Spearfish Man Offers Second Initiative to Legalize Recreational Marijuana

The Legislature’s Executive Board spent some time yesterday talking about the greatest threat to their club, initiative and referendum. A Legislative Research Council brief on initiatives submitted for review gives some details on a marijuana legalization measure that hasn’t received much public attention.

John Dale strumming and marching in Swarm Days Parade. Photo from John Dale, PlainsTribune.com.
John Dale strumming and marching in Swarm Days Parade. Photo from John Dale, PlainsTribune.com.

John Dale of Spearfish, who maintains a webpage titled “Cannabis Consumers for Liberty,” has submitted an initiated measure to decriminalize cannabis. Dale’s first draft caught heck from LRC for all-caps, incomplete sentences, and too many powerless declarations and findings. Dale’s second draft hews closer to standard South Dakota initiative format. It appears to remove all legal penalties for possession, sale, or use of marijuana. Among items that will kill that second draft in my book are Section 17, which declares April 20 “Cannabis Day” in South Dakota; Section 20, which strikes SDHSAA penalties for students who use marijuana; Sections 37, 39, and 40, which remove the restriction on driving under the influence of marijuana; Sections 47 and 48, which makes the same unwise error of allowing boaters to use marijuana; and several sections that appear to remove abuse of marijuana from considerations of custody and parental rights but not abuse of alcohol. On the latter, I would contend that if the state can deem a person too drunk to parent, the state should also be able to deem a person too stoned to parent.

On the good side, Dale’s Section 39 includes a repeal of the state’s torturous practice of forced catheterization. Section 39 would amend SDCL 32-23-10, which currently deems operating a motor vehicle as giving consent to “to the withdrawal of blood or other bodily substance and chemical analysis of the person’s blood, breath, or other bodily substance” to test for intoxicants, to allow only “external capture of urine and any chemical analysis of the person’s breath, hair, fecal matter, or urine.” No forced drawing of urine or blood—John Dale! Drop everything else and circulate a petition just for that section!

Dale’s proposal does not appear to go into the same detail on licensing and taxing marijuana production and sales as the cannabis regulation initiative proposed by New Approach South Dakota. The New Approach initiative imposes excise taxes and distributes revenue by specific percentages to education, health, law enforcement, and the general fund. Dale’s proposal specifies no licensing or taxation scheme, but Section 12 grants whatever revenues may come from the proposal to small farmers for “early-stage, high-risk local agriculture, new venture, and research and development.” None of those terms are defined.

Dale offers a series of nicely guitar-backed podcasts on PlainsTribune.com  (“broadcasting live from the corner of Canyon and Jackson”—with a great view of Lookout Mountain!). In an April 4 podcast, Dale says he hopes be ready to circulate petitions by July 4. He’ll be a couple months behind his competition: New Approach is officially kicking off its recreational cannabis petition drive this Saturday in Sioux Falls and gathering signatures at the Earth Day Festival in Rapid City.

10 Responses to Spearfish Man Offers Second Initiative to Legalize Recreational Marijuana

  1. barry freed

    Show me in the Constitution, State or National, where is the authority to outlaw any drug.

  2. bearcreekbat

    The SCOTUS has overturned implied consent laws used to take bodily fluids from someone suspected of a crime. Absent exigent circumstances, law enforcement would be required to obtain a warrant from the court to take blood or bodily fluids. Warrantless breathalyzer tests are permitted, but that seems to be it


  3. People need to move out of SD if they want legalized weed, or Democrat for a change. Democrats have more empathy for humans outside of the womb.

  4. Vote Democrat (I meant). With the Party of NO in power for almost half a century and no let up, move on to a more tolerant and higher wage paying state, cannabis supporters. Trust me, most of us that have moved out have never regretted it.

  5. Are you Dems really trying to get legalized weed and Medicaid expansion? Seriously?

  6. I, for one, look forward to the day we can mock April 20th as the Day of the Demon Weed.

  7. Bob Newland

    I, for one, look forward to the day I piss on grudznick’s grave.

  8. South Dakota will be last in the country on this canabis thing. Once over half the states increase tax revenue by expanding freedom, Federal law will change and so will rural states. Sad thing is, Jeff Sessions, GOP and Trump would never budge on Marijuana policy. So, it’s up to Democrats to stand up for what’s right on this one.

    Those kids though, those doping kids need to get off the dope – just as bad as the high on sobriety crowd needs to relax a little.

  9. Mr. Sol: “you Dems”? John Dale is registered Republican.

  10. I respectfully withdraw the characterization with apologies to Mr. Dale.