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Law South Dakota

Baron23

Well-Known Member
South Dakota Jury Acquits Tribal Cannabis Consultant of All Charges

Two years ago, the Flandreau Santee Sioux had high hopes of capitalizing on the collapse of mariuana prohibition by opening a resort where cannabis could be purchased and consumed on their reservation in South Dakota. It all ended in fire and tears as the tribe decided to burn its first cannabis crop rather than risk the wrath of state and federal officials. But yesterday a jury in Flandreau delivered an implicit rebuke to South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley, the marijuana resort's leading opponent, by acquitting a consultant who worked on the project of state drug charges.

Last year Jackley got a grand jury to charge Eric Hagen, a 34-year-old cannabis consultant from Colorado, with conspiracy to possess, possession by aiding and abetting, and attempted possession of more than 10 pounds of marijuana. Hagen faced up to 10 years in prison for each of the first two counts and up to seven and half years for the third. His business partner, Jonathan Hunt, had already pleaded guilty to a conspiracy charge. Hunt, who was more involved in the day-to-day operations of the tribe's marijuana grow, said he could not afford to fight the charges against him.

The Flandreau Santee Sioux project was inspired by a 2014 memo in which the Justice Department said it would treat tribally authorized marijuana businesses in Indian country the same as state-licensed marijuana businesses, meaning they would generally be left alone unless they impinged on "federal law enforcement priorities." Since South Dakota does not exercise criminal jurisdiction on Indian lands, except on state highways that traverse reservations, tribal officials figured that members who grew or sold marijuana in compliance with tribal law would not have to worry about state prosecution either.

But as Robert Odawi Porter, a tribal law specialist in Washington, D.C., explained in a 2015 interview, that grace does not extend to people from outside the tribe. "If you're a non-Indian on tribal lands, the state retains its criminal jurisdiction over you," Porter said. "I've been wondering why everybody who is looking to get into this business is called a 'consultant,' and I think it's an effort to distinguish between being a manager, owner, or person in control and a person who is just giving advice. I don't think it's a meaningful distinction to law enforcement."

Porter was right about that. Jackley even claimed that resort customers who were not members of the tribe could be arrested for consuming marijuana on the reservation or for possessing it internally after leaving the reservation. There also were rumors of an impending federal raid on the marijuana grow, notwithstanding the DOJ memo.

During Hagen's trial, his lawyer, Mike Butler, argued that there was no conspiracy, since the tribe openly legalized marijuana and announced its plans for a resort where people could enjoy it. Butler also maintained that Hagen merely offered advice and never actually possessed or sought to possess the marijuana, which belonged to the tribe. The trial lasted four days, and the jurors reached their verdict after deliberating for about two hours.

The fact that Hagen was acquitted in spite of his vulnerability under state law sends a pretty clear message to Jackley, a candidate for governor whom critics accused of grandstanding by making a show of fighting the resort. "He tanked our company by spreading lies and rumors, and it's upsetting," Hagen told the Associated Press. "This was simply a media ploy for Marty because he's running for governor in 2018." Jackley kept his game face, saying, "I do continue to urge our South Dakota tribes to make their own determination that marijuana grows of this nature can affect the public health and safety on their reservations and across our state."

Even as they burned the crop that Hagen helped grow, tribal officials talked about reaching an accommodation that would allow the project to proceed. "Tribal leadership is confident that after seeking clarification from the United States Department of Justice, it will be better suited to succeed," Seth Pearman, the tribe's general counsel, said in a November 2015 statement. "The Tribe will continue to consult with the federal and state governments, and hopes to be granted parity with states that have legalized marijuana. The Tribe intends to successfully participate in the marijuana industry, and Tribal leadership is undaunted by this brief sidestep." With the Justice Department under new, decidedly less weed-friendly management, that dream seems dead for the forseeable future.

Nice to see the fascists lose one.
 
Last edited by a moderator:

Baron23

Well-Known Member
South Dakota medical marijuana advocate running for Congress

y The Associated Press

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — A medical cannabis advocate known at the South Dakota Legislature for fighting for a non-intoxicating compound in marijuana to treat his son is planning an independent congressional bid.

George Hendrickson tells the Argus Leader that he hopes a conservative platform and pledge to reject money from political action committees will set him apart.

The 46-year-old from Sioux Falls says he would work to overhaul federal medical marijuana policy and push to consolidate federal agencies.

Related stories
Hendrickson’s son has a rare type of epilepsy, and he has advocated for looser state medical marijuana laws. Hendrickson says he wants to be a more responsive federal representative for residents.

Shantel Krebs and Dusty Johnson are competing in the Republican primary for the seat, while Tim Bjorkman is a Democrat in the 2018 contest.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
Ballot Measure 'Typo' Could Cost South Dakota's Recreational Marijuana Campaign

A writing error might cost a ballot measure campaign its chances of legalizing recreational marijuana in South Dakota next year.

A marijuana advocacy group has been gathering signatures for four months in support of a ballot measure intended to legalize small amounts of marijuana.

The way the measure is worded, though, it would only legalize marijuana paraphernalia, not the drug itself, according to the state's official interpretation.

The measure's sponsor downplayed the problem as a "typo," one that could be fixed later by the courts or the Legislature. Fixing it before it goes to the ballot would force the group back to the starting line with only four months left to gather new petitions.

"There is a fix for it, so I'm not concerned about it at all," said Melissa Mentele, director of cannabis advocacy group New Approach South Dakota. "It's just a typo. It's one person's perception of grammar versus another's."

The measure strikes city and county ordinances that outlaw recreational cannabis, but it doesn't make the same specific change to state law.

Sponsors realized the problem after a Legislative Research Council's analysis in June examined potential cost savings to the state only from decriminalizing marijuana paraphernalia. The analysis assumed the state would continue charging offenders with possession of marijuana and, in turn, continue to foot the bill for fees for arresting and jailing offenders.

"We don't believe that the way that it is written actually legalizes it except for paraphernalia," Jason Hancock, director of the Legislative Research Council, said Monday.

Supporters could submit an amended proposal, restarting the clock, Hancock said, but that would void all existing ballot measure signatures.

"They're going to have to start over for gathering signatures," he said.

A new proposal could derail efforts to get the question on the ballot as the attorney general's office could take up to 90 days to publish an explanation. Those bringing ballot measure efforts must submit almost 14,000 valid petition signatures by November, leaving little room for error in the drafting and circulating process.

Mentele said she wrote the law based on existing statute and a legislative tweak would be enough to make the measure compliant with state standards. She said she was confident a court would uphold her intent and affirm that it legalizes possession of cannabis.

"It's a really simple question: how do you change every city, county and municipal law without changing state law?" she said.

The measure as written would save the state more than $2 million over the next decade in jail costs for those who would have been convicted for possession of marijuana paraphernalia, legislative analysts estimated.

Sens. Stace Nelson, R-Fulton, and Reynold Nesiba, D-Sioux Falls, said they worked with Mentele and Hancock to understand the discrepancies between the language submitted and the assessment of the measure.

If the measure is approved at the ballot and he is re-elected in 2018, Nesiba said he would be willing to bring legislation clarifying the bill's intent.

"I would be prepared to bring that amendment forward if needed," Nesiba said.

In the meantime, legislators can't touch the measure. And the political support for recreational marijuana in the Legislature likely isn't sufficient to approve a similar bill ahead of the 2018 election.

Nelson said that after talking through the situation with Mentele and Hancock he doubts much can be done to remedy the situation.

"I don't know of any way to help them change what they have right now," he said.

The opponent of recreational marijuana who represents Mentele's district said he was sympathetic to the ballot measure sponsor's concerns but likely couldn't justify voting to amend a voter-approved law down the road.

This is sad....just sad.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
South Dakotans to vote on legalizing recreational marijuana in November election

South Dakotans will vote this year on whether to legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 years and older.

Secretary of State Steve Barnett said Monday his office has validated a proposed constitutional amendment that would legalize marijuana for adults 21 and older and require the state Legislature to enact a hemp cultivation law.

Barnett said his office found the petition had enough valid signatures to put the proposal on the Nov. 3 ballot. A constitutional amendment requires 33,921 valid signatures to qualify for the ballot.

The measure would legalize, regulate and tax marijuana as well as require the Legislature to pass laws on hemp. South Dakota lawmakers passed a bill in 2019 to legalize industrial hemp, but Republican Gov. Kristi Noem vetoed it. Noem has promised another veto if lawmakers pass a hemp bill in 2020, saying law enforcement can’t differentiate between hemp and marijuana. Hemp is related to cannabis but does not contain enough THC to make someone high.

Citizens can still challenge the ballot validation, Barnett said. The deadline to file a challenge is 5 p.m. Central time Feb. 5.

South Dakota voters in November also will decide a measure to allow medical marijuana for patients with serious health conditions. The measure would allow patients with chronic or debilitating health conditions to use and possess up to 3 ounces of marijuana. They would need to get a registration card from the state’s Department of Health.
Matthew Schweich, deputy director for the Marijuana Policy Project, said South Dakota will become the first state to vote on both medical marijuana and adult-use legalization initiatives on the same ballot.

Schweich said the recreational marijuana proposal “will greatly benefit the people of South Dakota by ending the injustice of arresting otherwise law-abiding adults for marijuana offenses” as well as allow law enforcement to focus on fighting serious crime, generate new tax revenue for the state and create jobs.

Eleven states have legalized marijuana for adults. Another 22 states have enacted medical marijuana laws.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
South Dakota voters to decide future of medical and recreational marijuana in the state


To legalize, or not to legalize? That is the question South Dakotans will answer when it comes to marijuana in the state. In November, voters will decide on Constitutional Amendment A and Initiated Measure 26.
Amendment A would legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana as well as require laws ensuring access to medical marijuana. IM 26 would establish a medical marijuana program for qualifying patients. On Wednesday, South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws held a Zoom news conference to make its case to legalize it. However, local law enforcement has questions about the implications of approving the amendment and initiated measure.
South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws want voters to say yes to cannabis in the state.



“The outright prohibition on cannabis does not work,” Brendan Johnson, former U.S Attorney and member of Better Marijuana Laws, said.
Supporters include Johnson and Chuck Parkinson , who worked for President Reagan’s administration on the frontlines of the famed War on Drugs.
“I’ve come to the conclusion after all these years, we’ve spent hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars and really gotten no results and we’ve ruined lives. We have taken away productive citizens who cannot get jobs, because they may have a drug conviction on their case file,” Parkinson said.
During its news conference, group members said legalizing and regulating marijuana would free up prisons and jails, and they also cited a legislative research council study estimating it would bring in $30 million of tax revenue by 2024.
“Of course that does not mean we favor no restrictions on cannabis. We certainly do,” Johnson said.
KELOLAND News spoke with the public information officer for the Sioux Falls Police Department about concerns over this.
We know from experience, drug use has harmful and impairing effects. We’ve seen a lot of different issues from drug use,” Sam Clemens said. “Not just from meth and heroin, there’s obviously a lot of attention on that, but we’ve also seen a lot of crimes with marijuana.”
The decision is up to the voters, but Clemens hopes law enforcement will continue to be a part of the discussion now and in the future when it comes to enforcing any potential reform.
“Anytime somebody’s talking about a big change like that, there’s obviously a lot of stakeholders involved and I think getting perspective from law enforcement can be very valuable,” Clemens said.
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member
South Dakota Could Pass Two Marijuana Ballot Measures In November

Marijuana is on the ballot in South Dakota this year. This is a state that has the dubious distinction of being the only one to twice defeat a medical marijuana initiative. And it has another dubious distinction: It’s the only state where people get prosecuted for having marijuana show up on a drug test.

That South Dakota has reactionary drug laws is not surprising; it is a pretty reactionary state. It voted overwhelmingly for Trump in 2016, and Republican Gov. Kristi Noem has (in)famously discussed adding the president’s likeness to Mt. Rushmore with him. The state’s congressional delegation is all-GOP, including Senate Majority Whip John Thune, and Republicans control both houses of the legislature as well, holding a supermajority in both for nearly a quarter-century.

Still, not one but two marijuana initiatives managed to find enough support to make the ballot, and local organizers supported by national reform groups New Approach PAC and the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) are hoping that marijuana’s momentum can overcome rock-ribbed Republican recalcitrance on the prairie come November.

The first, Initiated Measure 26, led by New Approach South Dakota, would create a medical marijuana program for patients with doctor-certified specified debilitating medical conditions. Patients could possess up to three ounces and grow up to three plants — or more if a doctor okays it. The state Department of Health would create and enforce rules and regulations.

The second, Constitutional Amendment A, would legalize up to an ounce for adults 21 and over and set up a system of taxed and regulated cultivation and sales. It would allow people to grow up to three plants at home — but only if there are no retail sales outlets in their local government jurisdiction. The amendment would also require the legislature to legalize the sale of hemp and create a state medical marijuana program by April 1, 2022.

Can green win in red South Dakota? Perhaps the state isn’t as red as it seems, said Michael Card, an associate professor of political science at the University of South Dakota.

“There are more no-party voter registrations now,” he said in a phone interview. “Within five years, independents will probably come close to catching up to Republicans. Democrats are fleeing the party because they don’t win.”

“Our campaign is really bipartisan; this isn’t a partisan issue,” said Melissa Mentele, director of New Approach South Dakota, which is leading the effort for the medical marijuana initiative. “It doesn’t matter what your party is; this is something that has brought so many people together,” she said in a phone interview.

And it’s no longer the last century or even the last decade, pointed out MPP campaigns coordinator Jared Moffat, who is working with South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws in support of both initiatives.

“It’s been 10 years since the last attempt to reform South Dakota’s marijuana laws through the ballot, and in that time, a lot has changed,” he said in an email exchange. “Support for marijuana policy reform has increased significantly in every part of the county and 11 states have adopted adult-use legalization laws — and they’re working well. No state has made a serious attempt to repeal those laws. We also have recent internal polling of South Dakotans that suggests we have a great shot at passing both initiatives.”

“We’ve had six years of education leading up to this medical marijuana initiative, the same bill has been sponsored twice in the legislature, it’s been debated publicly, there’s been a lot of media, and I think it’s time,” said Mentele. It will take a nice, slow, steady march to victory,” she added.

When queried about the need for a separate medical marijuana initiative, she bristled just a bit.

“We need to press forward with both,” she said. “Legalizing adult use is beneficial to the economy, but I’m a patient advocate; I’m about things like teaching people how to move off of opioids and pharmaceuticals, and when adult use programs come on board they tend to swallow medical programs. We don’t want that to happen. We want two distinct markets with a tax break for patients. The people who aren’t medical can buy it and pay taxes, but a true medical marijuana program passes savings on to patients.”

So, will both pass, will one pass, will neither pass?

“If I had to predict, expecting high turnout for the presidential race, you’re looking at Sioux Falls and Minnehaha County, the largest county in the state voting for it, and probably Brookings and Clay counties [home of South Dakota State University and the University of South Dakota, respectively], and Union County, and the reservation counties,” said Michael Card, associate professor of political science at USD in a phone interview.

But that means a whole lot of South Dakota counties likely won’t be voting for either medical or recreational marijuana this fall. Still, with the Sioux Falls metro area population of 266,000 constituting nearly 30% of the entire state population, that makes up for a number of sparsely-populated, more conservative counties. It’s going to be competitive.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if the constitutional amendment passed because of the inclusion of industrial hemp and the taxation of marijuana,” said Card. “If I were leading the campaign, I’d be telling people this is a tax you don’t have to pay. It’s also being supported by a former US attorney, Brendan Johnson.”

But, Card said, it’s also possible that voters could reject legalization and just pass medical marijuana. “Our population is aging, we’re seeing more patients, and even for many youth there are medicinal uses, so the idea that they could vote down legalization and approve medical is certainly plausible,” he said.

“The governor is very strongly against marijuana in any way, shape, or form,” said Card. “She kept the South Dakota legislature from adopting a farmers’ hemp cultivation bill. She drew a line in the sand and said no way.”

Noem is not alone in opposing marijuana reforms; the usual suspects are also out to block it. In July, the South Dakota Medical Association came out against both initiatives and will write the opposition statement that will appear on the general election ballot. The association maintains that marijuana is a hazardous drug and a public health concern.

Also in July, the legalization initiative drew organized opposition in the form of a ballot committee calling itself NO Way on Amendment. That group is led by David Own, the president of the state Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He is being joined by law enforcement, public officials, and social work leaders.

“South Dakota’s current marijuana laws aren’t working, and they are not serving South Dakotans’ best interests,” argued Moffat. “Amendment A and Measure 26 will fix what’s broken and establish a commonsense approach that provides relief to patients, improves public safety, and strengthens South Dakota’s economy.”

The campaign is still honing messages for key voters, he added, but will likely emphasize the need for tax revenues in the face of economic downturns and the need to get marijuana out of the criminal justice system. He noted that one out of 10 arrests in the state in 2018 was for marijuana. The campaign will also make the argument that passage of the constitutional amendment is necessary to protect medical marijuana from legislative chicanery, as happened with a campaign finance law approved by voters in 2016 and gutted in Pierre.

The campaign is in decent financial shape in small-market South Dakota and ready to do battle, said Moffat.

“With significant in-state and national support, as well as an expanding small-dollar fundraising effort, we are feeling good about the campaign budget at this point. Compared to other states where there are competitive national races, we expect our advertising dollars will go pretty far in South Dakota,” he said. “We never want to underestimate the opposition. Right now, it’s not clear what they are willing to spend, in terms of both money and political capital, to fight us. My sense is that they’re not willing to expend much, but that could change. We’ll have to see.”

Indeed. Early voting starts September 18.
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member

Marijuana Accounts For One In Ten South Dakota Arrests, New Report Shows Ahead Of Legalization Vote


Marijuana arrests in South Dakota are common, costly and carried out on a racially disproportionate basis, a new report released by advocates for a legalization measure on the state’s November ballot shows.

In fact, nearly one in 10 of all arrests in the state in 2018 were for cannabis offenses, with 95 percent of those cases concerning simple possession. There were 31,883 marijuana arrests in South Dakota from 2009 to 2018.

That’s according to an analysis of federal crime data, which was published by South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws on Tuesday.

Screen-Shot-2020-09-22-at-9.56.25-AM.png

Via South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws.

The campaign says the report underscores the urgent need for voters to approve the adult-use legalization measure.

Most of the possession arrests were for seven grams or less, and about 40 percent were for one gram or less.


Importantly, the data shows that—as is the case across the country—marijuana enforcement has had a disparate impact on people of color, despite comparable rates of consumption among white people.

On average, black residents and Native Americans have been more than five times as likely to be arrested for cannabis compared to white people over the 10-year period the report examines.

“In 2018 Native Americans accounted for 10.3 percent of the population, but they comprised 19 percent of those arrested for marijuana possession,” the analysis found. “In 2018 Blacks accounted for 2.9 percent of the population, but they comprised 9.8 percent of marijuana possession arrests.”

Screen-Shot-2020-09-22-at-9.56.45-AM.png


The report also broke down costs for arresting and incarcerating people over marijuana. The South Dakota Legislative Research Council determined that the state spends $90.26 for every day a person is jailed.

In 2018, there were 4,218 people jailed for cannabis offenses. So assuming each person spent 15 days in jail, South Dakota would be spending $5.7 million on marijuana-driven incarceration. If they spent 90 days in jail, that rises to $34.3 million. And if the maximum one-year sentence for possession of eight ounces or less was doled out, it would cost the state $139 million.

Former U.S. Attorney Brendan Johnson, a sponsor of the initiative, discussed the report during a virtual event on Tuesday.

“When we see that one in 10 arrests in South Dakota are for marijuana, we know that it is taking a huge economic toll on our state—not only in terms of taking productive citizens out of the workforce, but also in terms of the day-to-day law enforcement costs associated with enforcing this prohibition,” he said.

Beyond jail time and fines, the analysis also noted that—while difficult to quantify—there are additional costs to those caught up in the criminal justice system because of marijuana.

These arrests “often lead to other harmful consequences that can follow an individual long after formal punishments are completed.”

“In South Dakota, depending on the nature of the offense, these can include: loss of eligibility for adoption or foster parenting; loss of eligibility for public housing; loss of eligibility for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF); difficulties securing employment due to employer discrimination; barriers to professional licensure; loss of educational aid; revocation of driver’s license; and loss of the right to possess a firearm.”

This report comes weeks before South Dakota voters will get to decide on separate ballot measures to legalize cannabis for adult use and for medical use. And according to a poll recently released by opponents of the policy change, about 60 percent of voters support the broader reform proposal and more than 70 percent back the narrower medical-focused initiative.

The group behind that poll tried to make the case that it revealed confusion among the electorate, as many respondents said they favor the recreational measure because of the therapeutic applications of cannabis.

Johnson said he disagreed with how the opponents characterized their findings and that he feels that many voters are supportive of the recreational initiative because it would make permanent changes through a constitutional amendment.

“I think that there are an awful lot of people that support both medicinal and recreational,” he said. “I think there are an awful lot of people that realize we need a constitutional amendment, or want to see a constitutional amendment, to make sure that those protections are in place.”

The separate medical cannabis legalization measure that voters will decide on would make a statutory change to allow patients suffering from debilitating medical conditions to possess and purchase up to three ounces of marijuana from a licensed dispensary.

Under the adult use initiative, people 21 and older could possess and distribute up to one ounce, and they would also be allowed to cultivate up to three cannabis plants.
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member

South Dakota Governor Urges ‘No’ Vote On Marijuana Legalization Initiative In New Ad


The governor of South Dakota is urging residents to reject an initiative to legalize marijuana that will appear on the state’s November ballot.

In a video ad released by the No Way On Amendment A committee last week, Gov. Kristi Noem (R) said she’s “consistently” heard from people who work in law enforcement and addiction treatment who’ve told her not to enact legalization.

“The fact is, I’ve never met someone who got smarter from smoking pot,” the governor said.

“It’s not good for our kids. And it’s not going to improve our communities,” she said. “As your governor, I’m urging all South Dakotans to vote no on legalizing marijuana this November.”


Noem’s criticism seems to be targeted at the adult-use legalization initiative that would allow people 21 and older to possess and distribute up to one ounce of cannabis and cultivate up to three plants. But she’s also against a medical marijuana legalization measure that’s on the ballot as well.

The governor vetoed a hemp legalization bill last year, but after outlining a series of policy requests, she approved amended legislation to legalize the crop and CBD oil in May.

This latest video was released on the same day that pro-legalization South Dakotans For Better Marijuana Laws shared its own TV ad featuring a retired Sioux Falls police officer endorsing both cannabis initiatives.

“In 2018, 4,000 people were arrested for marijuana possession in South Dakota. That’s one in 10 arrests,” he said, referencing a report the pro-legalization campaign published last month. “Each arrest costs $4,000. It doesn’t make us any safer. We’re wasting law enforcement time and resources that should be fighting serious crimes. So I’m voting ‘yes’ on A and 26.”

According to a poll recently released last month by opponents of the policy change, about 60 percent of South Dakota voters support the broader reform proposal and more than 70 percent back the narrower medical-focused initiative.

To further bolster support ahead of the election, the reform campaign is also encouraging people to download a tool called Outvote that allows users to connect with their social network and raise awareness about the measures.


“There’s no doubt that the vote will be very close, particularly on Amendment A, which we need to pass in order to protect Measure 26 and ensure it cannot be undermined by politicians in Pierre,” the activists said in an email blast. “What we do over the next few days will determine whether or not South Dakota maintains the status quo or takes a new approach on marijuana.”

With less than two weeks to go until Election Day, a variety of drug policy reform campaigns in states across the U.S. are airing ads on TV and online.

A campaign working to pass a marijuana legalization referendum in New Jersey released a series of English- and Spanish-language ads touting the measure last week.

Also this month, an Oregon campaign behind a ballot initiative to decriminalize drug possession and expanding funding for substance misuse treatment rolled out a series of TV and online ads promoting the measure.

The campaign behind a separate initiative to legalize psilocybin for therapeutic purposes in Oregon is reaching voters through a TV ad that was released earlier this month that features a state lawmaker who is also a medical doctor. Activists are also using billboards to highlight the medical potential of the psychedelic.

A nonprofit veterans group recently released a separate TV ad touting the benefits of psilocybin therapy. It doesn’t explicitly mention the psychedelic reform measure, but it could help further inform how voters approach that question nonetheless.
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member

South Dakota Voters Approve Recreational And Medical Marijuana Legalization Ballot Measures


South Dakota voters have approved two ballot initiatives to legalize marijuana for recreational and medical purposes, according to projections from the Rapid City Journal.


SD Amendment A: Legalize Marijuana​

Last updated: 11/4/2020, 6:34:45 AM



CANDIDATEVOTESPERCENT
Yes200,55453.41%
No174,91946.59%
375,473 votes counted. Estimated >99% in

SD Measure 26: Medical Marijuana​

Last updated: 11/4/2020, 6:35:15 AM



CANDIDATEVOTESPERCENT
Yes done260,86569.21%
No116,04130.79%
376,906 votes counted. Estimated >99% in

The recreational measure, which is a constitutional amendment, will make it so people 21 and older will be able to possess and distribute up to one ounce of marijuana, and they will also be allowed to cultivate up to three cannabis plants. Upon formal passage, legalization will become the law on July 1, 2021. The Department of Revenue will be charged with developing licensing regulations by April 1, 2022.

The medical cannabis initiative will make a statutory change to allow patients suffering from debilitating conditions to possess and purchase up to three ounces of marijuana from a licensed dispensary. The state Department of Health will have until October 29, 2021 to enact regulations for the program and then must issue patient registration cards by November 18.

“No state has ever moved from marijuana prohibition to allowing both medical use and adult-use access, quite literally, overnight,” NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri said. “These votes are a stunning rebuke to those elected officials that for decades have refused to move forward with substantive marijuana law reform legislation, and they are yet another indication of the near-universal popularity of these policy changes among voters in all regions of the United States.”

“The very reason South Dakotans went to the polls to decide on these issues is because elected officials like Gov. Noem consistently failed to act,” he added. “The majority of South Dakotans, like the majority of Americans, believe that physicians, not doctors, should be able to decide if medical cannabis is a proper course of medical treatment. And they do not believe that people, particularly young adults and people of color, ought to be criminalized and stigmatized for possessing small amounts of marijuana.”




Recent polls indicated that both measures were on track to be approved.

A survey of likely voters released last month showed that 51 percent supported the adult-use policy change, compared to 44 percent who were opposed and five percent who were undecided. For medical cannabis legalization, 74 percent said they supported the reform while 23 percent opposed it.

A separate poll released in September by legalization opponents found that about 60 percent of South Dakota voters supported the broader recreational legalization proposal and more than 70 percent backed the narrower medical cannabis initiative.

“South Dakota has made history by becoming the first state to legalize medical marijuana and legalize marijuana for adults on the same day, Matthew Schweich, deputy director of the Marijuana Policy Project, said. “Furthermore, it is arguably the most conservative state yet to enact marijuana legalization. This victory has added significance at the federal level with top-ranking Republican Senator John Thune now representing a legalization state.”

Supporters and opponents got their message out in a series of ads leading up to Election Day.

A former federal prosecutor, Randy Seiler, endorsed both South Dakota ballot measures in a campaign ad released last month, for example.

Seiler isn’t the only former federal prosecutor backing far-reaching cannabis reforms in South Dakota. His predecessor Brendan Johnson actually sponsored the adult-use legalization initiative.

South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws, the campaign behind the recreational initiative, also released a separate ad with a retired Sioux Falls police officer who said he was supporting the proposals because criminalization wastes taxpayer dollars and law enforcement resources.

In that video, the former officer cited a report released by the legalization campaign last month that found that nearly one in 10 of all arrests in the state in 2018 were for cannabis offenses, with 95 percent of those cases concerning simple possession.

Gov. Kristi Noem (R), who previously vetoed a hemp bill, was among the opponents of the reform proposals. In a video ad released last month, she urged constituents to reject the reform initiative, stating that it’s “not good for our kids” and won’t “improve our communities.”

“The fact is, I’ve never met someone who got smarter from smoking pot,” the governor said.
 

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member

South Dakota Voters Made ‘Wrong Choice’ On Marijuana Legalization, Governor Says As Lawmakers Weigh Challenges


South Dakota voters spoke decisively when they legalized both medical and recreational marijuana during Tuesday’s election. But the state’s governor says that was the “wrong choice,” and a top lawmaker is voicing concerns about implementing the adult-use program, which is now protected in the state Constitution.

“I was personally opposed to these measures and firmly believe they’re the wrong choice for South Dakota’s communities,” Gov. Kristi Noem (R), told The Argus Leader. “We need to be finding ways to strengthen our families, and I think we’re taking a step backward in that effort.”

Meanwhile, House Speaker Steven Haugaard (R) said on Wednesday that the broader legalization initiative contains a number of provisions that will have to be addressed legislatively.

“You really need to figure out if a constitutional amendment is sufficient in itself to clarify some of those issues,” he said. “I suspect we are going to have some challenges to that because it is so long.”



“Even in our legislature, when we pass a bill that’s a paragraph, we spend a lot of time arguing about the wording and then we might come back and in following years and address that, this though is a constitutional amendment so it’s a little more difficult to do that,” the speaker said in an interview with KELO-TV.

“It’s going to be a challenge to try to figure out how do you weave this together with current law—both state and federal—so there are a lot of things that it addresses,” he said.

The speaker didn’t seem to express the same concerns about the statutory medical marijuana initiative that passed. Under the measure, patients suffering from debilitating conditions will be allowed to possess and purchase up to three ounces of marijuana from a licensed dispensary. The state Department of Health has until October 29, 2021 to enact regulations for the program and then must issue patient registration cards by November 18.

The constitutional amendment for adult-use cannabis will make it so people 21 and older will be able to possess and distribute up to one ounce of marijuana, and they will also be allowed to cultivate up to three cannabis plants. Upon formal passage, legalization will become the law on July 1, 2021. The Department of Revenue will be charged with developing licensing regulations by April 1, 2022.

So there will be time for lawmakers to review and adjust statutes before retail sales begin. But, because the protections are now enshrined in the state Constitution, there’s only so much tinkering that lawmakers will be able to do. Any legislation they pass giving direction to how regulators should run the program will have to comport with the language voters approved at the ballot box.

Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Troy Heinert (D) said that South Dakota has “a road map of other states and how they did it, and we can either choose to look at them and learn from them and see what works and make a plan that fits South Dakota or we can just negate the will of the people and say no we aren’t going to do this, and I would think that is a mistake.”

That said, he agreed that there are “lots of statutes on the books that are going to need change—the possession, ingestion as a felony,” he told the TV station. In order to implement the recreational initiative, the legislature will “need to change [state] statutes” on cannabis.

Another potential obstacle could come from the governor’s office.

Noem, who previously vetoed a hemp bill, was among the opponents of both reform proposals. In a video ad released last month, she urged constituents to reject the reform initiative, stating that it’s “not good for our kids” and won’t “improve our communities.”

Any legislation to make statutory changes to comport with the legalization measure will have to clear her desk.

This story has been updated to include comments from the governor on the marijuana initiatives.

 

Baron23

Well-Known Member

South Dakota Voters Made ‘Wrong Choice’ On Marijuana Legalization, Governor Says As Lawmakers Weigh Challenges


South Dakota voters spoke decisively when they legalized both medical and recreational marijuana during Tuesday’s election. But the state’s governor says that was the “wrong choice,” and a top lawmaker is voicing concerns about implementing the adult-use program, which is now protected in the state Constitution.

“I was personally opposed to these measures and firmly believe they’re the wrong choice for South Dakota’s communities,” Gov. Kristi Noem (R), told The Argus Leader. “We need to be finding ways to strengthen our families, and I think we’re taking a step backward in that effort.”

Meanwhile, House Speaker Steven Haugaard (R) said on Wednesday that the broader legalization initiative contains a number of provisions that will have to be addressed legislatively.

“You really need to figure out if a constitutional amendment is sufficient in itself to clarify some of those issues,” he said. “I suspect we are going to have some challenges to that because it is so long.”



“Even in our legislature, when we pass a bill that’s a paragraph, we spend a lot of time arguing about the wording and then we might come back and in following years and address that, this though is a constitutional amendment so it’s a little more difficult to do that,” the speaker said in an interview with KELO-TV.

“It’s going to be a challenge to try to figure out how do you weave this together with current law—both state and federal—so there are a lot of things that it addresses,” he said.

The speaker didn’t seem to express the same concerns about the statutory medical marijuana initiative that passed. Under the measure, patients suffering from debilitating conditions will be allowed to possess and purchase up to three ounces of marijuana from a licensed dispensary. The state Department of Health has until October 29, 2021 to enact regulations for the program and then must issue patient registration cards by November 18.

The constitutional amendment for adult-use cannabis will make it so people 21 and older will be able to possess and distribute up to one ounce of marijuana, and they will also be allowed to cultivate up to three cannabis plants. Upon formal passage, legalization will become the law on July 1, 2021. The Department of Revenue will be charged with developing licensing regulations by April 1, 2022.

So there will be time for lawmakers to review and adjust statutes before retail sales begin. But, because the protections are now enshrined in the state Constitution, there’s only so much tinkering that lawmakers will be able to do. Any legislation they pass giving direction to how regulators should run the program will have to comport with the language voters approved at the ballot box.

Meanwhile, Senate Minority Leader Troy Heinert (D) said that South Dakota has “a road map of other states and how they did it, and we can either choose to look at them and learn from them and see what works and make a plan that fits South Dakota or we can just negate the will of the people and say no we aren’t going to do this, and I would think that is a mistake.”

That said, he agreed that there are “lots of statutes on the books that are going to need change—the possession, ingestion as a felony,” he told the TV station. In order to implement the recreational initiative, the legislature will “need to change [state] statutes” on cannabis.

Another potential obstacle could come from the governor’s office.

Noem, who previously vetoed a hemp bill, was among the opponents of both reform proposals. In a video ad released last month, she urged constituents to reject the reform initiative, stating that it’s “not good for our kids” and won’t “improve our communities.”

Any legislation to make statutory changes to comport with the legalization measure will have to clear her desk.

This story has been updated to include comments from the governor on the marijuana initiatives.
Yeah, the wrong choice ...wrong choice of Governor who doesn’t recognize the ONLY authority he has services from the voters he disparaged. Idiotic.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
"I respect the voice of the voters in South Dakota"

Complete and utter garbage. Their actions show their views to be exactly the opposite.

South Dakota Police File Lawsuit To Overturn Voter-Passed Marijuana Measure


Two law enforcement officials in South Dakota are asking a judge to throw out a marijuana legalization measure that state voters approved this month, filing a court challenge that appears to have the backing of Gov. Kristi Noem (R) and is being paid for at least partially with state funds.


Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom and state Highway Patrol Superintendent Col. Rick Miller sued on Friday. The lawsuit seeks to declare all ballots cast for or against Amendment A null and void and invalidate the changes it makes to the state Constitution.


“I’ve dedicated my life to defending and upholding the rule of law,” Thom said in a press release. “The South Dakota Constitution is the foundation for our government and any attempt to modify it should not be taken lightly. I respect the voice of the voters in South Dakota, however in this case I believe the process was flawed and done improperly, due to no fault of the voters.”


The challenge, filed in state’s Sixth Judicial Circuit Court, attempts to overturn Amendment A, which won just over 54 percent of the vote on Election Day, on what some might see as a technicality. It claims that because the marijuana legalization question, a constitutional amendment, covers multiple issues—including the legalization and regulation of marijuana for adults 21 and older, as well as the regulation of medical cannabis and hemp—it violates a 2018 requirement that “no proposed amendment may embrace more than one subject.”




In all, the challenge claims the constitutional amendment contains at least five distinct subjects involving the legalization and regulation of various forms of cannabis. Rather than package those subjects into a single proposed amendment, the challenge argues, organizers needed to split them into separate questions on the ballot.


“A major purpose of the one-subject rule is to avoid requiring voters to accept part of a proposed amendment that they opposed in order to obtain a change in the Constitution that they support,” the complaint says, “resulting in votes that do not accurately reflect the electorate’s approval of the proposed amendment.”


A challenge along similar lines removed a medical marijuana legalization measure from Nebraska’s ballot in September, when the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled that the proposed constitutional amendment violated that state’s single-issue rule.


South Dakota has had the single-subject requirement in place since voters passed a 2018 constitutional amendment on the issue.


“Our constitutional amendment procedure is very straightforward,” said Miller of the South Dakota Highway Patrol. “In this case, the group bringing Amendment A unconstitutionally abused the initiative process. We’re confident that the courts will safeguard the South Dakota Constitution and the rule of law.”


The law enforcement officials’ complaint also argues that the legalization measure was not properly constitutionally ratified. “The proponents of Amendment A failed to follow that basic textual requirement,” their press release says.


The group behind the South Dakota legalization measure said over the weekend that its legal team is reviewing the lawsuit and developing a strategy that it will share soon.


“We are prepared to defend Amendment A against this lawsuit,” South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws said in a statement. “Our opponents should accept defeat instead of trying to overturn the will of the people. Amendment A was carefully drafted, fully vetted, and approved by a strong majority of South Dakota voters this year.”


The group said it will be moving to formally intervene in the lawsuit this week, which it said was “filed incorrectly under South Dakota law, as a ‘contest’ to an election.”


“The complaint has nothing to do with the manner in which the election was conducted and only relates to the text of Amendment A,” the pro-legalization organization said of the single-subject dispute. “But anyone who reads Amendment A can see that every word relates to the cannabis plant.”


The police lawsuit’s claims on procedural grounds are a “manufactured distinction” that is “unsupported in the law and is utterly insufficient as a basis for overturning a constitutional amendment approved by voters,” South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws said.


State money is funding an unspecified portion of the lawsuit, the Rapid City Journal reported on Friday, citing a spokesperson for Noem. “The governor approved this because she took an oath to support and defend the Constitution. This is part of her duty as governor,” Ian Fury told the paper.


Private lawyers are representing the officials.


In the days after the election, the governor said she “was personally opposed to these measures and firmly believe they’re the wrong choice for South Dakota’s communities.”


“We need to be finding ways to strengthen our families,” Noem said, “and I think we’re taking a step backward in that effort.”


In a statement to the Rapid City Journal on Friday, she said she’s eager to see the challenge go to court.


“In South Dakota we respect our Constitution,” Noem said. “I look forward to the court addressing the serious constitutional concerns laid out in this lawsuit.”


The case doesn’t seek to challenge the separate statutory medical cannabis ballot measure that voters also approved this month.


A handful of other legal challenges are in the works across the U.S. after voters approved every major marijuana and drug reform measure on state ballots on Election Day.


In Mississippi, where voters legalized marijuana for medical use, the mayor of the city of Madison asked the state Supreme Court to invalidate the measure on procedural grounds, arguing it was improperly put before voters. But unlike in South Dakota, Mississippi state officials are siding with voters.


“Even if their interpretative argument is correct, petitioners’ action is woefully untimely,” says a filing made earlier this month by the secretary of state and attorney general, who are defending the law in court. “They could have asserted their so-called ‘procedural’ challenge years ago.”


State officials said the high court “should deny petitioners’ requested relief and dismiss their petition.”


In Montana, meanwhile, the group Wrong for Montana is suing to overturn a cannabis legalization measure passed by 56.9 percent of state voters. In that suit, plaintiffs argue the measure unconstitutionally involved the appropriation of state funds.


Separately, some Montana lawmakers had planned to undo the legalization law through a bill in the state legislature, but the leader of that effort, Rep. Derek Skees (R) backed away from that plan after noting the measure’s wide margin of victory.


“The only branch of government in this state dumb enough to overturn citizens’ initiative is the [state] Supreme Court, which has done it repeatedly,” he said.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member

momofthegoons

Vapor Accessory Addict
Staff member

South Dakota Governor Again Slams Voters’ Marijuana Decision, But Budget Funds Implementation Amid Lawsuit


The governor of South Dakota is continuing her condemnation of voters’ decision to legalize marijuana for medical and recreational purposes in the state during November’s election—even as she takes new steps to fund the implementation of the programs at the same time a lawsuit to overturn the vote that her administration is financially backing proceeds in court.

On Tuesday, Gov. Kristi Noem (R) said during her annual budget address that she wanted to “call out one budget provision related to the disappointing votes on marijuana at the ballot box this year” and that there are “significant safety and regulatory costs associated with both the medical marijuana measure and the recreational one.”

The budget is complicated by a lawsuit challenging the adult-use reform measure, Noem said, stating that she will “have to present two courses of action—a path forward with both recreational and medical, and a second with just medical.”

The medical cannabis reform measure is not being legally contested.

The governor argued that the state “will not see any revenue from marijuana until at least April of 2022, though it could be longer.”

“And in the meantime, to comply with the predetermined timeline, the Department of Revenue needs to get to work now,” she said. “This funding would go toward staff, technology, consultants, and other costs, until revenues from the program are enough to sustain it. But there will also be a number of other collateral costs, like safety, training and enforcement, among many others.”

“On top of this, the Department of Health has specific needs related to the medical marijuana program,” Noem added. “My budget recommends just over $136,000 over three years to cover staff and other costs related to setting up a program. That should be enough to support program costs until revenue starts coming in.”

“Over the coming weeks, we hope to know more about which path we need to take.”
The lawsuit against the recreational initiative, which was filed by two South Dakota law enforcement officials and funded in part by the state, claims that the measure should be invalidated because it violated a single-subject rule stipulating that “no proposed amendment may embrace more than one subject.”

“In South Dakota we respect our Constitution,” Noem told The Rapid City Journal last month. “I look forward to the court addressing the serious constitutional concerns laid out in this lawsuit.”

She said shortly after the election that she was “personally opposed to these measures and firmly believe they’re the wrong choice for South Dakota’s communities,” adding that the states needs “to be finding ways to strengthen our families, and I think we’re taking a step backward in that effort.”

Noem, who previously vetoed a hemp bill, filmed a video ad before Election Day that urged constituents to reject the recreational marijuana initiative, stating that it’s “not good for our kids” and won’t “improve our communities.”

“The fact is, I’ve never met someone who got smarter from smoking pot,” she said in the spot.

But while the governor might be supporting the ongoing legal case seeking to overturn voters’ decision, the state’s attorney general asked a court to dismiss the suit last week, contesting the idea that the measure violates the single-subject clause.

Meanwhile, the judge overseeing the case said that advocates behind the legalization campaign are allowed to intervene in the lawsuit.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member

South Dakota Governor Again Slams Voters’ Marijuana Decision, But Budget Funds Implementation Amid Lawsuit


The governor of South Dakota is continuing her condemnation of voters’ decision to legalize marijuana for medical and recreational purposes in the state during November’s election—even as she takes new steps to fund the implementation of the programs at the same time a lawsuit to overturn the vote that her administration is financially backing proceeds in court.

On Tuesday, Gov. Kristi Noem (R) said during her annual budget address that she wanted to “call out one budget provision related to the disappointing votes on marijuana at the ballot box this year” and that there are “significant safety and regulatory costs associated with both the medical marijuana measure and the recreational one.”

The budget is complicated by a lawsuit challenging the adult-use reform measure, Noem said, stating that she will “have to present two courses of action—a path forward with both recreational and medical, and a second with just medical.”

The medical cannabis reform measure is not being legally contested.

The governor argued that the state “will not see any revenue from marijuana until at least April of 2022, though it could be longer.”

“And in the meantime, to comply with the predetermined timeline, the Department of Revenue needs to get to work now,” she said. “This funding would go toward staff, technology, consultants, and other costs, until revenues from the program are enough to sustain it. But there will also be a number of other collateral costs, like safety, training and enforcement, among many others.”

“On top of this, the Department of Health has specific needs related to the medical marijuana program,” Noem added. “My budget recommends just over $136,000 over three years to cover staff and other costs related to setting up a program. That should be enough to support program costs until revenue starts coming in.”


The lawsuit against the recreational initiative, which was filed by two South Dakota law enforcement officials and funded in part by the state, claims that the measure should be invalidated because it violated a single-subject rule stipulating that “no proposed amendment may embrace more than one subject.”

“In South Dakota we respect our Constitution,” Noem told The Rapid City Journal last month. “I look forward to the court addressing the serious constitutional concerns laid out in this lawsuit.”

She said shortly after the election that she was “personally opposed to these measures and firmly believe they’re the wrong choice for South Dakota’s communities,” adding that the states needs “to be finding ways to strengthen our families, and I think we’re taking a step backward in that effort.”

Noem, who previously vetoed a hemp bill, filmed a video ad before Election Day that urged constituents to reject the recreational marijuana initiative, stating that it’s “not good for our kids” and won’t “improve our communities.”

“The fact is, I’ve never met someone who got smarter from smoking pot,” she said in the spot.

But while the governor might be supporting the ongoing legal case seeking to overturn voters’ decision, the state’s attorney general asked a court to dismiss the suit last week, contesting the idea that the measure violates the single-subject clause.

Meanwhile, the judge overseeing the case said that advocates behind the legalization campaign are allowed to intervene in the lawsuit.
Fuck her....if we ever return to being an aristocracy and she is Queen, then she can do what she wants. But as it stands now, she needs to shut the fuck up and do what her electorate has told her to do and who pay her to do it.

The lawsuit against the recreational initiative, which was filed by two South Dakota law enforcement officials and funded in part by the state

Funded in part by the state...the fucking state of S.D. is bankrolling a law suit to overturn a valid, direct, referendum from the electorate. And doing so over a technicality.

Wow, makes you wish you could still tar and feather people.

Fucking politicians....FFS.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
Oh, how admirable....a democratically elected government representative of her electorate has decided to oppose the direct and democratically expressed will of her citizens....on a fucking legal technicality.

Ain't it grand.

SD governor to challenge amendment legalizing recreational marijuana


South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem (R) on Friday issued an executive order allowing a legal challenge to the constitutionality of a November voter-approved amendment to legalize recreational marijuana in the state.
In the order, Noem argues that the “initiative process used to place” the amendment seeking to legalize marijuana and require the legislature to pass laws ensuring access to marijuana for medical use “was not proper and violated the procedures set forth in the South Dakota Constitution.”
Noem’s order also states that Highway Patrol Superintendent Col. Rick Miller has legal standing to sue on the amendment because he is acting on behalf of the governor.
In a lawsuit filed in late November, Miller and Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom claimed the constitutional amendment, Amendment A, violated rules against amending more than one subject at once.
Amendment A had incorporated legalizing marijuana, regulating its recreational use, taxing it, ensuring access to medical marijuana and requiring that state lawmakers pass laws regulating hemp.
Instead, Miller and Thom are arguing that broader revisions to the state constitution need to be approved through a constitutional convention, according to The Associated Press.
Meanwhile, South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg’s (R) office and a group of citizens who led the campaign for the amendment, set to go into effect July 1, argued that the amendment only covers one subject: cannabis.
Amendment A passed with 54 percent support in the Nov. 3 election, while a separate question on legalizing medical marijuana received nearly 70 percent.
Noem was among the biggest opponents to marijuana legalization, calling the vote “the wrong choice” in a statement released two days after the election.
 

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