Attorney General Marty Jackley is hitting the road for another press conference, this time in Flandreau today at 9 a.m. A.G. Jackley doesn’t tell us what the presser is about or even whether he’ll be opening it with another prayer to bring the community together.
Cannabis news website Leafly reports that A.G. Jackley is coming to town to boost his gubernatorial bid by announcing felony charges against Eric Hagen, CEO of Monarch America, for his work with the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe in its aborted attempt to legalize marijuana on tribal land:
Jackley, who made his name in South Dakota as a drug warrior, is known to be considering a run for governor in 2018. He’s unable to legally sanction any tribal member who worked on the cannabis project while on tribal land. It’s widely speculated that he may bring heavy conspiracy and possession charges against Hagen — who is not an enrolled member of the tribe — to bolster his own political reputation and to scare away other consultants who may consider working on tribal cannabis projects within the state.
Hagen is originally from South Dakota and currently divides his time between that state and his home in Denver [Bruce Barcott, “South Dakota Expected to Bring Felony Charges Against Cannabis Consultant,” Leafly, 2016.08.02].
Medical cannabis advocacy group New Approach South Dakota, which is fighting to place its medical cannabis initiative on this year’s ballot, gives this speculation enough credence to hit the road to Flandreau. New Approach SD is inviting supporters to rally at Jackley’s press conference to support the tribe and protest Jackley’s tactics:
Monarch America & FSST had been on track to have CBD oils available for Pediatric patients in Jan 2016. Patients could medicate on site and parents had a space to bring their children for safe access to medicine. A clinic environment would be implemented to provide a high standard of care and education.
Jackley robbed us all of having safe access and now despite this being a legal business on Federal Trust land he has extended his over reach & abuse of power to attempt to prosecute these people. It is a travesty & a complete waste of SD resources [New Approach South Dakota, Facebook post, 2016.08.02].
If the Attorney General is announcing charges against Hagen and/or anyone else involved in the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe’s pot ploy, it should be noted that it took Jackley less than a year to find someone to take to court over an exercise of tribal sovereignty, while it took three years for Jackley, once alerted to wrongdoing by federal authorities, to take anyone to court over EB-5 corruption carried out on behalf of great white father Mike Rounds.
Related Reading: Perhaps A.G. Jackley can portray this ditchweed hunt as less anti-Indian sovereignty and more pro-Green: per kilogram of output, indoor marijuana cultivation consumes more than 300 times more energy than the production of aluminum.
Update 13:05 CDT: A.G. Jackley announced the indictment of Eric Matthew Hagen on three Class 3 felony counts:
- Conspiracy to possess more than ten pounds of marijuana; punishment up to ten years in the pen and a $20K fine.
- Possession of more than ten pounds of marijuana; ten years, $20K.
- Attempted possession of more than ten pounds of marijuana; 7.5 years, $15K fine.
A.G. Jackley has also pushed Monarch America COO and grower Jonathan Hunt to plead to one Class 6 felony count of conspiracy to possess between a half pound and one pound of marijuana, punishable by up to two years and $4K. Hunt has apparently agreed to help the A.G. prosecute Hagen and is expected to enter his plea on August 15.
The state’s complaint alleges that Hunt ordered marijuana seeds from the Netherlands, smuggled them into the tribal facility in 2015, and worked with others to grow the marijuana that the tribe ultimately destroyed last October.