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Marijuana Petitioners Work Hard on July 4; Spearfish Petitioner Builds Custom Petition Station in Home

A couple of marijuana liberalization advocates are competing for South Dakotans’ signatures on their initiative petitions.

Photo by Melissa Mentele, Sioux Falls, SD, 2017.07.04.
Photo by Melissa Mentele, Sioux Falls, SD, 2017.07.04.

In Sioux Falls Tuesday, New Approach South Dakota got about 30 people to march with its float in the July 4th parade to promote their initiatives on medical cannabis and decriminalization, regulation, and taxation of recreational marijuana. New Approach SD also worked July 4 parades in Belle Fourche and Spearfish. In Spearfish, circulators set up their petition signing table in front of the Sears store downtown:

Photo by Elizabeth Tiger, Spearfish, SD, 2017.07.04.
Photo by Elizabeth Tiger, Spearfish, SD, 2017.07.04.

A few blocks away at 239 W. Jackson, across from Barbacoa’s, John Dale of Spearfish formally launched his own marijuana petition drive at his quonset-shaped home:

Dale’s initiative distinguishes itself from New Approach’s recreational decriminalization initiative by totally repealing almost all legal penalties (except for age restrictions) for the possession, sale, or use of marijuana. Dale’s petition also distinguishes itself from New Approach’s in size:

Dale petition—photo by John Dale, submitted to DFP 2017.07.06.
Dale petition—photo by John Dale, submitted to DFP 2017.07.06.

Dale’s petition appears to be the “beach blanket” petition mentioned during the first two days of meetings of the Legislature’s initiative and referendum task force in Pierre last month. The form on file with the Secretary of State shows what appear to be twelve 8.5″x17″ pages. Dale says he has transferred these pages to a single 32″x42″ sheet, printed only on one side and folded to fit on the custom signing table shown above. Each of Dale’s massive sheets has room for 85 signatures, compared to the more standard 20 signatures on the New Approach recreational marijuana petition.

Dale has converted his front room into the only official, secure signing station for his petition:

My family and I have turned our front room into “signing central”. Inside, we have a “signing station” consisting of an iPad and custom table with the (very large) petition fitting onto it perfectly for signing. With a single volunteer on site, in a predictable environment out of the rain with Internet access where the petitions can be protected, we can take 150 signatures per day. The station can be replicated up-to 8 times in the room we have available, increasing throughput proportionately. Lead time to build out the additional capacity is one afternoon. I have a local database being used (air-gapped) that keeps a master list of signers that will be delivered to the SOS indicating each verified signer, the petition number they signed, and the position on the petition they signed. We will have 100% accuracy in the signatures we turn-in to the SOS should we convince enough people to come to Spearfish and have a legitimate legalization experience. Therefore, we have the capacity to take all the signatures we need in a couple of weeks. However, this could create logistics problems, and I would love to spread that out over the ~120 days we have remaining [John Dale, e-mail to Dakota Free Press, 2017.07.06].

Dale says he is using the South Dakota Voter Information Portal to validate every signature and intends to deliver a “100% accurate petition” to Pierre before the November 6 deadline.


  1. Bob Newland 2017-07-06 17:23

    John Dale, you are a fool.

  2. grudznick 2017-07-06 17:32

    Young Mr. Dale seems to still have his ambition, despite the demon weed.

  3. Jenny 2017-07-06 18:05

    There isn’t anything wrong with some ol’ boys smokin’ weed once in awhile, Grudz, and you know it. It isn’t any worse than beer.

  4. grudznick 2017-07-06 18:28

    That fella’s house looks like it would make a good neighborhood beer shack, and in fact I bet it is, but the demon weed is bad. It is bad.

  5. Mel 2017-07-06 19:11

    It is amazing to see all the hard work & dedication of our volunteers in these photos. The 4th was blistering hot and parades are long but we had great groups out all over the state raising awareness. We didn’t get the Pierre parade pictures (that group didn’t take any) up but we did hit 4 parades that day.

    We are a true grassroots, volunteer staffed & donation funded organization. It’s amazing to see what started as a small dedicated group that has turned into a group of 300+ volunteers statewide standing together for reform.

    All great things are coming to fruition for NASD. It is only fair that the “18% Cannabis Initiative” got some attention….its been sad watching the desperate attempts.

    Be sure to follow us on FB. We have several speaking events this month & lots of petition signing events.

  6. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-07-06 21:18

    Update: Mr. Dale informs me that he is “willing to travel to take signatures of registered voters” if campaign contributions allow him to travel, but for now, he’s focusing his effort on his home site.

  7. grudznick 2017-07-06 21:29

    He said in his movie he is willing to bring the petition to people. Now he’s not?

  8. barry freed 2017-07-07 07:27

    Can’t teach an old grudz new tricks.

    Micheal Phelps, winner of nine Gold, three Silver Olympic Medals, and is a daily marijuana smoker, gasp, shudder, is the winningest Olympian EVER! He was stoned every time he won or accepted a Medal. No lack of wind while beating his opponents, who have all taken up smoking pot so they too, can focus, and win. The only laziness around here is: Grudz Think.

    Note how the Media has ignored him, compared to past Olympians who won half as much as he did. Once he spoke of weed, poof, no more coverage by the press; his accomplishments were no longer notable.

  9. John Dale, CC4L 2017-07-07 11:51

    Hi Bob! To state “that” and not “why that” is a fallacy of reasoning. I’d love for you to drop by the hut and we can have a conversation about my foolhardiness. If you build it, they will come. Cory – in 2016 I read a write-up about New Approach South Dakota’s last failed initiative, right before they seemed to sue everybody and their sister for their own failing to validate signatures properly (nobody’s perfect, and I still revere their team for the effort). Can you re-post that analysis? The spirit of that criticism was input for the initiative I wrote. So, Bob Newland my good FaceBook friend, what say you of substance about the differences between the two initiatives? Is the CC4L initiative worth traveling to Spearfish to sign? Why or why not? Sincerely, John Dale

  10. John Dale, CC4L 2017-07-07 12:06

    grudznick – it is dependent on budget and trust. I need to have the budget and time to go there myself, or I have to trust another person I’m sending. Given the reputation and history of shenanigans in SD politics, it is tough to trust others with something so important. Sincerely, John Dale, CC4L

  11. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-07-08 14:29

    Strange, Barry: why would the supposedly liberal media back off covering an Olympian who would affirm the supposedly liberal idea of smoking pot?

  12. John Dale, CC4L 2017-07-08 15:26

    Cory – it’s a conspiracy of control and economic terrorism?

  13. barry freed 2017-07-09 08:59

    Because they are neither liberal nor conservative, they are amoral corporations whose Boards of Directors are the CEO’s of drug manufacturers, prison/slave industries, or some other endeavor that profits from prohibition.
    Just as the CEO of Ford is on the Board of Exxon and will never approve a 30 MPG pickup truck, the CEO of MSN is also on the Exxon Board and no mention of a 30 MPG pickup will ever air, ad infinitum until the sheep are penned, sheared, and butchered.

    You haven’t called anyone a “Doper” in a while, what changed?

  14. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2017-07-09 09:10

    Dopers? Nothing’s changed, Barry. I think dopers waste time, money, and brain cells toking up.

    So there’s an economic interest in not reporting positively on marijuana? Would marijuana really knock drug manufacturers out of business? Can’t they do like GW Pharmaceuticals and make cannabis just another product line? Isn’t there more money to be made from other advertisers by putting Michael Phelps front and center and drawing lots of viewers?

  15. John Dale, CC4L 2017-07-09 09:42

    Some interesting data coming out about Cannabis, IQ, intelligence, and a person’s ability to lay-down new memories. The endocannabinoid system in people .. has been made thirsty. Here are some references:

    Make sure to read to the end of this one:

    I also list the dubious reasons for Cannabis prohibition here:

    Lastly, don’t be a:

    There are a trove of stellar performers in our society who would come out of the pot closet if it were legal. It would stun most … I think one of main reasons why it is illegal is the density of terpenes in the good Cannabis that linger longer than a chili fart, a problem that does not exist with proper herbal vaporization.

    That said, I think it is important to focus on the realities of this situation. Cannabis is virtually harmless when used properly, especially compared to Alcohol. And yet, because it is available only on a black market, the contents of the Cannabis, quality of the Cannabis, and Cannabis’ presentation next to other hard drugs also on the black market, make it necessary to do something like CC4L to reduce the chance of being introduced to hard drug culture. Cannabis was absconded and used like a night crawler on a bass .. as bait.

    There is a huge economy waiting to be made, and even the black market folks will do just fine.


    John Dale

  16. Clyde 2017-07-09 09:57

    We need to start airing old Cheech and Chong movies again! I’ve worked with guys that like to get hammered on booze and with dopers. One day of a hangover versus being in the clouds constantly. This country doesn’t need anything more to restrict its productivity.

  17. John Dale, CC4L 2017-07-09 10:35

    Clyde – are you suggesting that Cheech and Chong movies accurately reflect reality? Those guys both use Cannabis regularly in real life. They both work very hard. Cheech Marin’s net worth? $12,000,000. Tommy Chong? $8,000,000. Just for scale/reference .. Willie Nelson’s net worth is $25,000,000. I think you predispose Cannabis users to a poor outcome just via the suggestion. Those in charge of economic opportunities might be withheld if people believe your (incorrect) assessment. “Oh, don’t give the job to the doper.” The jobs and work shun Cannabis users, not the other way around, but that is changing:

  18. mike from iowa 2017-07-09 12:43

    Phelps was busted twice for DUI. That might have had something to do with his fall from grace.

  19. Clyde 2017-07-09 13:50

    John Dale, maybe not everyone is affected the same by Cannabis. I grew up with the stuff in the 60’s and 70’s and dealt with plenty of “doper’s”. Particularly in the service.I say Cheech and Chongs rendition is pretty accurate. That era gives some personal experience as well. The affects of alcohol are, to me, far more temporary.

  20. John Dale 2017-07-09 15:53

    Clyde: We have learned a lot about the respective substances since then, including the fact that there are a lot of non-cannabis things in the cannabis that is going around (“cut”).—least/87473546/

    “dopers” are likely dopey regardless of whether they would be using cannabis.

    This issue is about perspective. Free Cannabis, now!

  21. John Dale 2017-07-09 15:59

    Pharma, Big Alcohol, Big Tobacco, Big Paper, Big Clothing, and Big Oil all are threatened by Cannabis. I put nothing past their propensity to socially engineering Phelps out of the really big money.

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