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GOP Leaders Barely Bury Nelson’s Random Drug Testing for Legislators

Yesterday was the last day any new bill could be placed in the Legislative hopper. The bill count stands at 272 in the House and 188 in the Senate. Those totals are a bit below the recent historical average (2000–2018) of 279 in the House and 207 in the Senate.

Even in that slightly lower output, it’s easy to miss interesting bills. That might explain how black sheep Senator Stace Nelson (R-19/Fulton) got Senate Bill 104 to the Senate floor and forced his own leadership into an embarrassing move to bury his provocative proposal.

What’s to bury? Well, Senate Bill 104 would subject legislators to random drug testing. Once a week, three to ten legislators selected at random would have to pee in a cup at the Capitol. Legislators peeing hot would have their drug test results read into the record in their chamber and face discipline or expulsion.

Nelson’s fellow right-winger Representative Tim Goodwin (R-30/Rapid City) floated a bill to test all legislators for drugs last year; it died a swift death in committee. Senator Nelson has brought similar bills in past Sessions only to meet similar resistance. But yesterday Senator Nelson, who peed clean for twenty-plus years in the Marines, got Senate Judiciary to pass SB 104. Senator Nelson argued that the statutes the Legislature has passed to impose warrantless searches and seizures on numerous state employees oblige them to lead by example. The only nay came from Senator Craig Kennedy (D-18/Yankton), who offered no comment but who, as a lawyer, may feel the same way I do about allowing the government to trample the Fourth Amendment with one more search without a warrant.

But four hours later, Senate Majority Leader Kris Langer (R-25/Dell Rapids) said there’s no frackin’ way she’s peeing in a cup for Stace Nelson (after all, he’s not Gene Abdallah).

Well, Senator Langer didn’t say any of that. She just moved to refer SB 104 to Senate Appropriations for a second hearing. That’s how the GOP leadership killed Nelson’s legislative drug test proposal last year. That’s how they’ll kill it this year.

But the referral didn’t happen without a fight. Senator Nelson rose and called his leader’s move “underhanded” three times. He called the motion “shenanigans” and a “duplicitous” ploy: “we’re trying to send that to the deepest darkest regions where it can be killed without having a public eye on it…. I do resent—I’m offended at the underhanded fashion this was taken to try and sneak this through the system.”

Senate Appropriations chair John Wiik (R-4/Big Stone City) rose to declare his committee “neither deep nor dark” and warned that randomly testing legislators for drugs has “some potential fiscal implications.” Senator Wiik thus asked the the Senate “shine another flashlight on it.”

Senator Lance Russell (R-30/Hot Springs) opened with a paper cut: “I tend to agree with some of the sentiments of the chairman of the Appropriations committee about the depth there.” Senator Russell alleged that Appropriations is trying to run the entire Legislature. As chair of Judiciary, he said he would have been willing to talk about the referral before the hearing, but no one came to him for that discussion. This lack of consultation, said Russell, is “very disrespectful to the process and to the other committees.” He urged the members to follow regular order and let SB 104 come to the Senate floor.

Senator Langer defended her motion: “I believe that there is a significant fiscal impact to this bill as well as a potential prison impact statement.” Note that SB 104 says nothing about sending anyone to prison, although let the record show that Senator Langer apparently believes many of her colleagues would fail a drug test. As for actual cost, the fiscal note run on Nelson’s bill last year indicated drug tests are $55 a pop. Ten weeks, ten tests max each week, 100 tests max total… $5,500. That’s not much more than the taxpayer dollars she and Brian Gosch spent going to ALEC meetings in FY2017. But hey, Republicans are all about fiscal relativism.

Senator Nelson closed debate with one more blast, calling the motion “shanghaiïng” and “dry-gulching” (“to ambush with the intent of killing or severely mauling“) and challenging senators to “lead by example,” keep the bill on the Senate floor, and show their willingness to subject themselves to the same drug testing they force on the Highway Patrol and Corrections officers.

Nelson got the necessary one-third standing second to force a roll call vote. He won 13 other Republican votes. Leader Langer won 13 other Republican votes. The five Democrats in the chamber all went with Langer. With only one vote to spare, Langer successfully defused Nelson’s drug-test time-bomb.

Watch the fun in SDPB’s video of the Senate in action on Legislative Day 16, starting at timestamp 22:20:

If we ignore Senator Nelson’s framing, I’ll contend the Democratic caucus made the wrong move here. On purely procedural grounds, they should have stuck with Stace. There’s no reason to refer SB 104 to a second committee. The cost of the bill is known and trivial. Let the bill come to the floor and vote against it on the merits. Giving Stace a win on procedure against his own leadership would have been one more burr under the GOP’s saddle, one more way to keep them off balance and slow their agenda. Democrats could turn to Senator Nelson and say, “Hey, Stace, we disagree on policy, but we stand with you in opposing these kinds of procedural shenanigans and power plays,” which respect and assistance could perhaps induce Stace and his wingnut caucus to work with Democrats to stop other power plays and hypocrisy by the Noem-captured “leadership” of the Senate GOP.

I don’t support random drug tests. I’ll vote against warrantless searches almost every chance I get. But I’ll happily help Senator Nelson fight underhanded shenanigans by the Republican “leadership” any day.


  1. El Rayo X 2019-02-01 07:11

    I’d pee in a cup if Stace held it.

  2. Kal Lis 2019-02-01 07:57


    I am going to disagree with you here. Democrats should vote to kill bad legislation on the first, second, and tenth offering.

    We have seen vote counts change if it appears that leadership may lose. There’s no guarantee that enough Republicans would not have flipped and this thing have passed the senate.

    It doesn’t matter if bad legislation is killed on procedural grounds or on votes on the legislation itself. What matters is that it’s killed.

  3. Senator Stace Nelson (R-Fulton) 2019-02-01 09:19

    The subtle behind the scenes information missing for those unaware: The motion to Re-Refer SB104 to Appropriations was placed in the normal cadence of the administrative functions of the Senate, with no notice to myself nor the Chairman of the Judiciary Committee where SB 104 was heard. They attempted to sneak it off the floor and into Appropriations to avoid a recorded floor vote. This follows Senator Langer’s behind the scenes frantic lobbying of a senator on the Judiciary to kill the bill earlier that morning. If you think the opposition to the drug testing is ideological? Then why don’t the Democrats & Senator Langer bring bills to repeal drug testing of SD Highway Patrol, DCI, National Guard members, etc? Exactly.

    @Kal Lis Mr H. Is aware that Senator Russell and myself have a history of helping the Democrats get a chance to have a bill smoked out and of helping them get a recorded vote even on bills that we opposed because we were unafraid to have an honest public debate. He also apparently gets what you don’t get, when Democrats associate themselves with such underhanded dishonest tactics? They own the corruption in Pierre as much as the “Republicans.” You attempt to defend the indefensible because of your personal views about illegal drug use. I am sure Senator Langer will reciprocate for the Democrats next time the establishment “Republicans” want to silence them on their issues..

  4. Kal Lis 2019-02-01 09:36

    Senator Stace Nelson (R-Fulton),

    Troll much? ad hominem much?

    Please point to a post where I advocated for illegal drug use.

    I did not say Democrats should expect quid pro quo. They would be naive to do so. Like Cory, I think this legislation promoted the presumption of guilt over the presumption of innocence and promoted illegal search and seizure.

    This was bad legislation and thankfully was defeated.

  5. David Newquist 2019-02-01 10:03

    If any tests should determine eligibility to hold legislative office, they should be basic literacy and logical reasoning tests. Inadequate brain cells can be a more lethal condition than impairment by substances. The amount of legislative time and energy spent on imposing idiocy onto classrooms and elsewhere is symptomatic of some kind of endemic mental deficiencies. If such tests were administered and those who could not pass them were disqualified, it seems doubtful that the legislature could muster a quorum this year.

  6. Jenny 2019-02-01 10:11

    Would the SD Legislature ever start the talk on medical cannabis?

  7. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-02-01 12:35

    Kal Lis, you offer a very reasonable principle, one that forgoes playing games and focuses on practical policy impacts, specifically, removing bad policy from discussion as swiftly as possible.

    But wouldn’t we serve that paradigm better with a Nay on the Langer procedural motion, followed by a Nay on SB 104 on the Senate floor? The killing to which the Langer faction and the Dems condemned SB 104 hasn’t taken place yet. It comes up in committee at some as yet unspecified date. It’s unlikely, but Senator Nelson could rally supporters to exert pressure on Approps, secure approval, and leave us no closer to killing the bad policy than we were yesterday on the Senate floor when Langer made her motion. Rejecting Langer’s motion and moving to floor debate and vote would likely have killed SB 104 before tea time yesterday, and killed it far more resoundingly with the voice of the entire Senate.

    And as an added bonus, Stace would have a harder time of accusing us Dems of collaborating with the corrupt GOP establishment.

  8. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-02-01 12:42

    Jenny, I don’t think the South Dakota Legislature is ready to let loose those reins yet. SB 150 makes the ingestion of non-smoked cannabis a Class 1 misdemeanor. We do have two bills—HB 1191 and HB 1212—to legalize hemp and associated products. SB 22 was amended to ensure that Epidiolex is the only cannabis-related drug allowed in South Dakota for now.

  9. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-02-01 12:48

    Hey, Stace! Think about what David Newquist is saying. The drug test isn’t going to pass. The vote yesterday on the Langer amendment made your point. Now let’s make another point to further show the hypocrisy and corruption of the GOP establishment: go to Senate Approps with a hoghouse of your own bill:

    Page 1, Line 5: Strike the word “drug,” replace with “civics.”

    Strike lines 8 through 11 through “…Representatives.”

    Line 12, after “results,” insert “of every legislator’s test,”.

    Line 13, strike “on discipline and expulsion” and replace with “of high school government teachers and bloggers for three hours of remedial civics training.”

    Strike everything after Line 13.

    Show some leadership. Make every legislator take the same test they are considering demanding of every student in this state.

  10. bearcreekbat 2019-02-01 13:05

    Senator Langer was correct on her argument that there would be a “potential prison impact.” While Nelson’s bill may not mention criminal sanctions, SD is the only state in the union that includes ingesting a drug as possession for the purpose of criminal charges. There was a bill (SB 129 (2017)) introduced last year to change this, but if I read its history correctly, it was tabled in committee and died. A valid positive test seems to be the only evidence required for a conviction, hence it looks like there would have been a potential prison or jail impact.

    As for fiscal impact, that could have easily been offset by requiring each legislator to pay the cost of his or her test, just as frequently has been proposed for welfare recipients.

    My guess is that a primary motive for objecting is simply the anticipated humiliation of taking such a test; and possibly a concern for false positives from eating poppy seed muffins, among many cold meds.

  11. bearcreekbat 2019-02-01 13:11

    Currently, SDCL 22-42-5.1 provides:

    Unauthorized ingestion of controlled drug or substance as felony. No person may knowingly ingest a controlled drug or substance or have a controlled drug or substance in an altered state in the body unless the substance was obtained directly or pursuant to a valid prescription or order from a practitioner, while acting in the course of the practitioner’s professional practice or except as otherwise authorized by chapter 34-20B. A violation of this section for a substance in Schedules I or II is a Class 5 felony. A violation of this section for a substance in Schedules III or IV is a Class 6 felony.

  12. Ryan 2019-02-01 13:45

    David Newquist said it best. If you want tests, test something that matters.

    I don’t believe that requiring legislators to take a pee test is a constitutional violation because it is a voluntary test as part of the requirements of employment. Employers of all kinds have pee tests.

    Now, I still think it is a bad idea and a waste of money – I just don’t think it is a “search” or “seizure” because it is “voluntary.” I have said before, though, that I don’t think the use of drugs should be an important factor in determining the ability to do a job. Lots of idiots don’t use drugs and they are more dangerous than somebody who knows what they are doing but happens to enjoy weed instead of alcohol when winding down.

    Stace, I would be curious as to your opinions regarding a legislator who smokes pot instead of sipping red beers. Do you think that difference alone changes whether or not they are effective legislators? Do you think alcohol and marijuana should be treated more similarly in SD or very differently as they are now?

  13. Senator Stace Nelson (R-Fulton) 2019-02-01 14:29

    @Kal Lis So an employment drug testing is a presumption of guilt?!? “Unconstitutional?!” All righty then.. The bill is “defeated!?” Your last statement sums up how correct you are on all fronts, the bill is alive and before Appropriations committee for a hearing yet, AND.. I get to trot it out on the Senate floor AGAIN for public debate AGAIN if they kill the bill (only) for financial reasons in Appropriations.

    @BCB Projecting such prison costs would presume that a % of these legislators are using illegal drugs. While their frantic efforts to defeat legislation that would require their drug testing implies such, I would never presume.. 😉

    @Jenny I have spent considerable time advising Melissa Mentle and Senator Foster on how to get their bill filed.

    @Ryan The effects of both are different and are treated as such under the law. I don’t think its the ones who sip beers who are worried about having to take a drug test..

  14. bearcreekbat 2019-02-01 14:38

    Nelson, I can’t dispute your viewpoint that we can’t ” presume that a % of these legislators are using illegal drugs.” But doesn’t that kind of suggest that the testing would serve no meaningful purpose if we don’t expect to find drug users that deserve lengthy prison terms pursuant to SD’s unique ingestion laws?

  15. Ryan 2019-02-01 14:49

    Stace, I know alcohol and drugs are treated differently under the law. I’m asking what you think the law should be. Do you think a person who occasionally smokes weed is more or less capable than a person who occasionally drinks alcohol?

    I agree with a remark you made that we should remove drug testing from employment requirements across the board. However, I’m asking a more direct question – do you think alcohol should be legal as it currently is, and that marijuana should be illegal as it currently is?

  16. Senator Stace Nelson (R-Fulton) 2019-02-01 16:42

    @BCB No. Their frantic reactions to the bill do not inspire confidence that they are clean and sober. What it would in fact do would be to provide taxpayers the assurance that their legisaltors weren’t hypocritically legislating statutes while feloniously violating those statutes themselves.

    @Ryan Therre are numerous laws that apply to both that cannot be covered in a simple quip. Each case of competence is surely contingent on the person and level of use. I have never made a statement that drug testing should be removed from employment considerations. Again, you ask for a blanket statement over numerous laws. I have agreed in the past that the federal statutes on MJ should be considered for reduction. I am for very limited circumstances of medical marijuana. I do not support full legalization of marijuana.

  17. Ryan 2019-02-01 17:07

    Stace, I was referring to your comment about why wouldn’t the legislature repeal pee test requirements for other groups…I agree with doing that. I didn’t mean to suggest you agree with it, only that you mentioned it.

    You seem very common-sense-focused, and that’s great. It’s rare in politicians. I dont mean to beat a dead horse here, but your preference for recreational weed remaining illegal makes me curious as to why. Do you think alcohol is appropriately legal and regulated, or if you had a magic wand would you make recreational drinking similarly illegal? I cant find anything at all that suggests marijuana is more harmful to the individual user, or society in general, than alcohol, so I really am curious what people who continue to support marijuana prohibition are basing that idea on.

  18. Senator Stace Nelson (R-Fulton) 2019-02-01 17:57

    @Ryan My comment pointed out that if this was an opposition on principle, they would bring legislation to repeal it for DCI, SDHP, National Guard, etc. Their opposition isn’t principled and appears to be more of the same culture of corruption attitude that laws are for you, but not them.

    I have 3 blown out disks in my back, and numerous joint problems, because of a doper drug dealer who intentionally ran me over with his car resisting arrest. I worked a ton of drug crimes in my time and have no love for what illicit drugs do to society. I have done my best to put my professional and personal prejudices aside to review the issues anew in the Legislature. I think some of our alcohol related statutes targeting youth are hypocritical. I have been at the front of fighting for legalized hemp cultivation and have grudgingly supported medical marijuana and oils for specific treatments of specific ailments and terminal cancer patients.

  19. bearcreekbat 2019-02-01 18:01

    Nelson, you make a good point about the test affecting public perception of legislators and discovered actual hypocrites. Perhaps these tests might also cause a re-evaluation of legalization laws as well as our unique and somewhat draconian ingestion law.

    On legalization, what is your factual basis for opposing the full legalization of marijuana for adults, if regulated similar to alcohol? If I am not mistaken, many non-biased scientific studies seem to indicate that marijuana is:

    – not addictive,

    – not as harmful (if harmful at all) to users’ health as alcohol

    – a socially enjoyable experience for users that doesn’t have debilitating effects on behavior compared to such effects of alcohol

    – not as harmful to health as tobacco

    – becoming increasingly accepted in several states with few, if any, negative results

    – a product that has increased revenue in full legalization states

    – a product that has reduced or eliminated criminal prosecution of users, thus reducing the costs of criminal prosecution and punishment

    – a product that legalization states can strictly regulate growers and sellers to control sales and prevent the addition of harmful additives thereby protecting consumers from potentially contaminated black market marijuana

    – a product that offers enhanced economic opportunity and benefits to agriculture, which is a major SD endeavor, and

    – a product that recent studies suggest may result in lower incidences of domestic abuse. See:

    I could go on and on, but you get the idea. And I recognize that there are some studies that dispute some of the points I have listed. I think the Nixon adminstration was able to develop several.

    Nixon rejected the pro-decriminalization findings of Canada’s Le Dain Commission and the British Wootton Report.[4]

    In the early 1970s, Nixon formed the National Commission on Marihuana and Drug Abuse (Shafer Commission), telling Shafer “I want a goddam strong statement… one that just tears the ass out of” cannabis supporters. However, the Shafer Commission’s 1972 report stated that cannabis should be decriminalized, and that prosecuting cannabis was a distraction from the fight against heroin. Nixon was infuriated by this betrayal from Shafer, and refused to appoint him a federal judgeship

    In any event, based upon what we have continued to learn about marijuana and how any alleged adverse effects on people are relatively minuscule compared to legal substances like alcohol and tobacco, and often disputed by recent scientific studies, what facts have you accepted that convince you it is good public policy to refrain from full legalization for adults in a manner similar to alcohol?

  20. bearcreekbat 2019-02-01 18:07

    Nelson, I had not seen Ryan’s post or your answer when I posted a similar question to you. Anything you might add to expand on your answer to Ryan would be appreciated. I too wonder what the scientific or social factual basis, if any, informs people opposing legalization. Your answer to Ryan sounds more anecdotal than addressing any of the points I mentioned.

  21. Kal Lis 2019-02-01 18:20


    Either lack of caffeine or dirty bifocals made me read “[t]hat’s how they’ll kill it this year” as a fait accompli. I should have been a bit more careful in my reading. Sorry. Also, I apologize for being slow to respond, but it’s been one of those days when every errand took longer than it should have.

    As for this particular vote, if the Democrats were certain the vote would play out as you describe in your comment at 12:35, then your strategy would have been the proper one. If, however, a handful of Republicans would have changed their vote to support the bill on the subsequent vote, it would have passed.

    To what I believe is your larger point, how should the Democrats deal with the two wings of the Republican party? I’ve got a simple answer: I don’t know.

    I have no love for the country club folk nor do I hold truck with the populist wing.

    it’s tempting to say that Democrats should go after the establishment wing and operate under “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” philosophy. In reality, the enemy of my enemy is merely the enemy of my enemy. (Sorry for the cliches.)

    I’ll conclude with different question: If Democrats side with the populist wing and give them a series of victories over the country club wing, will South Dakota be better off 2 or 4 or 6 years from now? I honestly doubt it. The state will be facing a different set of troubles. That said, it’s something I need to think about more.

  22. Cory Allen Heidelberger 2019-02-01 18:44

    Thanks for that reminder of the felony conviction, Bearcreekbat. Does Legislative immunity mean we’d have to wait until after Session to arrest the hot-pissers? DCI can’t come and arrest a sitting Legislator on the House Floor, can they?

    Either way, if I were Governor, I would send my goons down to caucus right away and tell everyone to pass this bill. If Senator Langer is worried there’s going to be a significant jail impact, that means she thinks a lot of legislators are going to get felony drug convictions, and felony convictions disqualify one from Legislative service (I think—can someone find me that statute?). A bunch of legislators peeing hot means a bunch of legisaltive vacancies that I as Governor get to fill. Kristi Noem, you want SB 104!

  23. Ryan 2019-02-02 07:34

    The most dangerous thing about weed is getting caught with it. I don’t blame stace for being concerned, but I believe legalization and regulation of pot would greatly reduce instances of violence related to it because the violence is almost exclusively due to the black market avenues of transportation and sale, not because of the plant itself.

    We certainly wouldn’t think of criminalizing guns because some people used them in crimes, now would we?

  24. Porter Lansing 2019-02-02 08:35

    Ryan is right. The most dangerous thing about weed is the onerous laws OR getting discovered by your priest and the Catholic Church. That’s why there are so many closeted pot heads (like grudznick and many on DWC) hiding behind masks of deception.
    *Use of meth has fallen drastically in CO since we legalized marijuana. In SD, meth is often the only diversion for some, from the harsh life. Given any other calming, recreational option, meth will become just “meh”. It could then be called “meh”th. Speed Kills … pot chills

  25. Donald Pay 2019-02-02 09:55

    I support SB 104, in concept. I have no problem with drug testing Legislators and other government officials. Given the bills that have been introduced, it appears many are in drug-induced deliriums.

    I had to undergo drug-testing for my job. I had responsibilities for clients’ financial and physical well-being. This happened in South Dakota and Wisconsin. You would think if I had to be drug tested, Legislators would have to be.

    Drug testing is the norm in many jobs. Many such efforts, however, give people a chance to redeem themselves by participating in drug rehab and re-testing. When Gov. Mickelson introduced his drug program with the state workforce, it was not used to punish people, but to provide programs to get people off drugs. That’s what I would recommend, not just testing.

    And let’s get serious about which drugs are important to control and which are not. I had clients I had to find jobs for who liked their weed. They were great workers, but relaxed on the weekends by getting high. It’s stupid to fire or not hire someone for smoking weed. Yeah, if they’re impaired on the job, fire them. Otherwise, no. I’m anti-drug, and would never smoke weed, but I’m convinced weed should be completely legal.

  26. Jenny 2019-02-02 10:54

    The Minnesota legislature has two recreational marijuana bills introduced and governor Walz Is in full support of legalization.

  27. Porter Lansing 2019-02-02 11:21

    Perfect for MN, Jenny.
    South Dakota? It’ll be last in history. What’s new, huh. Here’s the big picture.
    ~ In SD, Germans get high on discipline and Catholics get high on guilt. It’s a state loaded with backsliding German Catholics. After the Germans can’t resist the temptation any longer (and they get a little high on pot) they perceive such guilt that they blame the weed instead of blaming themselves.
    Similar to closeted gay politicians, going full tilt against homosexuality and actually helping enact anti LGBTQ laws that hurt themselves. Classic self-loathing.
    ~ Beware The Zealot ~

  28. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-02-02 13:34

    Donald, could we achieve the same results without invasive searches by simply firing people when they show up for work obviously impaired?

  29. Porter Lansing 2019-02-02 13:52

    Cory. In a union shop if a worker shows up drunk, his contract allows him to seek help. Usually the union would help the worker and their family … the first time, anyway.

  30. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-02-02 13:58

    I can live with that. But we don’t need blood tests to see who’s drunk, do we?

  31. bearcreekbat 2019-02-02 13:58

    Nelson, I appreciate your posting of the link that apparently is the basis for your policy positions.

    For the benefit of readers I should, however, correct a factual mis-statement in your comment. You cite the link as evidence that my “claims are very much in dispute.” The report you linked does not dispute most points or claims in my 2019-02-01 at 18:01 comment.

    Your link does not compare the effects of marijuana with alcohol, other than

    Use of alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana are likely to come before use of other drugs. . . .

    . . . Although these findings support the idea of marijuana as a “gateway drug,” the majority of people who use marijuana don’t go on to use other “harder” drugs.

    The link does not describe the experiences of the multiple States that have gone full legalization, nor the economic opportunities such legalization opens up for agriculture and business. It does not address the positive benefits of weakening the black market so that sales and uses can be legally regulated and monitored to assure a relatively safe, unadulterated product is available to users. It does not dispute the possibility or even liklihood of marijuana enhancing social interactions, including improving relationships among married users.

    The two points in my comment that the link arguably disputes are addiction and whether marijuana is less harmful than tobacco. On the later point, your link suggests that “people who smoke marijuana frequently can have the same breathing problems as those who smoke tobacco,” but made no claim that marijuana is in any way worse for our health than tobacco. This arguably disputes recent University of Southern California published research that found that marijuana is not as harmful as tobacco.

    As for addiction, your link stated that marijuana may lead to

    a substance use disorder, a medical illness in which the person is unable to stop using even though it’s causing health and social problems in their life. Severe substance use disorders are also known as addiction.

    It describes withdrawal symtoms as “mild” to include, “grouchiness, sleeplessness, decreased appetite, anxiety [and] cravings.”

    While the link uses the term “addiction” in relation to these symptoms, I am sure you would agree that they appear much less severe than the symptoms of alcohol withdrawal, which in serious cases will cause death, and withdrawal from substances such as opiods that often require hospitalization because of the danger of serious health consequences from wihdrawal.

    I don’t mean to challenge your views on the importance to you of the concerns described in your link, but I thought it best to correct your mis-statement of fact about the content of the link.

    One last point my earlier comment did not address, but your link did raise: “There aren’t any reports of teens and adults dying from using marijuana alone. . . .” This also is in contrast to alcohol, where “An average of 6 people die of alcohol poisoning each day in the US [and] 76% of alcohol poisoning deaths are among adults ages 35 to 64.”

    And after reading your link I am even more curious about your response to Ryan’s question: “Do you think alcohol is appropriately legal and regulated, or if you had a magic wand would you make recreational drinking similarly illegal?”

    He too notes that alcohol is much more dangerous than marijuana. Nevertheless, most adults seem to have the ability to use alcohol responsibly. Is there some reason to believe the same is not true with adults who will use legal marijuana? And since your link equates some harmful effects of smoking cigarettes and marijuana, would you also outlaw cigarettes with Ryan’s “magic wand,” or do we currently appropriately regulate tobacco?

  32. Porter Lansing 2019-02-02 14:07

    You don’t need blood tests to see who’s to high to do their job. Not do your job adequately but not be able to function. If a supervisor suspended a worker, he was suspended. The only blood tests that would happen in my union shop would be if I took a suspended employee in for a test to prove his innocence.

  33. grudznick 2019-02-02 16:15

    The Governor’s goons are strong arming Mr. Nelson on this issue.

  34. Porter Lansing 2019-02-02 16:35

    That’s a pretty big target for a “Rhoden Gut Punch”.

  35. Senator Stace Nelson (R-Fulton) 2019-02-02 18:08

    @BCB You have way more time than I to engage in an extended debate about a general issue. I do not see the full legalization you desire being proposed or passing this year. I gave you a quick link as to some of the reasons I am no fan, wouldn’t want to incite the haters with an extended dialogue of my reasons from a long career and medical injuries I will endure till I die from a drug dealer who did’t Want to be taken into custody.

  36. grudznick 2019-02-02 18:14

    Mr. Nelson, you are the largest of the hater fellows in their club. You are the biggest hater, who hates on people the most. Your weak history in the legislatures has memorialized this for all time way after you die from medical injuries incurred from a drug dealer who hurt you.

  37. bearcreekbat 2019-02-02 18:22

    Nelson, I can sure understand your time restraints with the legislature in session to keep you on your toes. Thanks for the comments that you took the time to post. Maybe you will want to expound a bit more after session if things slow down a bit.

    As for legalization, I think that would be a wise and compassionate policy choice for many reasons, but in the end since I am not a marijuana user I don’t really have a vested interest.

  38. grudznick 2019-02-02 18:36

    Mr. Lansing, you are righter than right. I have heard that Mr. Nelson skirts any direct belly exposures and sidles down the halls with his enormous target towards the wall any time Mr. Rhoden is headed Mr. Nelson’s way. For it is a rare man who can survive a Rhoden gut-punch, and Mr. Nelson is not a rare man.

    The Rhoden Rhangers have a new batch of shirts for sale, commemorating gut-punchery, by the way. $15. XXL only. Inquire at Talley’s on Sunday mornings, or email my good friends Bob or Bill for car-trunk shopping. (4.5% sales tax must be self reported to the state)

  39. bearcreekbat 2019-02-02 18:57

    Nelson, one more thought based on your last comment. I will speculate that the best way for our government to maintain business and opportunities for dealers of illegal drugs is to keep their product illegal, which will assure a stable and continuous market for the items people demand, but are unavailable in lawful commerce.

    Criminalization also helps producers of illegal drugs to escape government oversight which enables the addition of whatever substances they choose to increase the quantity of any product priced by quantity, regardless of the danger such additions might present to unknowing and unwarned customers.

    Forbes reports that legalization has increased illegal sales in other states by leading dealers to new markets.

  40. Porter Lansing 2019-02-02 19:09

    BCB … Pot was on the ballot for legalization four times in CO before the Republicans got behind it and made it legal for recreation. The GOP rationale was exactly what you’ve just said. To get drug cartels out of Colorado by ending their monopoly on sales. (When the gangsters sold pot, they would usually have hard drugs like cocaine for sale, also. Legal pot stores of course, don’t.)

  41. Roger Cornelius 2019-02-02 20:00

    Porter, have you been following the El Chappo trials?
    It is amazing the amount of illegal drugs that pass through legal checkpoints.
    El Chappo is a dirty business to the same degree Donald Trump is.
    There are more El Chappo’s out there that arent’ going to be hindered by Trump’s wall

  42. bearcreekbat 2019-02-02 20:03

    Porter, I thought that might be an important factor for Nelson diven his horrific experience with a dealer of illegal substances. Reducing their foothold would logically reduce violence related to the activity, which was the experience that appears to have wounded Nelson.

  43. Porter Lansing 2019-02-02 20:34

    Yes, Roger. Fascinating trial. Chappo says, “Wall?” I’ve got effin’ submarines. His whole gang, including his wife, have turned on him. heh heh
    ~ What happened to Nelson had nothing to do with drugs. He just uses it for drama. Any criminal could and does run down a guard, given an opportunity. Could just as well have been an angry husband in a marital abuse situation. Would that mean all husbands should be legislated against? Conflating it with drugs is silly. Nelson gets things locked into his brain and can’t or doesn’t want to explore other avenues. Shallow thinker with little to no curiosity.
    ~ But, absolutely legalization of pot gets the drug cartels and gangs out of the picture, if it’s done right. Marijuana has been legal here for so long, with no problems, that it’s not even in the conversation, anymore. It’s as common as a liquor store. It’s California that did it wrong. And, they had our paradigm to copy. Greedy fools. They set up pot sales like liquor sales. With a middle man distributor. The distributors won’t pay the growers a proper price and the distributors overcharge the retailers. (A limited number of distributors were granted licenses for millions of dollars, each. The distributors are like Budweiser, Reynolds Tobacco and other Fortune 500 greed merchants. So, the black market for marijuana is bigger than ever in CA and almost non-existent in CO.

  44. Porter Lansing 2019-02-02 20:51

    Sorry, I didn’t finish the story. I was thinking about grudz. In CO, instead of distributors as middle men, every store has to grow their own pot. Every plant has an identification number and is tracked on camera from seedling to harvest. The data is studied by a state group to see nothing shady is going on. Every store grows different strains of product so customer variety is maximized. In CA everyone is getting the same stuff. Like Walmart generic. CO’s template was copied by the biggest group to legalize in the world and it’s working well for them. Canada.

  45. grudznick 2019-02-02 21:20

    Mr. Lansing, indeed you were thinking about grudznick. As well you should be. Stop toking on the demon weed and focus your mind on me.

  46. Porter Lansing 2019-02-02 21:36

    Never touch it, grudz. Which leads to the end of the story. Only 17% of CO citizens smoke the stuff. The rest of us just like the tax revenue. 🐐

  47. Ryan 2019-02-05 10:10

    You should all smoke a couple joints and take it easy. So tightly wound. Can’t be good for you.

  48. leslie 2019-02-05 20:09

    Ryan google nih,Nora vokow Health effects studied, addictive, adolescents brain development, and of course 2019 Colorado DOT attempts to study drugged driving.

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