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Conzet: You Want Change? Not in My State! Beat It!

Rep. Kristen Conzet (R-32/Rapid City, floor debate on SB 171, SD House, 2016.03.08. Screen cap from SDPB.
Rep. Kristen Conzet (R-32/Rapid City, floor debate on SB 171, SD House, 2016.03.08. Screen cap from SDPB.

The House killed the last remnants of the medical cannabis bill Tuesday. Rising in opposition to a bill that had already been hacked from a comprehensive legalization of medical cannabis to a provision for the use of one marijuana derivative for one specific medical condition, Rep. Kristin Conzet (R-32/Rapid City) told parents wanting to give their kids cannabidiol to treat intractable epilepsy to drop Senate Bill 171 and leave South Dakota:

I don’t like the road that we are going down at this time. There are 39 options, that’s called 39 states, where if you have an issue, who wouldn’t move to that state? When I was sitting after the committee meeting, I got a phone call from my husband, and he said we’d be living in Colorado at this time if this was our daughter [Rep. Kristen Conzet, floor debate on SB 171, South Dakota House, 2016.03.08, remarks beginning at 6:51:46].

Rep. Conzet then doubles down on her branding of South Dakota as Greater Tuna with this defense of stick-in-the-mud-ism:

Now I don’t want to minimize the struggle and the strife that your family goes through. This is not a bill for South Dakota. We often wait. And that’s why we’re South Dakotans. We’re different cats. We have to wait and watch the rest of the country kind of muck up with the oil and the different things. We sit back and we pause and we make decisions that are the reason that we live here [Conzet, 2016.03.08].

There may be rational reasons for opposing medical cannabis. However, meta-acknowledging that we are a conservative state that responds slowly to new data and trends does not in itself justify not taking action. And no legislator should base a position on any bill on an invitation to opponents to go live elsewhere.


  1. Nick Nemec 2016-03-10

    Now get off my lawn!

  2. mike from iowa 2016-03-10

    Compassionate conservatism,at its finest,served slightly chilled with a touch of bitterness. She makes me happy I live in slightly more progressive Hog Country.

  3. Nick Nemec 2016-03-10

    Jenny and mike, here in South Dakota we’re fighting reefer madness even if you blue state folks don’t seem to care.

  4. Jenny 2016-03-10
    This past year MN added intractable pain as a qualifier for usage of cannabis. Only pills, oils and liquids are available in usage form under MNs med marijuana law.
    Sounds like something about ‘pubs and dems could both agree on in SD.

  5. Paul Seamans 2016-03-10

    Well I do have to agree with Kristen that we are a conservative state. Some may even say backwards. Is that a source of pride for Kristen?

  6. Mark Winegar 2016-03-10

    Tell Rep. Kristen Conzet she can either serve the needs of South Dakotans or “beat it” and take the science deniers with her!

  7. Jenny 2016-03-10

    Sounds like something ‘both’ pubs and dems could agree on in SD

  8. Expat 2016-03-10

    Don’t threaten me with a good time Mrs. Conzet. I packed up my family around new years and left for greener pastures. My wife and I make OVER 4X the annual income we were making in SD as a family, our cost of living is functionally the same. We enjoy beautiful mountain hikes in cared for city, state, and national parks, well paid teachers that are excited about their jobs, and a healthy two party state government that manages to find ways to compromise to help the people of the state. I am actively recruiting everyone i know to join us and i appreciate the help!

  9. Don Carr 2016-03-10

    No, South Dakota only waits and sees on any legislation that is deemed progressive. If there’s a conservative national group that wants to float some insane never seen before drag the state back to Medieval Times legislation, SD Leg is more than happy to entertain that.

  10. Jenny 2016-03-10

    That’s why the GOP are called the Party of No.
    Rep Conzet has some strange verbiage going on.

  11. happy camper 2016-03-10

    Don’t keep it a secret Expat where did you go? I want mountains. I worked for a company who’s motto was if it ain’t broke don’t fix it but when we were bought out most departments were shuttered because they were so antiquated. Maybe not be the first but don’t be at the tail end of change all the time.

  12. Darin Larson 2016-03-10

    Good point, Don Carr! South Dakota: bring me your right-wing, Koch Bros loving, liberty depriving, gerrymandering, big business not regulating, government in your bedroom and doctor’s office mandating, drug testing poor people requiring, no accountability offering, crony capitalist favoring, cover-up inspiring, lawsuit awaiting, legislation yearning to be passed into law.

  13. happy camper 2016-03-10

    We would have been first with that transgender bill.

  14. Nikki Rowenhorst 2016-03-10

    She needs to be fired! She is not working for the ppl of SD!!

  15. Expat 2016-03-10

    Colorful Colorado! From liberal Boulder to conservative Colorado Springs and all the mountain towns beyond the front range, there is a place for everyone. I have yet to catch a buzz from or even catch a whiff of marijuana smoke in all of my family’s outings throughout the state, so as far as i can tell, conservatives chicken little’d us all, again.

  16. Douglas Wiken 2016-03-10

    This bit of legislative buffoonery is stupid beyond words. Data and statistics, science, logic mean nothing to these tribal retrogrades. SD won’t get use of these drugs until some Republican influential like Daugaard, Jackley or others get some condition that only responds to marijuana related drugs.

  17. Loren 2016-03-10

    Say what???? Guess it’s the same logic that our national delegation uses in DC, “We want to be last to experience any new ideas… and then we might not accept them!” Fercryinoutloud!

  18. mike from iowa 2016-03-10

    I wouldn’t say wingnuts are totally bashful about trying new practices. Seems to me they were out front and in lockstep to convert the Mid-East to democracy by shock and awe bombing campaigns. Didn’t exactly pan out,but at least they tried.

  19. MC 2016-03-10

    There is a lot about the human body, the brain and the mind we just don’t know. More research needs to be done. We may never fully understand the mind or how it works, or sometimes doesn’t.

    Marijuana/Cannabis is still controlled by the Drug Enforcement Administration. The States and tribes may pass all kinds of laws legalizing it use; however it is still illegal at the national level without some kind of permit from the DEA. Here recently the DEA, has for the most part, has left these states alone in enforcing the Domestic Cannabis Eradication and Suppression Programs. Who is to say the next administration will or will not act to vigorously enforce these programs, even in states where it is ‘legal.’

    We need more research; we need to work with the DEA to make this research happen.

  20. Robin Page 2016-03-10

    Let’s talk about money. Who is really behind the fight to NOT make hemp/marijuana legal in the USA? How naïve are we not to understand that the enemy we are really fighting are the drug cartels. I have read that the most profitable business in America is not the corporations we all complain about, but the illegal drugs sold in our country. The drug cartels have it made! They make billions of dollars off Americans. They pay no taxes to the feds, the states or the local communities. We get stuck with the costs of jails and prisons and unpaid medical bills for people who overdose. We have to increase funding for more police, county prosecutors and public defenders. Some of our citizens have to suffer because of the lack of legal access to medical marijuana that would help to ease their pain or heal their bodies. But our Legislators don’t give a crap about those who suffer! They are intent on keeping the status quo and spending millions of dollars on drug offender punishment instead of treatment programs. Maybe we need to follow the campaign financing of some of these Legislators and see if they are receiving money from the cartels through backdoor avenues. Wake up South Dakotans! What are the REAL costs of continuing the failed “War on Drugs”?

  21. MC 2016-03-10

    Robin, I believe there might be some medical applications of products like Charlotte’s Web, There might even be some economic value in hemp production.

    These products are still considered Illegal at the federal level, by the DEA.

    Get the DEA to back off, then we can talk about hemp production, and medical use of marijuana extracts

  22. bearcreekbat 2016-03-10

    South Dakota doctors are permitted to prescribe methamphetamine and amphetamine to help our children, including such drugs as Desoxyn (meth) for ADD, ADHD, narcolepsy, and obesity, and Adderall (dextroamphetamine), Adzenys (amphetamine), Dexedrine (dextroamphetamine), Dynavel (amphetamine), Evekeo (amphetamine), Liquadd (dextroamphetamine), and ProCentra (dextroamphetamine).

    South Dakota Doctors can also prescribe opioids (drugs derived from opium), including morphine to help people control pain.

    But our legislators object to a Doctor prescribing harmless cannabidiol, with insignificant amounts of THC, to treat intractable epilepsy suffered by kids? Go figure.

  23. Jenny 2016-03-10

    Robin, so you believe that state legislators and Congress people are taking cartel drug money?

  24. Jenny 2016-03-10

    I believe there are probably border patrol agents profiting from drug cartels. There is a lot of money to be made from illegal drugs.

  25. Kris 2016-03-10

    wat is their problum? people just wanna feel good! these political people need to try it! they dont know wat they talkin about. south dakota is in the stone age!!!!!!!

  26. Jenny 2016-03-10

    Kris has obviously never suffered from chronic debilitating pain. Maybe if he injured his back from his low wage SD job he would start experiencing it. If he was diagnosed with bone cancer, one of the most painful cancers of all, he would most likely start suffering pain. Never underestimate the power of what the body’s pain receptor cells have the ability to do.

  27. Jenny 2016-03-10

    Kris is the product of the SD educational system and proud of it!

  28. Kris 2016-03-10

    jenny i get hedakes and the plant helps me feel good! legelize and tax it all!!!! we pay teachers and fix these dam potholes!!!!!

  29. Jenny 2016-03-10

    Well go find some sheep then, maybe your weed is under them.

  30. Curt 2016-03-10

    Ms Conzet will face strong and viable opposition in this year’s election. She and others like her need to be retired from their policy-making positions. Our duty is to ensure she has more time on her hands to perhaps consider finding some even-more-backward place to call home. Stay tuned.

  31. jake 2016-03-10

    Rep.Conzet–it’s more commonly known as putting your head where the sun don’t shine instead of waiting and watching… This session is a prime example of it.

  32. mike from iowa 2016-03-10

    South Dakota pols need to emulate iowa’s pols. 55 days into the 100 day session and not a single bill has been passed,let alone a bunch of bad ones. Sen. Johnson not so sure
    (Photo) With 55 days of the legislative session in the books, not one bill has passed. Sen. David Johnson, R-Ocheyedan, has a hard time believing that the elected folks in Des Moines are going to get the session wrapped up in the final 45. As a matter of fact he suggested the Spencer Chamber of Commerce might want to ask the legislators to return for a fifth Eggs & Issues session in April.

  33. Jenny 2016-03-10

    SD politics is just so darn entertaining. Jan and Feb can be rather boring months so I always go to the DFP to hear the latest entertainment from the genital and fetal obsessed,corruption prone GOP. There is always the great mysteries (where are those missing EB5 millions?), the latest scandals (embezzling Indian Grants), horrible murders and suicides. There is never a dull moment in the sad history of SD politics.

  34. MC 2016-03-10

    Jenny, Cory and I are going for front row seats for the craziest show in the state.

    Really I hoping to bring some common sense to the capitol We really need to pause and listen.

  35. Jim 2016-03-10

    This bill revolved around one child with epilepsy. The parents of this child have created their own issue. If they believe this drug truly benefits their child, why wait to try and change a law. Aren’t the parents the uncompassionate ones in this situation. Blame them.

  36. mike from iowa 2016-03-10

    Geez,this just struck me. If I want the attention of a wingnut pol I just say, “Oh Waiter, check please.” Because we wait, we’re South Dakwaitians.

  37. grudznick 2016-03-10

    Mr. Mike, I know you are from Iowa, but here in South Dakota we get things done. Can you imagine the carnage and horror of all the things gotten done by our legislatures in 100 days? 100 days is 20 5-day weeks. Our legislatures like to work 3 hours a day for 4 days a week. It would be half a year of having the legislatures passing things. The horror! The horror!

  38. mike from iowa 2016-03-10

    Yeah,Grudz-let’s do something even if it is wrong. You sound like my late,ex-FIL who could never find time to fix fence right the first time,but always had to make time to do it right later.

  39. grudznick 2016-03-10

    If you choose not to make a decision, Mr. Mike, even in Iowa that is still a choice.

  40. mike from iowa 2016-03-10

    When I eliminate decisions,I am efficient. When others do it they are lazy.

  41. drey samuelson 2016-03-11

    Using her logic, we might as well disband the Legislature, as no new laws are needed–everything in SD is not only perfect now, it’ll be perfect into perpetuity!

  42. M.K. 2016-03-11

    Yup, give people one more reason to leave South Dakota. Move away to states that serve their taxpayers. That’s what we need; legislators to invite more cronyism and keep the gates up!!! Conzet says “we sit back and watch” — yes, at what expense?? –while other states pass us by in growth and prosperity. Sad.

  43. Bill Dithmer 2016-03-11

    The rope is tight and getting tighter in the state of South Dakota, and like any good autoerotic, its still hoping for a happy ending.

    I’m neither shocked nor suprised at the vote because the state is, well, apocoliptically inclined. As for the dangers associated with this coumpond, how do they compare to the things kids can buy off the shelves at any gas station?

    Energy drink anyone?
    How about some Bug Juice? By the way, that size bottle makes a dandy pipe.
    And I’m still trying to figure out how they get that much sugar into a can of pop.

    Will SD continue to be the red faced state with so many phobias it self mutalates? Just before the lights go out will it smile and turn blue?

    Even rednecks get the blues.

    The Blindman

  44. Madman 2016-03-11

    We can’t create laws to help one person….Hadley Gjerde wanted to shoot fireworks with her cousins and a law was passed for that. Conzet was moved by her testimony, but when it comes to pain treatment she’s at a move along stance. Pack your stuff up, leave your support system, and move to a state that supports people like you. South Dakotans like Conzet apparently only value citizens that believe in what Conzet believes in, for the people, by the people, well I guess those rights don’t extend to people who disagree with the Conzet Republican party.

    I was at one time proud to be from South Dakota, but I guess I should move to Minnesota.

  45. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-03-11

    Curt, tell those Conzet challengers to get me a press release!

  46. caheidelberger Post author | 2016-03-11

    Good point about that fireworks bill from 2015, Madman. Ditto with this year’s transgender potty bill. Conzet is not speaking from principle. She and her party will race ahead with legislation when it suits their efforts to increase their political power.

  47. Paladn 2016-03-11

    What’s really funny is that the authors of these comments believe that the Representative actually reads same. Why not email same to the Representative as well? Hope you do — the above are great. Thanks.

  48. Bobby Kolbe 2016-03-11

    Question for the Representitive
    Where does she stand on
    Women voting
    Spouse abuse
    Child care
    Mental health/ jail
    Child exploitation
    Birth control

    Is she in 19 th,20 th, or 21st Century

  49. mike from iowa 2016-03-11

    These comments weren’t addressed to the wingnut dingbat,Paladn. I never assume any wingnut congressvarmint reads at all,ley alone my comment,unless that person in logged on here and can be addressed by name.

Comments are closed.