Senator Bob Ewing (R-31/Spearfish) isn’t shopping at the Spearfish Sears, due to marijuana politics.
Spearfish Sears owners Phil and Stephanie Rebsom have been circulating petitions from new Approach SD and Death with Dignity SD, seeking to place three initiatives dealing with medical marijuana, recreational marijuana, and assisted suicide on the 2018 ballot. The Rebsoms support all three measures. Phil Rebsom tells me he doesn’t smoke weed, but he and Stephanie say they supporting the petitions because they’ve had family who could have benefited from medical marijuana. They also say increased tax revenue from legal, regulated marijuana sales will help all South Dakotans.
Senator Ewing visited the Rebsom’s store Saturday to tell them he disagrees. Senator Ewing tells me, “I personally don’t support any marijuana measures at this time.” He says “There were no cross words exchanged”; the Senator simply told Rebsom that he “would not personally be trading at his store due to his support of the petition.”
Lest he trigger his colleague Al Novstrup’s angst, Senator Ewing says he is not calling for a boycott of the Spearfish Sears store:
I do not condone telling anyone else to not trade with anyone in business. I do not wish anyone in business any ill will. We are all entitled to our opinion. I respect his and I hope he respects mine as well. I would never bad mouth a business or other business owner [Senator Bob Ewing, statement to Dakota Free Press, 2017.07.20].
We’re all entitled to our opinions, but not to each other’s business.
The Rebsoms sound unconcerned. They don’t recall Senator Ewing coming in and spending any substantial sums in their store before the petitions came out. They say complaints like Senator Ewing’s have been rare… certainly rarer than the number of people signing the petitions.