• Tag Archives marijuana
  • Dakota Free Press Podcast 002: Trumpcare, Petitions, Adoption, and Stand-Up Comedy!

    The newest Dakota Free Press Podcast is ready for your earbuds!

    In this week’s show…:

    • Co-host Spencer Dobson and I express our love for snowplow drivers.
    • [3:30] Spencer follows up on questions from Episode 001 on marijuana finance and science.
    • [7:00] I explain how the GOP health care plan could damage South Dakota’s budget and economy.
    • [12:45] Spencer and I talk about protesting bad laws with online petitions and actually repealing bad laws with referendum petitions.
    • [19:05] We go deeper on Senate Bill 149, South Dakota’s attempt to stop same-sex couples from adopting children.
    • [32:25] Finally, I get Spencer to tell us about his career as a stand-up comic.

    Podcast Links:



  • Dakota Free Press Podcast: Fear, Drones, Protest, and Pot!

    The newest Dakota Free Press Podcast, fresh baked in the sound oven this morning, is online!

    My co-host Spencer Dobson and I talk about Neal Tapio’s pro-Trump/anti-refugee resolution, the Legislature’s drone control bill, Governor Daugaard’s protest quashing bill, and the medical marijuana and industrial hemp bills. We also spend a little time talking about how I got out of being a Republican and into blogging.

    For those of you reading along, here are the notes for today’s show:

    SCR 15, a Resolution “Commending President Donald J. Trump in his commitment to keeping the country safe from radical Islamic terrorism”

    SB 80, an Act to “regulate the use of drones under certain conditions and to provide a penalty therefor”

    SB 176, an Act to “preserve the use of public land, to ensure free travel, and to enhance emergency response”

    SB 95, an Act to “add cannabidiol to the list of Schedule IV controlled substances and to exclude it from the definition of marijuana,” and HB 1204, an Act to “authorize the production and sale of industrial hemp”



  • New Approach Training Petition Circulators, Lobbying Three Cannabis Bills in Pierre

    New Approach South Dakota, which is promoting ballot measures on death with dignity (also known as assisted suicide), medical marijuana, and recreational marijuana, is offering training for petition circulators around the state. New Approach SD held training sessions in Sioux Falls, Rapid City, and Spearfish yesterday; their Facebook page invites folks who’d like to put measures on the ballot in 2018 to these upcoming training sessions:

    According to KDLT, New Approach will host three more training sessions after the above through April.

    New Approach SD isn’t putting all of its eggs in the initiative basket. The group is inviting cannabis activists to join them at the Capitol tomorrow for NASD’s Third Annual Cannabis Patients Lobbying Day. They’ll be at Senate Judiciary bright and early at 8 a.m. to support two cannabis-related bills that are up for hearing:

    1. SB 95: “An Act to add cannabidiol to the list of Schedule IV controlled substances and to exclude it from the definition of marijuana”; and
    2. SB 157: “An Act to create an exception for possession of a certain amount of marijuana with a valid medical marijuana card from another state.”

    New Approach SD is also supporting SB 129, which would remove THC, the drug in marijuana, from South Dakota’s list of Schedule I hallucinogenic substances. SB 129 has been assigned to Senate Judiciary but has not been placed on a committee agenda.



  • New Approach Offers Draft Legislation to Legalize (and Tax!) Recreational Marijuana

    We’ve seen the draft text of New Approach South Dakota’s proposed ballot initiatives for assisted suicide (taken from Washington State’s “Death with Dignity” Act) and their medical cannabis proposal (another swing at the measure they failed to get on the 2016 ballot). Now organizer Melissa Mentele shares with me the text of New Approach’s third big initiative, a measure to legalize and tax recreational use of marijuana.

    None of these three initiatives will pass Greg Belfrage’s page-number test. Death with Dignity exceeds 4,000 words; Recreational Marijuana, 4,900; Medical Cannabis; 10,000. But hey—Initiated Measure 22 runs more than 15,000 words, and we passed that last November!

    For what it’s worth, these are three initiatives that, if passed, I hope would never impact my personal life. On assisted suicide, I hope no one I love is ever stricken with a terminal illness that would make my loved one consider asking a doctor for a fatal prescription… although if the prognosis and the pain were that bad, I don’t think I’d stand in my loved one’s way.

    On medical cannabis, I’d rather my loved ones never get sick, but if a doctor says medical cannabis would help treat my loved one’s illness or ease my loved one’s pain, then write me the prescription and get the government out of the way of our health care.

    On recreational marijuana, well, I don’t even drink beer for fun. Alcohol, tobacco, marijuana—all stupid choices (ask Harold Weir, who is my model for parenting). I don’t plan to spend any of my capital—financial or political—on getting buzzed.

    But here’s what might be coming to a petition near you. Read and discuss!

    An Act to Regulate and Tax Marijuana Like Alcohol

    Be it enacted by the people of South Dakota:

    Section 1. Purpose and findings.

    1. In the interest of allowing law enforcement to focus on the growing methamphetamine, heroin, prescription drug problems, violent and property crimes, generating revenue for education and other public purposes, and individual freedom, the State of South Dakota finds and declares that the use of marijuana should be legal for persons 21 years of age or older and taxed in a manner similar to alcohol.
    2. In the interest of the health and public safety of our citizens, the people of the state of South Dakota further find and declare that marijuana should be regulated in a manner similar to alcohol so that:
      1. Individuals will have to show proof of age before purchasing marijuana;
      2. Selling, distributing, or transferring marijuana to minors and other individuals under the age of 21 shall remain illegal;
      3. Driving under the influence of marijuana shall remain illegal;
      4. Legitimate, taxpaying business people, and not criminal actors, will conduct sales of marijuana; and
      5. Marijuana sold in this state will be tested, labeled, and subject to additional regulations to ensure that consumers are informed and protected.
    3. In the interest of enacting rational policies for the treatment of all variations of the cannabis plant, the state of South Dakota further finds and declares that hemp should be regulated separately from strains of cannabis with higher delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) concentrations.
    4. The state of South Dakota further finds and declares that it is necessary to ensure consistency and fairness in the application of this chapter throughout the state and that, therefore, the matters addressed by this chapter are, except as specified herein, matters of statewide concern.

    Section 2. Definitions. As used in this chapter unless the context otherwise requires:

    1. “Consumer” means a person 21 years of age or older who purchases marijuana or marijuana products for personal use by persons 21 years of age or older, but not for resale.
    2. “Department” means (SD Liquor Board or Retailers Association ) or its successor agency.
    3. “Immature marijuana plant” means a marijuana plant that has not flowered and which does not have buds that may be observed by visual examination.
    4. “Hemp” means the plant of the genus cannabis and any part of such plant, whether growing or not, with a delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol concentration that does not exceed threetenths percent on a dry weight basis of any part of the plant cannabis, or per volume or weight of marijuana product, or the combined percent of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol and tetrahydrocannabinolic acid in any part of the plant cannabis regardless of moisture content.
    5. “Locality” means a municipality or, in reference to a location outside the boundaries of a municipality, a county.
    6. “Local regulatory authority” means the office or entity designated to process marijuana establishment applications by a municipality or, in reference to a location outside the boundaries of a municipality, a county.
    7. “Marijuana” means all parts of the plant of the genus cannabis, the seeds thereof, the resin extracted from any part of the plant, and every compound, manufacture, salt, derivative, mixture, or preparation of the plant, its seeds, or its resin, including marijuana concentrate. “Marijuana” does not include hemp, nor does it include fiber produced from the stalks, oil or cake made from the seeds of the plant, sterilized seed of the plant which is incapable of germination, or the weight of any other ingredient combined with marijuana to prepare topical or oral administrations, food, drink, or other product.
    8. “Marijuana accessories” means any equipment, products, or materials of any kind which are used, intended for use, or designed for use in planting, propagating, cultivating, growing, harvesting, composting, manufacturing, compounding, converting, producing, processing, preparing, testing, analyzing, packaging, repackaging, storing, vaporizing, or containing marijuana, or for ingesting, inhaling, or otherwise introducing marijuana into the human body.
    9. “Marijuana cultivation facility” means an entity registered to cultivate, prepare, and package marijuana and sell marijuana to retail marijuana stores, to marijuana product manufacturing facilities, to marijuana lounges, and to other marijuana cultivation facilities, but not to consumers. A marijuana cultivation facility may not produce marijuana concentrates, tinctures, extracts, or other marijuana products.
    10. “Marijuana establishment” means a marijuana cultivation facility, a marijuana lounge, a marijuana testing facility, a marijuana product manufacturing facility, or a retail marijuana store.
    11. “Marijuana product manufacturing facility” means an entity registered to purchase marijuana; manufacture, prepare, and package marijuana products; and sell marijuana and marijuana products to marijuana product manufacturing facilities, marijuana lounges, and retail marijuana stores, but not to consumers.
    12. “Marijuana products” means concentrated marijuana products and marijuana products that are comprised of marijuana and other ingredients and are intended for use or consumption, such as, but not limited to, edible products, ointments, and tinctures.
    13. “Marijuana testing facility” means an entity registered to test marijuana for potency and contaminants.
    14. “Possession limit” means the amount of marijuana that may be possessed at any one time by an individual over the age of 21.
      1. In reference to a South Dakota resident, the possession limit is no more than:
        1. One ounce of marijuana, no more than five grams of which may be concentrated marijuana;
        2. Five marijuana plants; and
        3. Any additional marijuana produced by the person’s marijuana plants, provided that any amount of marijuana in excess of one ounce of marijuana must be possessed in the same secure facility where the plants were cultivated.
      2. In reference to a person who is not a resident of South Dakota, the possession limit is no more than one fourth of an ounce of marijuana, including up to one gram of concentrated marijuana.
    15. “Public place” means any place to which the general public has access.
    16. “Retail marijuana store” means an entity registered to purchase marijuana from marijuana cultivation facilities and marijuana and marijuana products from marijuana product manufacturing facilities and to sell marijuana and marijuana products to consumers.
    17. “Unreasonably impracticable” means that the measures necessary to comply with the regulations require such a high investment of risk, money, time, or any other resource or asset that the operation of a marijuana establishment is not worthy of being carried out in practice by a reasonably prudent businessperson.

    Section 3. Personal use of marijuana.

    Notwithstanding any other provision of law, except as otherwise provided in this chapter, the following acts are not unlawful and shall not be a criminal or civil offense under South Dakota law or the law of any political subdivision of South Dakota or be a basis for seizure or forfeiture of assets under South Dakota law for persons 21 years of age or older:

    1. Possessing, consuming, growing, using, processing, purchasing, or transporting an amount of marijuana that does not exceed the possession limit;
    2. Transferring one ounce or less of marijuana and up to six immature marijuana plants to a person who is 21 years of age or older without remuneration;
    3. Controlling property where actions that described by this section occur; and
    4. Assisting another person who is 21 years of age or older in any of the acts described in this section.

    Section 4. Restrictions on personal cultivation, penalty.

    It is unlawful to cultivate marijuana plants in a manner that is contrary to this section.

    1. Marijuana plants may not be cultivated in a location where the plants are subject to public view, including to view from another private property, without the use of binoculars, aircraft, or other optical aids.
    2. A person who cultivates marijuana must take reasonable precautions to ensure the plants are secure from unauthorized access and access by a person under 21 years of age. For purposes of illustration and not limitation, cultivating marijuana in an enclosed, locked space that persons under 21 years of age do not possess a key to constitutes reasonable precautions.
    3. Marijuana cultivation may only occur on property lawfully in possession of the cultivator or with the consent of the person in lawful possession of the property.

    A person who violates this section is guilty of a civil violation punishable by a fine of up to $750.

    Section 5. Public smoking banned, penalty.

    It is unlawful to smoke marijuana in a public place. A person who violates this section is guilty of a civil violation punishable by a fine of up to $100.

    Section 6. Consuming marijuana in a moving vehicle, penalty.

    1. No person shall consume marijuana while operating or driving in a motor vehicle, boat, vessel, aircraft, or other motorized device used for transportation.
    2. Any person found in violation of this section may be fined not more than $200 or have his or her driver’s license suspended for up to six months, or both, for the first violation.
    3. Any person found in violation of this section may be fined not more than $500 or have his or her driver’s license suspended for up to one year, or both for each second or subsequent violation.

    Section 7. False identification, penalty.

    A person who is under 21 years of age may not present or offer to a marijuana establishment or the marijuana establishment’s agent or employee any written or oral evidence of age that is false, fraudulent, or not actually the minor’s own, for the purpose of:

    1. Purchasing, attempting to purchase, or otherwise procuring or attempting to procure marijuana; or
    2. Gaining access to a marijuana establishment.

    A person who violates this section is guilty of a civil violation punishable by a fine not less than $200 and not more than $400.

    Section 8. Unlawful marijuana extraction, penalties.

    1. No person, other than a marijuana product manufacturer complying with this chapter and department regulations, may perform solvent-based extractions on marijuana using solvents other than water or vegetable glycerin.
    2. A person who violates this section is guilty of a felony punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.

    Section 9. Marijuana accessories authorized.

    1. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, it is not unlawful and shall not be an offense under South Dakota law or the law of any political subdivision of South Dakota or be a basis for seizure or forfeiture of assets under South Dakota law for persons 21 years of age or older to manufacture, possess, or purchase marijuana accessories, or to distribute or sell marijuana accessories to a person who is 21 years of age or older.
    2. A person who is 21 years of age or older is authorized to manufacture, possess, and purchase marijuana accessories, and to distribute or sell marijuana accessories to a person who is 21 years of age or older.

    Section 10. Lawful operation of marijuana-related facilities.

    Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the following acts, when performed by a retail marijuana store with a current, valid registration, or a person 21 years of age or older who is acting in his or her capacity as an owner, employee, or agent of a retail marijuana store, are not unlawful and shall not be an offense under South Dakota law or be a basis for seizure or forfeiture of assets under South Dakota law:

    1. Possessing, displaying, storing, or transporting marijuana or marijuana products;
    2. Purchasing marijuana from a marijuana cultivation facility;
    3. Purchasing marijuana or marijuana products from a marijuana product manufacturing facility;
    4. Delivering or transferring marijuana or marijuana products to a marijuana testing facility; and
    5. Delivering, distributing, or selling marijuana or marijuana products to consumers or retail marijuana stores.

    Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the following acts, when performed by a marijuana cultivation facility with a current, valid registration, or a person 21 years of age or older who is acting in his or her capacity as an owner, employee, or agent of a marijuana cultivation facility, are not unlawful and shall not be an offense under South Dakota law or be a basis for seizure or forfeiture of assets under South Dakota law:

    1. Cultivating, harvesting, processing, packaging, transporting, displaying, storing, or possessing marijuana;
    2. Delivering or transferring marijuana to a marijuana testing facility;
    3. Delivering, distributing, or selling marijuana to a marijuana cultivation facility, a marijuana product manufacturing facility, a marijuana lounge, or a retail marijuana store;
    4. Receiving or purchasing marijuana from a marijuana cultivation facility; and
    5. Receiving marijuana seeds or immature marijuana plants from a person 21 years of age or older.

    Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the following acts, when performed by a product manufacturing facility with a current, valid registration, or a person 21 years of age or older who is acting in his or her capacity as an owner, employee, or agent of a product manufacturing facility, are not unlawful and shall not be an offense under South Dakota law or be a basis for seizure or forfeiture of assets under South Dakota law:

    1. Packaging, processing, transporting, manufacturing, displaying, or possessing marijuana or marijuana products;
    2. Delivering or transferring marijuana or marijuana products to a marijuana testing facility;
    3. Delivering or selling marijuana or marijuana products to a retail marijuana store, marijuana lounge, or a marijuana product manufacturing facility;
    4. Purchasing marijuana from a marijuana cultivation facility; and
    5. Purchasing marijuana or marijuana products from a marijuana product manufacturing facility.

    Notwithstanding any other provision of law, the following acts, when performed by a marijuana testing facility with a current, valid registration, or a person 21 years of age or 9 older who is acting in his or her capacity as an owner, employee, or agent of a marijuana testing facility, are not unlawful and shall not be an offense under South Dakota law or be a basis for seizure or forfeiture of assets under South Dakota law:

    1. Possessing, cultivating, processing, repackaging, storing, transporting, or displaying marijuana or marijuana products;
    2. Receiving marijuana or marijuana products from a marijuana establishment or a person 21 years of age or older;
    3. Returning marijuana or marijuana products to a marijuana establishment, or a person 21 years of age or older; and

    Nothing in this section prevents the imposition of penalties for violating this chapter or rules adopted by the department or localities pursuant to this chapter.

    Section 11. Verifying the age of marijuana consumers.

    A marijuana establishment or an agent or staffer of a marijuana establishment may not sell, deliver, give, transfer, or otherwise furnish marijuana a person under the age of 21.

    Except as otherwise provided this section, in a prosecution for selling, transferring, delivering, giving, or otherwise furnishing marijuana, marijuana products, or marijuana paraphernalia to any person who is under 21 years of age, it is a complete defense if:

    1. The person who sold, gave, or otherwise furnished marijuana, marijuana products, or marijuana paraphernalia was a retailer or was acting in his or her capacity as an owner, employee, or agent of a retailer at the time the marijuana, marijuana products, or marijuana paraphernalia was sold, given, or otherwise furnished to the person; and
    2. Before selling, giving, or otherwise furnishing marijuana, marijuana products, or marijuana paraphernalia to a person who is under 21 years of age, the person who sold, gave, or otherwise furnished the marijuana or marijuana paraphernalia, or a staffer or agent of the retailer, was shown a document which appeared to be issued by an agency of a federal, state, tribal, or foreign sovereign government and which indicated that the person to whom the marijuana or marijuana paraphernalia was sold, given, or otherwise furnished was 21 years of age or older at the time the marijuana or marijuana paraphernalia was sold, given, or otherwise furnished to the person.
    3. The complete defense set forth this section does not apply if:
      1. The document which was shown to the person who sold, gave, or otherwise furnished the marijuana, marijuana products, or marijuana paraphernalia was counterfeit, forged, altered, or issued to a person other than the person to whom the marijuana, marijuana products or marijuana paraphernalia was sold, given, or otherwise furnished; and
      2. Under the circumstances, a reasonable person would have known or suspected that the document was counterfeit, forged, altered, or issued to a person other than the person to whom the marijuana, marijuana products, or marijuana paraphernalia was sold, given, or otherwise furnished.

    Section 12. Rulemaking.

    Not later than 180 days after the effective date of this act, the department shall adopt regulations necessary for implementation of this chapter. Such regulations shall not prohibit the operation of marijuana establishments, either expressly or through regulations that make their operation unreasonably impracticable. Such regulations shall include:

    1. Procedures for the issuance, renewal, suspension, and revocation of a registration to operate a marijuana establishment, with such procedures subject to all requirements of the [state administrative procedure act];
    2. A schedule of application, registration, and renewal fees, provided, application fees shall not exceed $5,000, with this upper limit adjusted annually for inflation, unless the department determines a greater fee is necessary to carry out its responsibilities under this chapter;
    3. Qualifications for registration that are directly and demonstrably related to the operation of a marijuana establishment;
    4. Security requirements including lighting, physical security, video, and alarm requirements;
    5. Requirements for the transportation and storage of marijuana and marijuana products by marijuana establishments;
    6. Employment and training requirements, including requiring that each marijuana establishment create an identification badge for each employee or agent;
    7. Requirements designed to prevent the sale or diversion of marijuana and marijuana products to persons under the age of 21;
    8. Standards for marijuana product manufacturers to determine the amount of marijuana that marijuana products are considered the equivalent to;
    9. Requirements for marijuana and marijuana products sold or distributed by a marijuana establishment, including requiring marijuana products’ labels to include the following:
      1. The length of time it typically takes for a product to take effect;
      2. The amount of marijuana the product is considered the equivalent to;
      3. Disclosing ingredients and possible allergens;
      4. A nutritional fact panel;
      5. Requiring opaque, child resistant packaging, which must be designed or constructed to be significantly difficult for children under five years of age to open and not difficult for normal adults to use properly as defined by 16 C.F.R. 1700.20 (1995); and
      6. Requiring that edible marijuana products be clearly identifiable, when practicable, with a standard symbol indicating that it contains marijuana;
    10. Health and safety regulations and standards for the manufacture of marijuana products and both the indoor and outdoor cultivation of marijuana by marijuana establishments;
    11. Restrictions on advertising, marketing, and signage including but not limited to a prohibition on mass-market campaigns that have a high likelihood of reaching minors;
    12. Restrictions on the display of marijuana and marijuana products, including to ensure that marijuana and marijuana products may not be displayed in a manner that is visible to the general public from a public right-of-way;
    13. Restrictions or prohibitions on additives to marijuana and marijuana-infused products, including but not limited to those that are toxic, designed to make the product more addictive, designed to make the product more appealing to children, or misleading to consumers; the prohibition may not extend to common baking and cooking items;
    14. Restrictions on the use of pesticides that are injurious to human health;
    15. Regulations governing visits to cultivation facilities and product manufacturers, including requiring the marijuana establishment to log visitors;
    16. A definition of the amount of delta-9 tetrahydrocannabinol that constitutes a single serving in a marijuana product;
    17. Standards for the safe manufacture of marijuana extracts and concentrates;
    18. Requirements that educational materials be disseminated to consumers who purchase marijuana-infused products;
    19. Requirements for random sample testing to ensure quality control, including by ensuring that marijuana and marijuana infused products are accurately labeled for potency. The testing analysis must include testing for residual solvents, poisons, or toxins; harmful chemicals; dangerous molds or mildew; filth; and harmful microbial such as E. Coli or salmonella and pesticides;
    20. Standards for the operation of testing laboratories, including requirements for equipment and qualifications for personnel;
    21. Civil penalties for the failure to comply with regulations made pursuant to this chapter; and
    22. Procedures for collecting taxes levied on marijuana cultivation facilities.

    In order to ensure that individual privacy is protected, the department shall not require a consumer to provide a retail marijuana store with personal information other than government issued identification to determine the consumer’s age, and a retail marijuana store shall not be required to acquire and record personal information about consumers.

    Section 13. Marijuana establishment registrations.

    1. Each application or renewal application for an annual registration to operate a marijuana establishment shall be submitted to the department. A renewal application may be submitted up to 90 days prior to the expiration of the marijuana establishment’s registration
    2. The department shall begin accepting and processing applications to operate marijuana establishments 180 days after the effective date of this act.
    3. Upon receiving an application or renewal application for a marijuana establishment, the department shall immediately forward a copy of each application and half of the registration application fee to the local regulatory authority for the locality in which the applicant desires to operate the marijuana establishment, unless the locality has not designated a local regulatory authority.
    4. Within 45 to 90 days after receiving an application or renewal application, the department shall issue an annual registration to the applicant, unless the department finds the applicant is not in compliance with regulations enacted pursuant to Section 12 or the department is notified by the relevant locality that the applicant is not in compliance with ordinances and regulations made pursuant to Section 14 and in effect at the time of application.
    5. If a locality has enacted a numerical limit on the number of marijuana establishments and a greater number of applicants seek registrations, the department shall solicit and consider input from the local regulatory authority as to the locality’s preference or preferences for registration.
    6. Upon denial of an application, the department shall notify the applicant in writing of the specific reason for its denial.
    7. Every marijuana establishment registration shall specify the location where the marijuana establishment will operate. A separate registration shall be required for each location at which a marijuana establishment operates.
    8. Marijuana establishments and the books and records maintained and created by marijuana establishments are subject to inspection by the department.
    9. South Dakota Native American Tribes are exempt from the registration requirements as being a sovereign nation their laws will supersede any state regulations.

    Section 14. Local control.

    1. A locality may prohibit the operation of marijuana cultivation facilities, marijuana product manufacturing facilities, marijuana testing facilities, or retail marijuana store through an initiated or referred measure, provided, any initiated or referred measure to prohibit the operation of marijuana cultivation facilities, marijuana product manufacturing facilities, marijuana testing facilities, or retail marijuana stores must appear on a general election ballot.
    2. A locality may enact ordinances or regulations not in conflict with this chapter, or with regulations enacted pursuant to this chapter, governing the time, place, manner, and number of marijuana establishment operations. A locality may establish civil penalties for violation of an ordinance or regulations governing the time, place, and manner of a marijuana establishment that may operate in such locality.
    3. A locality may designate a local regulatory authority that is responsible for processing applications submitted for a registration to operate a marijuana establishment within the boundaries of the locality.
    4. A locality may establish procedures for the issuance, suspension, and revocation of a registration issued by the locality in accordance with this section.
    5. A locality may establish a schedule of annual operating and registration fees for marijuana establishments.

    Section 15. Places of employment.

    Nothing in this chapter is intended to require an employer to permit or accommodate the use, consumption, possession, transfer, display, transportation, sale, or growing of marijuana in the workplace or to affect the ability of employers to have policies restricting the use of marijuana by employees or discipline employees who are under the influence of marijuana in the workplace.

    Section 16. Driving under the influence prohibited.

    Nothing in this chapter is intended to allow driving under the influence of marijuana or driving while impaired by marijuana or to supersede laws related to driving under the influence of marijuana or driving while impaired by marijuana.

    Section 17. Minors.

    Nothing in this chapter is intended to permit the transfer of marijuana, with or without remuneration, to a person under the age of 21 or to allow a person under the age of 21 to purchase, possess, use, transport, grow, or consume marijuana.

    Section 18. Private property rights.

    Except as provided in this section, the provisions of this chapter do not require any person, corporation, or any other entity that occupies, owns, or controls a property to allow the consumption, cultivation, display, sale, or transfer of marijuana on or in that property.

    In the case of the rental of a residential dwelling, a landlord may not prohibit the possession of marijuana or the consumption of marijuana by non-smoked means unless:

    1. The tenant is a roomer who is not leasing the entire residential dwelling;
    2. The residence is incidental to detention or the provision of medical, geriatric, educational, counseling, religious, or similar service;
    3. The residence is a transitional housing facility; or
    4. Failing to prohibit marijuana possession or consumption would violate federal law or regulations or cause the landlord to lose a monetary or licensing-related benefit under federal law or regulations.

    Section 19. Contracts enforceable.

    It is the public policy of this state that contracts related to the operation of a marijuana establishment registered pursuant to this chapter should be enforceable. It is the public policy of this state that no contract entered into by a registered marijuana establishment or its employees or agents as permitted pursuant to a valid registration, or by those who allow property to be used by a establishment, its employees, or its agents as permitted pursuant to a valid registration, shall be unenforceable on the basis that cultivating, obtaining, manufacturing, distributing, dispensing, transporting, selling, possessing, or using marijuana or hemp is prohibited by federal law.

    Section 20. Marijuana Regulation Fund.

    The Marijuana Regulation Fund is established consisting of fees collected and civil penalties imposed under this chapter. The department shall administer the fund. Monies in the fund are continuously appropriated.

    Section 21. Excise tax on marijuana.

    An excise tax is imposed on the sale or transfer of marijuana from a marijuana cultivation facility to a retail marijuana store, a marijuana lounge, or marijuana product manufacturing facility at the rate of:

    1. $50 per ounce on all marijuana flowers;
    2. $15 per ounce on all part of marijuana other than marijuana flowers and immature marijuana plants; and
    3. $25 per immature marijuana plant.

    The rates of tax imposed by this section apply proportionately to quantities of less than one ounce. The department shall adjust the rates annually to account for inflation or deflation based on the Consumer Price Index. 17

    On the 15th day of each month, every marijuana cultivation facility shall pay the excise taxes due on the marijuana that the marijuana cultivation facility transferred or sold in the prior calendar month.

    Section 22. Apportionment of revenue. Revenues generated in excess of the amount needed to implement and enforce this act by the marijuana excise tax shall be distributed every three months as follows:

    1. Forty percent shall be distributed to the South Department of Education to retain and recruit educators. Five percent of the forty percent is to be set aside into an account to provide supplies and aid to all classrooms in South Dakota; including but not limited to classroom supplies, A/V equipment, computers, field trips and unpaid nutrition accounts.
    2. Ten percent shall be distributed to the South Dakota Department of Health for use in evidence-based, voluntary programs for the prevention or treatment of alcohol, tobacco, heroin, methamphetamine, prescription drugs, and marijuana abuse;
    3. Ten percent shall be distributed to the South Dakota Department of Health for a scientifically and medically accurate public education campaign educating youth and adults about the health and safety risks of alcohol, tobacco, heroin, methamphetamine, prescription drug and marijuana;
    4. Thirty percent shall be distributed to the General Fund;
    5. Ten Percent shall be distributed to South Dakota Law Enforcement for training, detection dogs, equipment and educational programs to aid in youth diversion.

    Section 23. Self-executing, severability, conflicting provisions. All provisions of this chapter are severable, and, except where otherwise indicated in the text, shall supersede conflicting statutes, local charter, ordinance, or resolution, and other state and local provisions.

    Section 24. Effective date.

    This Act shall take effect immediately upon passage.

    Section 25. Commutation of non violent cannabis offenders.

    No later then 180 days of passage prisoners in the SD State Prisons, County jails and those waiting to be sentenced will have their cases reviewed and sentences commuted if they meet criteria.

    1. Conviction/Charges must be of a non violent nature.
    2. Conviction/Charges must be for cannabis only.

    Section 26: South Dakota Native American Tribal Cannabis Laws

    Native American tribes in South Dakota are not required to participate in legalization laws passed by the state of SD. Tribes may continue to remain non-legal for cannabis use unless they through their own voting process legalize cannabis for medicinal or recreational purposes. Native American Tribes are not required to participate in the state registration program or the state tax structure. All taxes collected by tribal cannabis sales are to be used for reservation improvement of infrastructure, housing and education.



  • Four States Voting on Medical Cannabis, Five on Recreational Marijuana

    24* states and the District of Columbia have legalized medical cannabis. That’s 54% of the U.S. population. This November, another 8% may join that total, as Montana, North Dakota, Arkansas, and Florida have medical cannabis on their ballots. Governing lists polling data on some of these ballot questions:

    • Arkansas: 58% for, 34% against (one poll).
    • Florida: 70% for, 22% against (average of ten polls).
    • Montana: no polls, but opponents out-fundraising proponents $124K to $55K.
    • North Dakota: 47% for, 41% against (one poll).

    Recreational use of marijuana is legal in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, Washington, and the District of Columbia, allowing less than six of the nation’s population to toke up in their home states. That percentage could jump to over 10% when five more states vote on recreational pot ballot measures in November:

    South Dakota had a shot at voting on medical cannabis this year, but both Secretary of State Shantel Krebs and Judge Mark Barnett found New Approach South Dakota’s ballot initiative petition lacked sufficient signatures to make the ballot.

    *The source I consult counts 25 states. Montana passed a medical marijuana measure in 2004, but the Montana Legislature repealed it in 2011.



  • Ellis: “Jackboots Jackley” Fiddling in Flandreau While Violent Crime Burns

    The headline over Jonathan Ellis’s latest blog post is sufficiently provocative:

    As Violent Crime Surges Across S.D., Jackley Pursues Pot Growers.

    The URL for that post is even more provocative:

    http://…blogs/jonathanellis/2016/08/06/jackboots-jackley-missing-out-real-crime/88293684/

    Jackboots Jackley Missing out on Real Crime—was that the original headline typed into the content management software?

    Ellis uses that nickname with sly indirectness, saying in his final line that the aspiring gubernatorial candidate “does not want to be known as Marty ‘Jackboots’ Jackley.” Ellis is more direct in blasting Jackley’s grandstanding prosecution of two Colorado marijuana consultants involved with the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe’s aborted pot resort:

    What few have noticed is this: While Jackley was putting on more stagecraft with the announcement that the Colorado seed guys were busted – along with the ludicrous assertion that the tribe was a victim – there is a serious and growing crime problem in the state. The Minnehaha County sheriff is warning that violent crimes are up dramatically. Media accounts across the state have documented sharp increases in crime.

    Jackley has been the attorney general since 2009, and in that time there has been a substantial increase in crime. What is he doing to address the problem? It’s a question that his opponents in the 2018 governor’s race will no doubt ask [Jonathan Ellis, “As Violent Crime Surges Across S.D., Jackley Pursues Pot Growers,” that Sioux Falls paper, 2016.08.06].

    The Attorney General scared the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe into burning its pot and scrapping its resort plan. Was that not “mission accomplished” for South Dakota law enforcement, keeping anyone from getting high or hurt? Does the Attorney General really need to turn the screws further on the non-tribal participants in this foiled tribal plan, not to mention hold a big TV press conference and pretend to be a friend of those poor, victimized Indians (whom not so long ago the A.G. was calling liars), when apparently his office has an increasing number of victims of violent crimes who could use the Attorney General’s help.

    The GOP pot-black spin blog predictably cries, “Hit piece!” as if calling names is beyond the pale for his Trumpist party. Is Ellis’s broadside against Jackley a jibe from the liberal media? Is it that Sioux Falls paper helping lay the groundwork for its own hometown candidates for Governor? Or is it the simpler explanation: Ellis is accurately describing an Attorney General seeking the bright TV lights to bring out the shine on his jackboots while failing to take real action to stanch an increase in violent crime?



  • Jackley Pressing in Flandreau Today; Charges Against Marijuana Consultant

    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:

    1. Conspiracy to possess more than ten pounds of marijuana; punishment up to ten years in the pen and a $20K fine.
    2. Possession of more than ten pounds of marijuana; ten years, $20K.
    3. 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.



  • A.G. Jackley Suspects Flandreau Indians Didn’t Really Burn the Tribal Marijuana Crop

    Remember how the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe lit their whole stash of marijuana on fire last fall and suspended their plans to open a pot lounge in their bowling alley? Attorney General Marty Jackley thinks the tribe was playing a trick on us:

    Attorney General Marty Jackley said he is investigating the reported destruction of the tribe’s marijuana crop in November after it suspended plans to legalize marijuana on its reservation.

    “I don’t think for a minute that they destroyed $1 million worth of marijuana. I don’t know where that went and it’s an open case. We never shut that case,” Jackley said in an interview with Argus Leader Media. “We never got an opportunity to check what was destroyed” [Dana Ferguson, “Up in Smoke? State Investigating Tribal Marijuana Crop,” that Sioux Falls paper, 2016.04.11].

    A pile of weed burns on TV, and Marty the Skeptic says he doesn’t believe the Indians burned what they said they burned. But a fire-resistant safe goes missing from the scene of a white man’s crime, and the Attorney General says the most likely explanation is that the safe evaporated. Selective skepticism, anyone?

    Bonus Business Bust: If the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe didn’t burn its stash, they didn’t give it to their business buds to sell. Monarch America, the tribe’s pot-growing partner, is now entering its sixth month of stock-price flatline at zero.



  • Medical Cannabis Bill Goes to Senate Committee Wednesday

    Medical cannabis advocate Melissa Mentele and her organization New Approach South Dakota are inviting supporters to Patients Day at the Capitol on Wednesday, February 10, to support Senate Bill 171, the last-minute Legislative incarnation of their failed ballot measure to legalize the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. Wednesday’s event will likely coincide with SB 171’s first committee hearing, which Senate Health and Human Services Committee chairman Senator Bruce Rampelberg (R-30/Rapid City) says should happen Wednesday morning.

    The first argument offered by Governor Dennis Daugaard and other opponents of medical cannabis is that allowing such medicinal use is the first step to legalizing recreational pot-smoking. Yet if we read the actual bill, we see that this proposal keeps current prohibitions on toking up in public as well as using pot, medicinal or otherwise, in any way that puts others at risk:

    Section 18. That the code be amended by adding a NEW SECTION to read:
    This Act does not authorize any person to engage in, and does not prevent the imposition of any civil, criminal, or other penalty for engaging in, the following conduct:

    1. Undertaking any task under the influence of cannabis, when doing so would constitute negligence or professional malpractice;
    2. Possessing cannabis or otherwise engaging in the medical use of cannabis in any correctional facility;
    3. Smoking cannabis:
      1. On any form of public transportation; or
      2. In any public place or any place that is open to the public;
    4. Operating, navigating, or being in actual physical control of any motor vehicle, aircraft, train, or motorboat while under the influence of cannabis, except that a registered qualifying patient or nonresident cardholder is not considered to be under the influence of cannabis solely because of the presence of metabolites or components of cannabis that appear in insufficient concentration to cause impairment [Senate Bill 171, introduced 2016.02.05].

    Senate Bill 171 by itself won’t put pot in any recreational user’s hands. The only way to get pot under this bill is essentially by getting a doctor to prescribe it. Show me a doctor who will prescribe you a drug just because you want it, absent any medical need, and I’ll show you a doctor who will be sitting next to Annette Bosworth at the next state medical board hearing. Get that prescription, and you still can’t run out to the head shop; you have to take your doctor’s note and $20 to the state Department of Health to get a registry identification card, which is good for a maximum of one year. Your doctor can cancel that card at any time by notifying the DOH that you’re fine or that marijuana won’t do you any more good.

    With those controls in place, the main question is perhaps whether any doctors would prescribe cannabis for their patients. Over in Minnesota, which has legalized medical marijuana, doctors are hesitating:

    Minnesota doctors are slow to accept medical cannabis as a treatment option for lack of scientific evidence, fear of addiction and lack of educational programs, according to a new survey released to a state task force Tuesday.

    Dr. Charles Reznikoff, a member of the Task Force on Medical Cannabis Therapeutic Research, the group responsible for gathering information about the program, conducted the survey. Reznikoff is an addiction specialist who practices at Hennepin County Medical Center. He sought opinions of 262 doctors from four institutions who practice all across the state.

    The majority of doctors said qualifying conditions need to be more clear. They said they didn’t want to be burdened by the program; they’re nervous to register patients; and cautious to prescribe medical cannabis when so many patients abuse opioids and heroin addiction is a concern.

    “There is a lot of worry about the opioid thing,” Reznikoff said. “They’re scared of entering anything that could be that” [Riham Feshir, “Here’s Why Minnesota Doctors Are Slow to Prescribe Cannabis,” MPR News, 2016.01.13].

    The next question is whether legislators should make the decision for all doctors and kill SB 171 in committee Wednesday or whether they should pass SB 171 and let doctors evaluate the science and decide for themselves and their patients.



  • Krebs Keeps Medical Marijuana Off 2016 Ballot; Backers Seek Legislative Hail Mary

    Our ballot measures stop at ten—medical marijuana doesn’t make the cut!

    Secretary of State Shantel Krebs and her team finally finished reviewing the medical marijuana petition circulated by Melissa Mentele of Emery and determined it does not have the 13,871 signatures necessary to place it on the ballot with the seven other voter initiatives, two voter referenda, and one legislatively referred amendment on the 2016 ballot.

    New Approach SD said they submitted 16,631 signatures on November 9, 2015. Secretary Krebs calculates the group submitted 16,543. The Secretary’s 5% random sample found a 45.48% error rate, meaning she calculates the medical marijuana petition only had 9,019 valid signatures.

    If I went for the stereotypical shot, I’d say I wasn’t surprised. If a petition has “marijuana” in its text, expect error. The 2010 medical marijuana initiative had a 40.5% error rate. The circulators of the broader marijuana decriminalization petition last year couldn’t even get enough signatures to submit.

    But Melissa Mentele didn’t strike me as the stereotypical pothead playing at politics. When I interviewed her at the Brown County Fair last summer, she struck me as a serious and effective organizer. New Approach SD got an infusion of cash that allowed them to hire petition circulators at $25 an hour during the last couple weeks of the petition circulation period in late October and early November, which might have signaled that someone else recognized Mentele’s organizational merits and guaranteed that the signature count would clear the bar.

    But that last-minute infusion turns out not to have been very big. Remember that payday lender Rod Aycox spent $1.7 million on his paid circulators and blocker goons to boost his fake 18% rate cap petition. Real 36% rate cappers Steve Hildebrand, Steve Hickey, Reynold Nesiba and friends spent about $32K in direct and in-kind contributions (including $2,000 from Tom Daschle! Way to engage, Tom!) to collect their 19,936 signatures.

    New Approach SD spent $17,277.50. Their cash infusion appears to be four dudes, including Mr. Mentele:

    New Approach SD year-end campaign finance and termination report, 2016.01.29, p. 2.
    New Approach SD year-end campaign finance and termination report, 2016.01.29, p. 2.

    Robert Havens runs a medical cannabis clinic in Anaheim, California. The other three named donors are South Dakotans. And their combined efforts apparently couldn’t buy enough valid signatures to put medical marijuana on the ballot.

    But New Approach SD isn’t giving up. They get the same thirty days to challenge the Secretary’s rejection that citizens get to challenge the Secretary’s validation of a petition. But right now, Mentele’s team is focusing on the legislative route. Shortly after the Secretary’s rejection of their petition, New Approach SD issued this call to action:

    We were notified today that our petitions did not pass the validation process. Our initiative will not be on the Nov 2016 ballot….however we have a very small window to pull a rabbit out of our hats and have the Legislature sponsor the same bill.

    Our bill was submitted to the LRC today to be put into legislative format by a compassionate SD Senator. Now we need to do some work to help her out. Our best chance of getting some reform passed this session lies with the Health and Human Services Committee. We need their Chair and Vice Chair from both houses to sponsor this bill. What we need is all of you to contact:

    Sen. Bruce Rampelberg
    H-605-343-9703
    O-605-773-3821

    Sen. Arthur Rusch
    H-605-624-8723
    O-605-773-3821

    Representative Scott Munsterman
    O-605-773-3851

    Representative Leslie Heinemann
    H-605-997-2654
    O-605-773-3851

    You can also go onto the website of http://legis.sd.gov and look up the Health and Human Services Committee members & contact them.

    Be respectful and tell them your story and why it is so important to have access in SD. Be honest and ask them to please sponsor this bill to help SD’s most fragile residents.

    We have until Friday at 8am to have them help us. The bill is there in the LRC office and all it needs is a compassionate group of our elected officials to move it forward [New Approach South Dakota, Facebook post, 2016.02.03].

    New Approach SD can challenge the Secretary’s rejection of their petition. But if they can find a couple sponsors, put their 95-section medical marijuana initiative before the Legislature, and make the case in committee, could get their law on the books without having to wage a statewide campaign. It’s a longshot, but then so is overturning a 45.48% error rate and proving that the Secretary of State was wrong about 4,852 signatures… or, if we’re talking about the 5% random sample, that SOS Krebs was wrong about 377 out of 828 signatures.

    Really, I signed, and I'm a registered voter!
    Really, I signed, and I’m a registered voter! Brown County Fair, 2015.08.13

    p.s.: She wasn’t wrong about my signature! While I was visiting the Secretary of State’s office last week, elections coordinator Rachel Schmidt turned to me and asked if she needed to check the voter registration database for my name. I asked why. She was working on the 5% sample of the medical marijuana petition and had drawn the signature line that I signed last August. I did what I could to keep that error rate below 50%!