. That was the constitutional amendment that legalized hemp and marijuana.
Stocker supported the vote because he was of the opinion that the law enforcement authorities were too weak. He says officers should focus on other drugs rather than marijuana, South Dakota Public Broadcasting reported.
“Fentanyl is the problem, not marijuana,” says Stocker.
Stocker says he not only supported marijuana reform for the state, but also for himself. He suffers from chronic back pain, arthritis, and PTSD.
“I pay my taxes. I am a registered voter. I do my due diligence. I’m a patriot, ”says Stocker. “I’m in pain. I don’t want to take opioids.”
Stocker says the only thing that can relieve his pain is edible marijuana. He counted on this treatment option after voters legalized medical and recreational marijuana.
But cannabis use is not yet legal in South Dakota, except on a reservation. Republican governor Kristi Noem has resisted cannabis reform since taking office. During her first two years in office, she refused to legalize industrial hemp and CBD oil.