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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

Sen. Arthur Rusch

Representative Scott Munsterman

Representative Leslie Heinemann

You can also go onto the website of 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%!


  1. larry kurtz 2016-02-04

    Big Pharma and Big Booze own each and every Republican lawmaker in Pierre just like they own Denny Daugaard. Unless there is real money in cannabis Jesus Christ Himself couldn’t get this initiative on the ballot.

  2. Jenny 2016-02-04

    Is anyone really surprised here ?

  3. Steve Hickey 2016-02-04

    SD Law enforcement agencies and associations are solid against medical marijuana. It isn’t so much BigPharm/FDA that had any sway on myself or any of my colleagues there. Republican legislators won’t vote against SD law enforcement.

  4. BIll DIthmer 2016-02-04

    You cant see much with your head in the sand Steve. The money train that keeps local laws wheels greased comes directly from Big Pharm, tobacco, and booze at the federal level. They would loose the most money through legalization.

    Those who are lobbyists see no need to come to SD because that red state would just be a waste of their money.

    Unrestricted use of cannabis would take a huge bite out of big pharma, some say thirty percent or more. They wont like that.

    Tobacco in known to cause cancer, yet tobacco is protected from outside influences by their lobbyists. How much do you think they would be willing to spend to keep pot illegal?

    Booze, how much money would they be willing to loose? I suspect none.

    None of these groups lobby in Pierre, because they dont have to.

    The Blindman

  5. Lynn 2016-02-04

    No surprise with such a high error rate whenever it is pot related.

    Talked to a mother last week that was very mad at how pot is so harmlessly promoted and told her story of how her son really had issues with it being chemically dependent on pot, how anti-social he became, irritable and how he was so consumed by it. She does not want to go public since it would expose her family but she sees all this as a complete lie.

    Time to interview Melissa again? DFP aka Dakotans for Pot Blog.

  6. larry kurtz 2016-02-04

    DWC = Drunks Without Cannabis.

  7. Jenny 2016-02-04

    LOL – Drunks Without Cannabis!! Larry, that is funny!

  8. Lynn 2016-02-04

    Lar that link is filled with Malware.

  9. larry kurtz 2016-02-04

    Ly: yer a stupid cow.

  10. Bob Newland 2016-02-04

    We can probably agree that the hemp bill already threading its way through the SoDak legislature is related in philosophy to the use of cannabis therapeutically.

    To catch the drift of the philosophical level of the argument, you really need to listen to the arguments on HB 1054 (AN ACT TO authorize the production and sale of industrial hemp.)

    You can do so by clicking on the eagle icons at The relevant dates are 2/2/16 and 2/4/16.

  11. Bob Newland 2016-02-04

    If you listen to the House Ag Committee audio, you’ll hear Rep. Verchio (“No one could be more opposed to marijuana than I am. People smoking pot forgot to keep their heads down and got them blown off in Viet Nam.”) say “This was my idea. I studied the issue and decided hemp was a viable product for SoDak farmers.”

    He then reads a litany of hemp possibilities for the market. It doesn’t sound like he has a clue about what he’s reading.

    Don’t get me wrong. I am happy that the idea of hemp legalization appears to be faring well in the SoDak legislature, but… WTF?

  12. Bob Newland 2016-02-04

    Lynn, you are dumber than Rep. Haggar. And that’s a high bar.

  13. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-02-05

    Bob, 57 House members voted for the industrial hemp bill. How many of those yeas on HB 1054 would apply the same logic to SB 167, the medical cannabis bill that appears to be in the works?

  14. Lynn 2016-02-05


    I did some checking with the Secretary of States office and I suspect some other larger than $100 contributors were involved with your friends at New Approach but were not fully disclosed and it was terminated with the SOS office so it will be more difficult to find out more info on who helped support this. Again for example there were petitioners that collected signatures for both this fake/flawed medical pot effort and the 18% pay day loan initiative.

    SDAP/Ryan Gaddy’s Decrim account is still active with the SOS but no report has been filed yet that I can see. When was the deadline and will they be fined?

  15. larry kurtz 2016-02-05

    Alcohol on campus? Who is backing that? Big Booze is – the people who own the legislature.

    The hypocrisy of SDGOP is without bound.

  16. larry kurtz 2016-02-05

    What kind of message does alcohol on campus send to young people, earth haters?

  17. larry kurtz 2016-02-05

    Over at the Drunks Without Cannabis blog, the King of the Slippery Slope, Lee Schoenbeck, is crying in his Scotch about a bipartisan bill that invokes compassion except that those Compassionate Conservatives are lying sacks who care less about compassion.

  18. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-02-05

    Deadline for filing was February 1. Yes, Gaddy will be fined if his papers aren’t in. I believe it’s still $50 per day late. But Chad Haber never filed his 2014 report, and he has yet to be hauled to justice on that count. I wonder—did his plea bargain on petition fraud get him out of the campaign finance penalty?

  19. Lynn 2016-02-05


    I’ll contact the SOS office today and inquire about SDAP’s fine kicking in and will continue to check in on it. Curious as to who was supporting their campaign.

    Whenever pot is involved there always seem to be a number of consistencies such as inability to focus such as filling out petitions correctly with very high error rates and lack of motivation.

    SDAP had a great deal of internal conflict during their campaign with accusations of people wanting to stay at home on their couches and get high but didn’t want to do something in their best interest and volunteer to get petition signatures. Your friends at New Approach had the same issues to a certain degree.

    All being very predictable given the nature of this intoxicant.

  20. larry kurtz 2016-02-05

    Cory, I’ll contact the SOS and remind her that she ratted out Kristi Noem.

  21. larry kurtz 2016-02-05

    After Eagle Sales wins booze on campus they can sell beer to spill on American Indian kids.

  22. Bob Newland 2016-02-05

    CAH asks: “Bob, 57 House members voted for the industrial hemp bill. How many of those yeas on HB 1054 would apply the same logic to SB 167, the medical cannabis bill that appears to be in the works?”

    I saw no evidence of logic. I should say, “I HEARD no evidence of logic.” I heard Rep. Verchio introduce a bill and I heard him read a statement that he obviously didn’t understand. I heard a bunch of other folks ask a few puff questions, then vote to pass the bill.

    The change in policy (from just a couple of years ago) was as startling as it would be if Ted Cruz suddenly endorsed Hillary Clinton. And just as okay by me.

  23. Bob Newland 2016-02-05

    Rep. Scott Craig and Rep. Kent Peterson were the only dissenting votes in moving 1154 (hemp) onto the House floor. In the discussion on the House floor, both made it clear they had made a mistake in opposing the hemp bill.

    That, to me, sounds like someone took them to the woodshed.

  24. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-02-05

    Lynn, what evidence did your checking with the Secretary’s office actually produce to support your otherwise unsubstantiated suspicion?

    I do agree that the amounts reported don’t seem to reflect the kind of influx of cash necessary to support a big paid circulator push. But let’s see some evidence.

    I am curious as to why NASD filed to terminate its committee before the ballot question was certified or not.

  25. Lynn 2016-02-05

    Cory I hope to find out more today.

  26. Lynn 2016-02-05


    Regarding NASD’s questionable financial disclosure I was referred to the AG’s office in which I forwarded our concerns.

    The SOS office said it fell under SD CL 12-27-35 when contacting the AG office. Investigation and prosecution of violations by attorney general–Civil actions. The attorney general shall investigate violations of the provisions of this chapter relating to a legislative office, statewide office, or statewide ballot question and prosecute any violation thereof. In lieu of bringing a criminal action, the attorney general may elect to file a civil action. In a civil action, in addition to other relief, the court may impose a civil penalty in an amount not to exceed ten thousand dollars for each violation. Any civil penalty recovered shall be paid to the state general fund. A civil action brought by the attorney general shall be commenced in Hughes County, in the county where the person resides, or in the county where the organization, political party, or political committee has its principal office.

    Those NASD disclosed numbers seem very low and just do not seem to add up given their fundraisers, meetings, office space donated, involvement with Flandreau Sioux Tribe grow operation, Monarch America, the South Dakota Democratic Party Fundraiser in Vermillion and in the final stretch the announcement of paying $25.00 an hour to pay petitioners donated by an anonymous donor which would definitely burn thru the cash. Then being witnessed gathering signatures for both medical pot and the 18% payday loan initiative.

    Any information regarding this should be forwarded to Paul Kramer at the AG’s office 773-3215

  27. Lynn 2016-02-05


    SDAP/Ryan Gaddy’s Decrim ballot measure account is delinquent according to the SOS office and as of today the fine is $200 at $50.00 per day. Evidently the SOS office sends out letters and if not paid there will eventually be a hearing regarding the amount due.

  28. Bob Newland 2016-02-05

    SB 167 was fast-tracked through Senate Health and Human Services this morning. The vote was 7-0 do-pass and sent to the Senate floor.

    Crazy, man!

    Methinks the Republicans see a way to raise money to pay more teachers more money. I am usually wrong about these things, but this is as startling as Brock Greenfield coming out in favor of gay weddings.

  29. Lynn 2016-02-05

    SB 167 will most likely see a quick death.

  30. larry kurtz 2016-02-05

    The same could be said for you, Lynn.

  31. larry kurtz 2016-02-05

    The Sioux Falls Argus Leader’s Jonathan Ellis said Monday on 100 Eyes that legalized cannabis for adult enjoyment in South Dakota won’t happen until hemp becomes legal.

  32. Lynn 2016-02-05

    Larry Who Resides in New Mexico,

    I will most likely see a quick death? Is that a threat?

  33. Bob Newland 2016-02-05

    I am watching you have a slow death, Lynn. And I am deriving quite a little pleasure from it.

  34. Lynn 2016-02-05

    Industrial Hemp which is over rated and in the case of making a bio fuel will further deplete our Aquifers and precious clean water resources. It looks like the Governor will veto it if it even gets that far.

  35. larry kurtz 2016-02-05

    Is that paranoia?

  36. Lynn 2016-02-05

    Convicted Felon Bob Newland,

    “I am watching you have a slow death, Lynn. And I am deriving quite a little pleasure from it.”

    You would be watching a long time and would most likely pass before that time given my family’s long healthy life span history. One never knows though but I am not too worried about it. :)

  37. larry kurtz 2016-02-05

    The Drunks Without Compassion blog has gone silent on its failure to stop therapeutic cannabis.

  38. jerry 2016-02-05

    Oh well, legalizing medical marijuana would just mean more revenue for the state and a healthier citizenry, but who needs that when you have the possibility of maybe a Gear up or another EB5! Politicians need to hope for a windfall not a sure thing.

  39. bearcreekbat 2016-02-05

    Here is a scientific report from the National Cancer Institute describing the results of researching the medicinal benefits of marijuana. This should be required reading for both advocates and opponents of legalized medical marijuana. It has helpful information for anyone with an open mind, and it might even make some folks think twice before they continue to insult and demonize the people who are advocating for legalization of medical marijuana.

  40. Lynn 2016-02-05

    The mother that shared her story in person with me last week regarding her sons chemical dependency of pot would have a very different opinion regarding any type of legalization. I am a regular customer of hers and she brought the subject up and was very upset and angry about how it is being promoted both medically and recreational. Her older son really had issues with it and now his younger brother is starting to show signs though not as bad so far. I listened and let her know she was not alone based on the many phone conversations with others sharing their stories.

  41. larry kurtz 2016-02-05

    Chemical dependency is a symptom of bigger issues like overbearing parents, for example.

  42. larry kurtz 2016-02-05

    “a regular customer of hers:” does she work at Dairy Queen or at Weight Watchers, Lynn?

  43. larry kurtz 2016-02-05

    Is there a Tops in Plankinton, Lynn?

  44. bearcreekbat 2016-02-05

    Lynn, did you read the article or is your mind completely closed on the issue? I am sorry about the troubles experienced by the mother and her son that you spoke with – lets hope neither of them contract cancer or another illness where they could be helped with medical marijuana.

  45. Lynn 2016-02-05

    That mother like many see medical marijuana’s claims as a bunch of lies and feels sorry for those who are sick and find out they were lied to just so some can get rich and those who are addicts.

  46. Lynn 2016-02-05

    She and others won’t be voting for any Democrats either. She was angry!

  47. larry kurtz 2016-02-05

    SB167 is a bipartisan bill.

  48. bearcreekbat 2016-02-05

    I wonder if that mother might change her mind if she read the article from the Cancer Institute. Maybe Lynn would be willing to share this research with her so she has access to the latest scientific research?

    Perhaps that mother’s mind is actually open to science rather than closed based on a few anecdotes or her son’s abusive behavior. While it is understandable how a bad personal experience might adversely affect a family member’s judgment, I believe most people (the mom included) would be able to set aside the bad experience after learning that cancer researchers have found that marijuana therapy can actually help the children and family members who are suffering from cancer (as well as seizures, diabetes and other serious illnesses).

  49. Lynn 2016-02-05

    SDDP fundraiser in Vermillion with guest speakers such as Melissa Mentele from New Approach SD, VP from Monarch America, Chair of SDDP, Paula Hawks and local SDDP candidates. Elle Spawn endorsed by SDAP, SB167 now sponsored by 2 SDDP legislators. I could go on but those whom we have had contact with have enough info already.

    The SDGOP legislators are fairly isolated and they know who is sponsoring & supporting legalization

  50. larry kurtz 2016-02-05

    bat, reasoning with Lynn is a waste of electrons just like leaving a comment at the Drunks Without Craniums blog is.

  51. larry kurtz 2016-02-05

    The South Dakota Democratic Party has exactly zero to lose by being revolutionary.

  52. bearcreekbat 2016-02-05

    Larry, folks like Lynn can be difficult to understand. She seems intelligent and articulate, but shares a condition my own mother warned me about: “When her mind is made up don’t confuse her with facts.”

    Perhaps this article from Scientific American helps explain such a tendency:

  53. Porter Lansing 2016-02-05

    Pot smokers are patient behind the plow and every election cycle is like a new spring planting. As was said in CO each time legal weed failed at the ballot (with smaller and smaller margins each time). “Every loss brings us closer to a win.” ps…It was the Republican vote that finally voted it in.
    ~ South Dakota has rejected medical marijuana twice, while Arkansas has rejected it one time. Every other state that has voted against medical marijuana has eventually legalized medical cannabis with a subsequent ballot measure.
    ~ My opinion means little in SoDak other than I have first hand knowledge of the law in Colorado. South Dakota isn’t ready for legal or medical pot but IS overly ripe for decriminalization. Your German ancestry makes your “resistance to change” almost ingrained, which accounts for much of the continual negativity bias and constant state of contrary even among Dakota liberals. Only 14% of CO citizens smoke it but 75% like that it’s legal. Sound like a disconnect? It’s because only haybillies like Grudz want people jailed and fined heavily for choosing to get high on a Friday night within their own homes. Lynn, however is a “zealot” which bears it’s own saddle of appraisal and criticism. I’d say that poor kid whose Mom puts his business out to her customers needs to find a home here in the square state (lots of jobs available these days) and let his Mom see what it’s like to be home alone without him. She’s the problem that’s steering his choices. In Colorado you’re less likely to be judged by how well you do what others do well. Freedom of expression and artistry are regarded more highly here than in South Dakota.

  54. Porter Lansing 2016-02-05

    Excellent article BCB. I like the part, … experiments show that when people’s beliefs are threatened, they often take flight to a land where facts do not matter. In scientific terms, their beliefs become less “falsifiable” because they can no longer be tested scientifically for verification or refutation.

  55. Lynn 2016-02-05

    Porter Who Physically Resides in Colorado,

    So when her son started smoking pot all the time he became anti-social with everyone meaning friends, family and others in his life, withdrawn, irritable, bad grades, went from job to job with no stability and your saying to move to Colorado where he can smoke even more pot and everything will be Hunky dory? Get real!

    She could always tell by the smell when he was smoking pot and by how he acted.

    His mother also said when he didn’t smoke pot it he was much happier, healthier, sociable and did well in his job with stability.

    Colorado residents were heavily outspent by Big Marijuana when it finally passed. Given the reports from the medical community, law enforcement, addiction treatment and other social services it is far from Utopia in Colorado. There are some serious negative issues there that the pro-pot advocates do not want others to know.

  56. larry kurtz 2016-02-05

    Deaths from opioid overdoses are off the charts except in Colorado where they are plummeting.

  57. Porter Lansing 2016-02-05

    I’m not able to respond to a sentence that begins with the word “so”. Could you please rephrase and ask me one question at a time? Glad you’re interested in the facts, though.
    Thanks buddy,

  58. BIll DIthmer 2016-02-05

    The same people saying the same old things about a plant that has never killed anyone.

    While some of us are guilty of breaking antiquated laws, others are tied to the hypocrisy that was and is our war on drugs.

    What part of no deaths is hard to understand? What part of lower suicide rates in “420” states is hard to understand?

    Why dont we see the same things Lynn tells us about from her research, on the major news services? Because the truth is hard to find when it has been buried under that many lies for this many years.

    Its simple Lynn, either your in favor of killing people by excluding the treatment derived from this plant, or your in favor of finding out “what if.” We already know what happens when a lie is repeated enough times, what would happen if the truth were told instead?

    Meanwhile, all the collective gods are amused.

    The Blindman

  59. larry kurtz 2016-02-05

    California’s largest organization of practicing physicians, the California Medical Association, announced Monday that it is backing a proposed 2016 ballot initiative to legalize the recreational use of marijuana. CMA said in a statement that its members believe controlling, tracking and studying pot will better protect public health than “ineffective prohibition.” The California initiative would allow anyone age 21 or older to purchase up to an ounce of marijuana and grow up to six pot plants. An excise tax of 15 percent would be imposed on all non-medical sales.

  60. jerry 2016-02-05

    The problem with science is that folks like Lynn do not believe in it. To them, the flat earth theory is not a theory. Science papers are nothing more than conjecture with no proof of studies. Actually, the astronauts did not land on the moon, but faked it all so that a marijuana initiative would not be able to pass. It also helps when you get paid to be a surrogate for big booze.

  61. Lynn 2016-02-05

    The ones voicing the most here on this blog in favor of all type of legalization? The same as always. Heavy users that will say anything to justify their chemical dependency.

  62. Lynn 2016-02-05

    or their enablers.

  63. Lynn 2016-02-05


    Up above in the comments you will see the info I was able to obtain from the SOS and forwarded some of our concerns to the AG.

  64. bearcreekbat 2016-02-05

    Okay Lynn, I guess I must have overlooked the problem that the researchers cited by the National Cancer Institute are nothing more than “Heavy users that will say anything to justify their chemical dependency.” Thanks for pointing out these researchers are so sinister.

  65. larry kurtz 2016-02-05

    Marty Jackley has the dirt on everybody in South Dakota, Lynn. You told him nothing he hasn’t already gleaned from electronic surveillance.

  66. bearcreekbat 2016-02-05

    Porter, allow me to quote Gary Legum’s description of a New Hampshire Ted Cruz rally as it seems to capture the extent of Lynn’s “true believer” views on the evils of marijuana:

    She is a member of “the true believers, and true believers know that they are right and everyone else is not only wrong, but evil and stupid.”

  67. Bob Newland 2016-02-05

    Oops. I was misinformed about the medical cannabis bill. It appeared in Health and Human Services Committee in teh SoDak Senate, but it was just to get it a number and to enter it into the system. There will be a normal committee hearing on SB171 in a few days. You can follow its progress at the following link.

  68. larry kurtz 2016-02-05

    fifty lashes with an ellipsis…bob.

  69. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-02-05

    Lynn writes: “Those NASD disclosed numbers seem very low and just do not seem to add up given their fundraisers, meetings, office space donated, involvement with Flandreau Sioux Tribe grow operation, Monarch America, the South Dakota Democratic Party Fundraiser in Vermillion and in the final stretch the announcement of paying $25.00 an hour to pay petitioners donated by an anonymous donor which would definitely burn thru the cash. Then being witnessed gathering signatures for both medical pot and the 18% payday loan initiative.”

    Lynn, your sentences raised an incorrect understanding on my part. I thought you were saying that you had learned new information at the Secretary of State’s office that supported your suspicions about NASD’s funding. Instead, you’re saying two separate things:

    (1) You went to the Secretary of State’s office and got info about campaign finance rules.
    (2) You have suspicions about NASD’s funding.

    As I said, the numbers seem low. $17K would buy 680 hours of $25/hr circulation. That would put ten circulators on the street for 8 solid workdays.

    Do we have evidence that NASD put out more paid circulators for more time than that?

    Fundraisers: how many checks were seen changing hands?

    Meetings: how much money actually moved?

    Donated office space: perhaps that should be listed as in-kind donations. Whose space was it?

    Involvement with the Flandreau grow-op: did the tribe write a check?

  70. Lynn 2016-02-05


    Unless someone comes forward with more info and/or the AG’s office feels a need to dig deeper by examining their checking account and other sources we won’t have any more info. It has been forwarded to their office and I’ll check back in a week. It will take time regardless.

  71. Porter Lansing 2016-02-05

    It’s almost as if she wants you to respect her as a colleague, Mr. Heidelberger. *If you’re reading this Lynn could you post the sources for the negative info on CO’s marijuana situation? There’s a lot of disreputable sources that have come here lately to “fight the devil weed” and I wouldn’t want you to be influenced by invalid information like this piece …..

  72. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-02-05

    SB 171 had to get a majority vote in Senate Health and Human Services to be introduced for consideration (Joint Rule 6B-5). At today’s meeting, all seven members of the committee—Bradford, Curd, Heinert, Jensen (Phil), Shorma, Rusch, Rampelberg—voted to introduce the medical cannabis bill. Five Republicans, two Democrats.

  73. Lynn 2016-02-05

    The key word was “Introduce” SB 171. I predict this bill will have a very short life and a few of the regular pro pot advocate commenters here will need burn a few bowls so they can “deal” with the rejection once again.

  74. larry kurtz 2016-02-05

    Maybe Democrats can come home.

  75. Lynn 2016-02-05


    Wouldn’t it be good timing for you to post another interview of Melissa Mentele from New Approach South Dakota again?

  76. larry kurtz 2016-02-05

    Lynn, wouldn’t it be good timing if you would kindly embrace Pat Powers as your one true love?

  77. larry kurtz 2016-02-05

    if you could get your hooves around him, i guess…

  78. Melissa Mentele 2016-02-05


    I knew my nose was itching for some reason…must have been all the thinking you are doing about me :-) I’m flattered that you spend so much time on me….now if you could do something useful like come and wash my dishes or walk my dog the attention would be much more meaningful.

    I do have to admit I did forget one thing on the finance report and that was our shared booth space at BAM Fest for 35.00. I will call the SOS office on Monday to see if they want me to amend my report. Other then that everything is on there. As much as you would like to think our issue was a cash cow…it was not. We worked hard and used a lot of volunteers. Wonderful volunteers that we will forever be grateful for. We also never received money from FSST, Monarch or the SDDP. We did however make some amazing connections and some lasting friendships. Those were priceless.

    As far as filing a term report well….I totally couldn’t get the report system to work for me. It was pre-filled and my limited computer experience worked against me. I’m sure Rachel will share the laugh of having to reset my password 2 times and walk my panicking self through it. I also filed a term just in case we didn’t make the ballot as I felt next Jan I would have moved on and would have forgotten to do it. Saved me time and potential fines in 2017 so it worked out just perfect.

    Now how about SB 171? Isn’t that just amazing?!! What a group of courageous and compassionate people we found!

    Come see us testify Lynn my face and mouth are always public….stop hiding behind your computer screen & come see who we are and what we are about.


  79. Porter Lansing 2016-02-05

    WELCOME TO LOSERVILLE, LYNN … population YOU !!! ?

  80. Bill Dithmer 2016-02-05

    Is it me, or has Lynns writing style changed?

    Probably just me.

    The Blindman

  81. Lynn 2016-02-05

    Hello Melissa,

    Great just a few questions! :) Who donated the office space?

    Who provided the funds to pay $25.00 an hour to get signatures?

    It would seem with the final push to get signatures an organization would burn thru that money disclosed fairly quick with that type of labor expense alone.

    A few of those people with the medical pot petitions were also witnessed getting petitions for the payday loan 18% rate ballot initiative also. Did NASD have an agreement to get their signatures in return for compensation?

    NASD only had 4 people or entities that donated over $100 which were required to disclose their identity?

  82. larry kurtz 2016-02-05

    Lynn = PP.

  83. Lynn 2016-02-05

    Oh Melissa just a few more questions for now. :)

    How many paid petition gatherers did you have, days worked and hours?

    Posters, printed material expenses?

    Booth expenses? State Fair and other shows and fairs? Charges for meeting places, phones, car rental and misc expenses?

  84. Bill Dithmer 2016-02-05

    Citizens arrest citizens arrest.

    Look out Melissa, shes getten ready to make some more calls.

    The Blindman

  85. bearcreekbat 2016-02-05

    Melissa, thank you for your efforts to help people in South Dakota with infirmities such as cancer, seizures, etc. You are one caring and energetic person.

  86. Lanny V Stricherz 2016-02-05

    I can’t believe that Grudznik isn’t on here telling Lynn how lovely she is.

  87. Melissa Mentele 2016-02-05

    Ahhh Lynn you showed your hand there…tsk tsk you are not as good of a detective as you want us to believe. All those questions were answered on the report. Enjoy your witch hunt it’s gonna be pretty funny when your head pops off in frustration from my open and honest report…hell I could have just called it all “consulting” and made you wonder.

    Have a good night Lynn…as always boys it’s been a pleasure.

    PS Those dishes won’t wash themselves and my dog isn’t allowed outside alone so if you want to make yourself useful Lynn…chop to it.


  88. Porter Lansing 2016-02-05

    I don’t know, Mr. Dithmer. Her interrogation approach is rather Goering-esque. Her writing style is pure South Dakota farm girl with accusatory overtones. Seems like the Lynn we know and love. ?

  89. Jenny 2016-02-05

    Larry – how about DWC = the Dysfunctional War Camp or Dirty Waste Containers!!

  90. Lynn 2016-02-05

    Ah Melissa,

    The report available via the SOS for the public does not show that info. Remember you proclaimed a campaign with transparency? That was before the “sign the petition and get a free drink at that bar fiasco” in Pierre remember?

    “Witches Hunt & Funny when my head comes off?” Oh no. lol All minimal effort in checking things out.

    It is interesting that you have promoted it as a campaign being fully transparent yet when questions have been asked by not only myself but others regarding the free drinks promoted for signing the petition fiasco, who paid for the office space, paid for the $25.00 an hour petition gatherers, questions about being witnessed getting signatures for both medical marijuana and 18% payday loan ballot initiative and sources of donations not fully disclosed and expenses you chose not to answer them. Is this all a game to you? What is there to hide? It certainly does not give a good impression to those I share this information with.

  91. larry kurtz 2016-02-05

    Exactly, Jenny. Dakotans Without Clues?

  92. larry kurtz 2016-02-05

    Lynn, pole vaulting over mouse turds suits you. Please continue.

  93. Lynn 2016-02-05

    Larry Who Resides in New Mexico,

    Remember that run in with your neighbor which really didn’t seem like that big of a deal yet you were so mad you had to go into the house to smoke two bowls just to cope with it? How many bowls will you need to smoke when SB 171 gets killed? Will you need to shoot up also? Do a line?

  94. Porter Lansing 2016-02-05

    Who’s political star has more upside potential than Ms. Melissa Mentele? South Dakota liberals should kneel down every morning and thank the fact that she’s not left the state. She’s a perfect demeanor, a cunning and exacting wit and a way with our detractors that rivals the best that have ever fought bullies. Hear, hear Ms. Mantele. Thank you for your dedication❣

  95. leslie 2016-02-05

    NIDA’s 2016 Strategic plan is up:

    “Over the last four decades, NIDA-supported research has revolutionized our understanding of drug use and addiction, driving a new understanding of the neurobiological, genetic, epigenetic, social, and environmental factors that contribute to substance use disorders. These advances have helped to transform how drug use and addiction are conceptualized. Society’s responses to drug use have often been shaped by the misconception that people with addictions are morally flawed and lacking in willpower, resulting in an emphasis on punishment rather than prevention and treatment. Today, thanks to groundbreaking scientific discoveries about the brain and its role in addiction, society’s views are changing in ways that will enable us to respond more effectively to the problem.” Nora Vokow, MD

  96. Melissa Mentele 2016-02-05

    That’s the beauty of full disclosure Lynn. I fully disclosed everything we were required to…to the proper officials. If you have an issue with the SOS not allowing you to see everything well looks like you have some calls to make….a bill to write and petitions to pass to get that changed. Had you been respectful and in search of a true open honest exchange of information I may have entertained the idea of sharing that info with you. You however are not and are spinning your wheels and blowing smoke slandering our SD patients….the pediatric patients….cancer patients and our Vets suffering with PTSD so Lynn kick rocks and start a movement to change the SOS rules. Until then I guess you just get to wonder and speculate.

    I take your lack of empathy and sick obsession with degrading and devaluing our patients very personally. Find something better to do with your time….I could give you a few ideas but I respect Cory to much to get myself banned by telling you them.

  97. larry kurtz 2016-02-05

    Exactly, Melissa. Anyone could be hiding behind Lynn’s curtain. My guess is a liquor distributor, law enforcement lobbyist or both. Marty Jackley’s mistress for all we know.

  98. Lynn 2016-02-05

    Melissa I’ll check the SOS website for a change in this disclosure for more information and touch base with the Attorney Generals office. Remember that besides the issue with transparency it deals with the integrity of our elections and law and that is what I am also interested in.

    Given the integrity challenged history of medical marijuana in other states and how it was abused and sold to voters your wasting playing the sympathy card on me. The bring a friend and get a coupon special medical pot clinics advertised in college news papers in Colorado to the 24/7 medical marijuana clinics advertising getting a script for $25.00 is a well known joke in California.

    This bill which will most likely get killed is a softened play the sympathy card recreational marijuana legalization bill that if made into law would create more social and economic costs upon our state outweighing any additional tax revenue. It reminds me of how we were sold video lottery though you were not living in South Dakota then and probably too young at the that time anyways.

    I do feel bad for those who are suffering and are being used as pawns by those looking to get rich and who are chemically dependent on MJ only to find out it was nothing more than snake oil claims and they had been duped.

  99. Lanny V Stricherz 2016-02-05

    Lynn, since you remember how we were sold video lottery in 1989 and that the money would be dedicated to education, have you weighed in on HB1130, which finally 27 years later will do just that?

    As a recovering alcoholic of 35 years, I never got in any trouble the two times that I smoked pot, but was in plenty of trouble and personality disorders over alcohol abuse. Never once saw a belligerent pot smoker, but plenty of the liquid drug users of which I was one.

  100. grudznick 2016-02-05

    Mr. Stricherz, I think you are sucked into that good looking devil Lance Russell’s rocks glass yet again. I think Ms. Lynn sees thru that sham of a law bill that has Mr. Russell’s name on it. The legislatures probably have much better ideas still percolating in their brains, and I bet they don’t consult with Mr. Russell when they get the percolating meetings going. Mr. Verchio is the man with the plan from that district.

  101. Lynn 2016-02-05


    Congratulations on 35 years of sobriety!

    “Never once saw a belligerent pot smoker” I have personally many times and it led to other drugs but take the time to look over crime and accident reports. It is very a common part of the story in those reports. Being high negatively affected their judgment yet it is promoted as being so harmless and some out of pure ignorance claim that it is good for you which is complete BS! Check with the SFPD, Hwy Patrol or local FBI offices. It’s pretty easy.

  102. larry kurtz 2016-02-06

    Committee chairman Sen. Bruce Rampelberg, R-Rapid City, sees the bill as a way to start a conversation about how cannabis could be used as medicine. He said he became intrigued about the possibility of marijuana as a medicine after receiving several emails this year, and in years past, from people who say they have found relief from serious medical issues by using marijuana.

  103. larry kurtz 2016-02-06

    The kurtz template is taking shape in Pierre. Let’s ensure that cannabis cultivation and distribution stays out of the hands of Big Dope. It’s time to enter compacts with the tribes, let them distribute on the rez, on off-reservation properties and in Deadwood.

  104. Lanny V Stricherz 2016-02-06

    Nah Larry, Lynn and her ilk would rather see the big dope guys continue to have law enforcement have to keep fighting this “war on drugs” and have those kingpins keep killing and getting rich off mj, the same way that Joe Kennedy did off prohibition and Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s grandfather Delano did as the opium kingpin in China in the 1800s.

    It’s just like war, some lessons have to be learned over and over and over.

  105. larry kurtz 2016-02-06

    Exactly, Lanny. Always good to read you.

  106. Bob Newland 2016-02-06

    Have some compassion for Lynndiot. She lives in a town in SoDak where the cannabis users roam the streets in gangs, beating up old ladies and forcing first-graders to inhale cannabis smoke.

    If I lived in her world, I’d have a less compassionate view about cannabis users as well.

    My best advice is; “Don’t go to Lynndiotville.”

  107. Bob Newland 2016-02-06

    At 6 this morning I was awakened by my phone.


    (Woman crying.) “N-n-n-n-norml?”


    “M-m-m-my husband was arrested in Chamberlain, South Dakota, yesterday. I got your number from your website. He had his cruise set at 79, but the Highway Patrolman said he was going 83.”

    “Yes, they lie all the time.”

    “Can you help me?”

    “I’m just curious, have you ever given money to a marijuana law reform group?”


    “Do you see the irony in the situation?”

    “Well, I feel like we’ve supported it in other ways.”


    “I buy Willie Nelson records.”

    “Smoking dope and listening to Willie is not the same as supporting drug law reform.”

    I then suggested she call Matt Kinney in Spearfish, whose number is on the homepage of

  108. Porter Lansing 2016-02-06

    Glad to now realize you’re the NORML guy in SoDak, Mr. Newland. “Highest” respect for the organization. Mason Tvert deserves a statue at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, in my opinion. His efforts have led Colorado from just another liberal state to a very wealthy and influential force in USA progressive politics. Hear, hear Mr. Newland. ps…no wonder Lynn fears you so much.

  109. Porter Lansing 2016-02-06

    Heh, heh HO … good one, Ms. Mantele “KICK ROCKS”

  110. bearcreekbat 2016-02-06

    Ah “the sympathy card” – how could anyone have sympathy for someone sick with cancer, suffering from PTSD after fighting for our country, or those lame seizure prone babies? What a bunch of losers – lock up these whiners who just use their puny illnesses as an excuse to get violent on pot, commit all sorts of heinous crimes, disrespect their mothers and then lay around too stoned and lazy to do anything productive, right Lynn?

  111. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-02-06

    I don’t want to get into this link war. The discussion above of marijuana and violent behavior seems mostly irrelevant, since the bill we’re talking about is for medical marijuana, not recreational marijuana. The link Mike provides from Norwegian scientists finding a 4% increase in violent behavior among Norwegian teens who double their cannabis use deals with recreational use, and thus can’t be used to indict the mostly Republican sponsored SB 171 iteration of the medical marijuana initiative. Furthermore, a Danish psychiatrist says the Norwegian study is crap, getting the link in the wrong order: it may well be that folks prone to instability and violence in the first place are more likely to turn to drugs.

    And not that most folks getting drunk this Super Bowl weekend are doing so for medicinal purposes, but I’m willing to wager that the folks in this conversation have seen a lot more people do stupid, violent things under the influence of alcohol than under the influence of marijuana.

    Again, because this isn’t my war, I may have missed someone else’s citation of this source, and if so, I apologize, but…

    Based on published studies, Roizen (3) summarized the percentages of violent offenders who were drinking at the time of the offense as follows: up to 86 percent of homicide offenders, 37 percent of assault offenders, 60 percent of sexual offenders, up to 57 percent of men and 27 percent of women involved in marital violence, and 13 percent of child abusers. These figures are the upper limits of a wide range of estimates. In a community-based study, Pernanen (4) found that 42 percent of violent crimes reported to the police involved alcohol, although 51 percent of the victims interviewed believed that their assailants had been drinking [National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, “Alcohol Alert: Alcohol, Violence, and Aggression,” October 1997].

    …and an update:

    Because alcohol use is legal and pervasive, it plays a particularly strong role in the relationship to crime and other social problems. Alcohol is a factor in 40% of all violent crimes today, and according to the Department of Justice, 37% of almost 2 million convicted offenders currently in jail, report that they were drinking at the time of their arrest.

    Alcohol, more than any illegal drug, was found to be closely associated with violent crimes, including murder, rape, assault, child and spousal abuse. About 3 million violent crimes occur each year in which victims perceive the offender to have been drinking and statistics related to alcohol use by violent offenders generally show that about half of all homicides and assaults are committed when the offender, victim, or both have been drinking. Among violent crimes, with the exception of robberies, the offender is far more likely to have been drinking than under the influence of other drugs.

    Alcohol is often a factor in violence where the attacker and the victim know each other. Two-thirds of victims who were attacked by an intimate (including a current or former spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend) reported that alcohol had been involved, and only 31% of victimizations by strangers are alcohol-related. Nearly 500,000 incidents between intimates involve offenders who have been drinking; in addition, 118,000 incidents of family violence (excluding spouses) involve alcohol, as do 744,000 incidents among acquaintances [National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependency, “Alcohol, Drugs, and Crime,” June 2015].

    If the SB 171 debate goes as far as this comment section in arguing against medical cannabis because it might promote recreational pot use and thus promote violence, the legislators making that argument will obliged to go find Rep. Arch Beal and discuss the equally clear and present danger of continued use of alcohol, medicinal or otherwise, in South Dakota.

  112. Lynn 2016-02-06

    Status: SB 171 will get killed either by the legislators or vetoed by the Governor.

  113. Roger Cornelius 2016-02-06

    I’ve remained quiet on this thread since mostly what I have read is a rehash of arguments posted on every marijuana thread that Cory has posted.
    After giving some serious thought to this discussion I have arrived at somewhat of a different conclusion, especially for those opposed to medical or recreational use of marijuana.
    As we are all aware, there are a multitude of things in life we can become addicted to; alcohol, food, sex, tv, computers, etc., you get the point.
    It is not likely that if marijuana in any form is to become legal we won’t see masses of people lining up to get it. Just as alcohol doesn’t make all people alcoholics, neither will marijuana.
    The problem is not an addiction to marijuana or alcohol, it is that a person has a addictive behavioral personality.
    The war on drugs has been a complete and utter failure and AA doesn’t cure all alcoholics. If opponents think that marijuana is such a terrible thing, they are fighting the wrong war. They need to fight addiction and all its properties.

  114. Lanny V Stricherz 2016-02-06

    You make excellent points Roger. One that I thought of last night, is that Native Americans have smoked peyote or mesclito for thousands of years and probably some mj as well. They never had a problem with that, but look at the problems that alcohol has caused for them since it was introduced to them by the white man.

    I have that addictive personality of which you speak Roger, be it as you point out, alcohol, sex, tv, computer, politics etc but I know that and have learned to control the ones that are extremely physically as well as maybe spiritually harmful to me.

    I’ll bet that mj is not nearly as addictive or harmful as hydrocodone and oxycontin. But doctors regularly prescribe those for pain management.

  115. Lanny V Stricherz 2016-02-06

    That was last year, Larry. Flandreau burned their field to the ground in November or December. There were cattle staggering all over in that area for a week.

  116. Lynn 2016-02-06

    Larry Who Resides in New Mexico,

    That link has Malware and a nasty virus. You may want to get that fixed unless you intended to infect other peoples computers that visit that site.

  117. larry kurtz 2016-02-06

    There was a time when I thought legal cannabis for any application could not pass the legislature and get signed into law. Now, there’s a real chance for all of the above.

  118. larry kurtz 2016-02-06

    For the record, I would write very restrictive legislation and present it to Gov. Daugaard before even showing it to the legislature. That process is underway.

  119. mike from iowa 2016-02-06

    Does AA actually cure alcoholics?

  120. leslie 2016-02-06

    well said Roger.

    86 percent of Americans live in a state that allows some degree of legal cannabis use.

    By 2020, nationwide sales could reach $21.8 billion, the report says.

    The marijuana industry is the most energy intensive agricultural crop produced in the U.S., the report finds. Growing cannabis indoors consumes 1 percent of the nation’s electricity. To put that into perspective, 1 percent is equivalent to 1.7 million homes and costs $6 billion a year.

    slate, today

  121. Porter Lansing 2016-02-07

    Thank-you, Leslie for being on the cutting edge of the weed business,
    The most pressing issue in pot production is switching to outdoor grows. The increased depth of quality in the product and the removal of energy waste makes this issue vital to progress of the industry.

  122. barry freed 2016-02-07

    Everyone accepts the State’s IM signature count without question. We use machines built by a man who said he: “would do anything to see W elected”. We saw his machines (Diebold) in his home State of Ohio count more votes than voters, count negative votes, and leave no paper trail to figure out what really happened. We just saw the Diebold effect again in the Pennington Country Wheel Tax vote that can’t be forensically examined because they didn’t “purchase the proper software, in order to save money”. Nobody questions. Why waste the gas to vote?

    Mr. Hickey, you are in there, how about a Bill that earmarks all drug money confiscations, asset seizures, and drug bounties paid by the Federal Government and puts them to Education. With better educated kids, we will have less crime to fight… right?

  123. Lanny V Stricherz 2016-02-07

    Mr Freed, Reverend Hickey is no longer in the legislature. He resigned last year and is now living in Scotland, (the country) going to school. But your thinking is right. He has had some health problems and so is one of the few in the legislature who has taken the time to study what mj can do to relieve pain of those who are sick or dying.

  124. Gaddy 2016-02-14

    Krebs knows how to get ahold of me. . . No one has informed me officially of action on fines.

  125. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-02-14

    Gaddy, it doesn’t work that way. You ran a ballot question committee. You have to submit a year-end finance report. You face a fine of $50 for every day late after the February 1 due date. Secretary Krebs sent campaign finance filing notices to all ballot question committee sponsors at the addresses they indicated on their statements of organization on December 30. Those letters included instructions on how to log into the new online reporting system and file year-end reports. It’s not too complicated, and it will keep you out of dutch.

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