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Marijuana Petitions Prompt Senator Ewing to Avoid Spearfish Sears

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's last visit to the Spearfish Sears; store camera photo, from Stephanie Rebsom, 2017.07.15.
Senator Ewing’s last visit to the Spearfish Sears; store camera photo, from Stephanie Rebsom, 2017.07.15.

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.


  1. Angie 2017-07-21 10:44

    We are thankful for Phil and Stephanie’s commitment to the cause. It takes good hearted, compassionate people like the Rebsom’s to take a stand, even at their business to make big positive changes!
    Thank you so much,
    New Approach SD – Death with Dignity

  2. Kris 2017-07-21 15:04

    I do not go in Senator Ewings business because it has a tee shirt on the wall saying “I’d rather have a daughter in a whore house than Obama in the White House”.
    Bar humor perhaps, but really SENATOR Ewing, human trafficking isn’t all that funny.

  3. Bob Newland 2017-07-21 16:12

    Yes, Angie, and it takes a certified poopdeck like Ewing to stand in the way of allowing people to use a benign herb to alleviate pain and misery.

  4. Lorena Chastain 2017-07-21 16:39

    Good thing you are not my senator.

  5. Adam 2017-07-22 00:48

    These New Approach people, behind this latest push for better/more sensible life and herb policy, really seem to have a good approach. I watched them discuss issues on SDPB a while back and they really do have their facts straight.

    The fact that South Dakota doesn’t have the guts to stand up to the Federal government on industrial hemp perplexes the crap right straight out of me.

  6. barry freed 2017-07-22 07:49

    We need an IM that requires candidates to publish their tax returns. If one wants to be public, then go all the way.

    It is with a tax return that voters would see that a politician has significant holdings in a business that profits directly from the War on Marijuana, and finally understand the politician’s irrational position. Take away their profit motive and they won’t care in the least.

  7. barry freed 2017-07-22 08:20

    My Mom died of lung cancer. She suffered with chemo and at times had no interest in eating.

    I, to my shame, knew that pot helped the appetite, but obeyed The Law and chose not to find weed for her. If I could have a few “do overs”, that failure would certainly be one. I massaged her hands and forearms until she could unclench her fists. She found relief of the pain, but soon, they would be fists again. Now we know that pot helps nerve and muscle issues too.
    Ewing and everyone like him be damned, I should have found her some weed. Weak, worn out, hungry, and miserable, she quit chemo and died.

  8. Adam 2017-07-22 13:33

    That’s some real talk, Barry. It hurts hearing stories like yours, but if you don’t tell it, people may never get their heads out of their ass.

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