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Everybody Wants Hemp Except Novstrup, Who Declines to Take Firm Position

Four of the five legislators at Aberdeen’s final 2019 crackerbarrel yesterday expressed unequivocal support for the bills legalizing industrial hemp in South Dakota—House Bill 1191 on general hemp authorization (at the bottom of tomorrow’s Senate calendar) and House Bill 1212 spending $10K right now to set up a state hemp licensure program (a bit higher on Monday’s Senate calendar).

One legislator equivocated: Senator Al Novstrup (R-3/Aberdeen).

Three citizens asked about hemp. All three seemed to support letting farmers grow this once and future great American crop. (You know what brought the Puritans to America? Hemp sails.) The only farmer at the podium, Representative Drew Dennert (R-3/Aberdeen), said hemp offers a great chance to produce more goods locally. Rep. Dennert also brilliantly refuted with one clever Adam Smith shrug an opposition argument that hemp won’t be profitable with one clever shrug:

Even if it isn’t a profitable crop, why wouldn’t we allow the farmers to decide whether or not they want to grow hemp? If it’s not profitable—first of all, corn and soybeans aren’t profitable, should we make a law saying we can’t grow that? [Rep. Drew Dennert, crackerbarrel, Aberdeen, SD, 2019.03.02]

City boy and rookie Representative Kaleb Weis (R-2/Aberdeen) intelligently refuted Governor Kristi Noem’s anti-hemp enforcement freak-out, repeating Senator Deb Soholt’s (R-14/Sioux Falls) point that hemp will be coming through South Dakota on I-29 and I-90 anyway from all the other states that legalize it, so blocking hemp production here won’t spare our Highway Patrollers from having to distinguish hemp bales from reefer semis on the highways.

To another audience member’s urging that the Senate not foul up this good agricultural opportunity, Senator Susan Wismer (D-1/Britton) said she favors the hemp bills with “no question.” She said hemp and marijuana are “completely different plants” and said the fact that the bill made it out of Senate Agriculture and Natural Resources on Thursday signals that it has enough Senate votes to both pass and override a gubernatorial veto.

But then Senator Novstrup, showing a bit of a sore neck from the Governor’s leash, to talk about himself and his brilliant passive Swiss leadership rather than the issue. Eventually he got around to saying he’s “going to stay in the middle” on HB 1191, because he apparently doesn’t know the answer yet. At the end, sensing some audience dissatisfaction, Al claimed he’s leaning yes:

Bless rookie Representative Carl Perry (R-3/Aberdeen) for making clear at the end that the other Republicans in the room have already figured out that hemp is good… and let me tell you, Al: if Kaleb Weis can figure something out that quickly, surely a nine-term legislator like you should have figured it out by now.

Another audience member followed up with a very sensible practical question: can hemp grow in fields where maybe corn and soybeans don’t do as well? Farmer Drew kept it short: yes.

To back Rep. Dennert’s statement, hemp grows fast, crowds out weeds, and requires fewer inputs than corn and soybeans. According to Penn State Extension, mourning doves like hemp seed, but deer don’t damage hemp as much as they damage corn and soybeans.

Senator Novstrup says he needs more information. Farmers, advocates, Senator Novstrup’s e-mail is His home phone is 605-360-9711. I’d say, “Light him up!” but I wouldn’t want anyone to get the wrong idea. Let’s “Learn him up!”


  1. bearcreekbat 2019-03-03 16:32

    First, I contend that it is a huge mistake for SD to continue to prohibit hemp, so my comment is in no way intended to defend Noem’s harmful position on hemp legalization.

    That said, I have to wonder about the argument by Weis and Soholt that “that hemp will be coming through South Dakota on I-29 and I-90 anyway from all the other states that legalize it” so law enforcement will still have to distinguish hemp from marijuana on the highways.

    Wouldn’t the same be true of marijuana since it, like hemp, may end up being transported across SD on 1-29 and I-90 from states that have legalized medical and/or recreational marijuana to other legal states? If these transports from legal marijuana states can be busted for violation of SD’s anti-marijuana laws, wouldn’t the same hold true for folks who transport hemp from hemp legal states? I just saw an article about a 100 pound marijuana bust on the highway near Sioux Falls. Won’t we also be reading about 100 pound hemp busts as long as SD continues to make possession of hemp a crime indistinguishable from possession of marijuana?

    Federal officials can certainly bust marijuana transports for violating federal marijuana prohibitions, but apparently a state has the same power within its own physical jurisdiction. That is why people caught transporting prohibited substances can be prosecuted twice, once under federal law and a second time under state law, without either government violating double jeopardy prohibitions (at least as the law currently stands – I have heard the SCOTUS may be reviewing this double jeopary issue in the near future). Just because the feds changed federal criminal law prohibiting hemp, it would seem that SD could still enforce state criminal laws prohibiting hemp on the roads across the state.

  2. grudznick 2019-03-03 17:42

    We should institute a massive, gargalatuan epitomoriphouson tax on the hauling of the demon weed, legal in the libbie districts to the left and the right of the Great State of South Dakota. We should hire hundreds of law enforcement officers and we should build parking lots to pull them all over in and make them pay the egregious fines owed to the citizens of South Dakota. The demon weed is bad, it is bad.

    Now, as to this hemp business, I say Mr. Novstrup, the elder, has the most common sense being displayed. Mr. Novstrup is no adverse to some sisal rope in the hardware stores, but he wants to keep the demon weed out of his fine town. He shows inordinate common sense. That, and his respectful nature and disassociation with out-of-state name-callers is what got him to his ultimate position of power. Mr. Novstrup is wise.

  3. jerry 2019-03-03 17:48

    If I were those fellers in the bust, I would have my lawyer defend me by saying that the hemp was grown legally and I was transporting it to Colorado where I hoped to sell it for CBD production. As far as where it was grown, I would defend myself by saying that I was not sure, but the guy who paid me to transport it told me that he grew it legally on his farm in a state that was legal under the Farm Bill.

    I would then sue the state of South Dakota for the misunderstanding and demand my hemp back so I could sell it to a CBD producer in Colorado. South Dakota legislators already have it figured out and could solve the problems if they would just override her veto.

  4. Porter Lansing 2019-03-03 17:58

    Grudznick is a paid employee of Republic National Distributing (liquor distribution). He gets paid to tell untrue stories and negatively influence opinions about marijuana. His comments are biased beyond believability.
    ~ According to Popular Mechanics, Henry Ford’s first Model-T was built to run on hemp gasoline and the CAR ITSELF WAS CONSTRUCTED FROM HEMP! On his large estate, Ford was photographed among his hemp fields. The car, ‘grown from the soil,’ had hemp plastic panels whose impact strength was 10 times stronger than steel.

  5. grudznick 2019-03-03 18:20

    Mr. Lansing, as grudznick swings from the cobwebs of your mind, creating little paper goats out of spit and dust mites and lint from the bottom of grudznick’s boots, all of your goats jumped into my hat as I wiggled it, enticingly, while delivering the traditional Breakfast Rant this morning prior to The Breakfasting. The people clapped, and I doffed my hat and more of your goats jumped in, and some tourists from Colorado Springs stood and stubbed out their blunts and pounded on the tables, howling what seemed a deviation from their overgodding state motto, bellering “Deus est mortuus” and the place went wild.

    People came up to me and said I was reasoned and eloquent and decorous and the rhetoric they intended to refute me with was rendered moot. Not only did grudznick eat free today, but grudznick will eat free for some time after this morning’s deliveries. And golly, did the sausage gravy flow thick.

    Nil sine numine

  6. Porter Lansing 2019-03-03 18:27

    I have information from employees at Talley’s that there has never been a breakfast group with grudznick, Conservatives With Common Sense or any breakfast group, at all. It’s just another made up story from an old drunk, trying to live off his Father’s reputation.
    “El gallo está muy borracho, otra vez.”

  7. Kal Lis 2019-03-03 18:44


    Just trying to get clarification. Wouldn’t the difference be that both the South Dakota and the feds view marijuana as illegal whereas the feds through he farm bill have made industrial hemp legal?

    Also, slightly off topic, what double jeopardy case is the court potentially looking to deal with?

  8. grudznick 2019-03-03 18:55

    Mr. Lansing, I will have those liars fired.

    I expect you are not getting the newsletters with the minutes and agendas. The Cambell Street Cafe has been hosting the meetings of the full body on the first Sundays of the month, while Tally’s still continues to host the executive committee meetings, which of course I attend as the immediate past president. And, the Crossing at Custer and the Sugar Shack are big summer meeting places. Bob insists. Full disclosure: I’m still burning down the gift certificate I gifted to Mr. C that is pinned up there by the register. You should stop by some time. Try a little goat.

  9. Porter Lansing 2019-03-03 18:58

    You’re the liar Jeremiah grudznick Murphy. There is no group. No meetings and no breakfast, other than the oatmeal your wife makes for you.

  10. Jenny 2019-03-03 19:42

    Give it up, Murph. Why still go by grudz when we all know who you are? If you want friends just go hang out with radical far right racist Phil Jensen and Lynn Di Santo and That Taffy Howard. I’m sure they would have breakfast with you. Just tell them to leave their guns at home.

  11. Jenny 2019-03-03 19:54

    And marijuana is not evil, Murph Everybody here supports legalizing it.
    I think even the demon Bill Janklow would have supported legalizing it, he would have for sure supported it for medical purposes. Your God, King Mickelson would have supported medical marijuana also, I believe.
    Jeremiah Murphy is just another SD republican that was brought up being told he was special and that he had a special Daddy. Just ignore him Porter.
    And Mickelsons son did rape that girl.

  12. grudznick 2019-03-03 19:57

    Ms. Jenny, perhaps I enjoy your game. Please listen to the Affairs committee in the wee morning hours tomorrow, where others will be deciding your future.

    grudznick laughing. grudznick laughing.

  13. Jenny 2019-03-03 20:05

    Please get help for your Aspergers, Mr Murphy, and always remember, it is the Democrats that fight for funding for ailments like what you have.

  14. Porter Lansing 2019-03-03 20:33

    You know, Jenny. I’ve heard it said that grudz doesn’t smoke as much pot as he used to but he still makes a few trips to Greeley, once in a while.

  15. Jenny 2019-03-03 22:03

    You’re right Porter, I wouldn’t doubt at all that Murphy is probably a closet pot smoker. We all know Republicans that holler the loudest about being against something are usually secretly enjoying it. Hypocrites aren’t they.

  16. Porter Lansing 2019-03-03 22:09

    I was just joking with him but you never know. lol

  17. bearcreekbat 2019-03-04 01:25

    Kal, the new double jeopardy case is Gamble v. United States.

    The fact that marijuana is prohibited under both federal and state law doesn’t help people involved with hemp in states where it is illegal.

    A state has the full power to declare any conduct not protected by the U.S. Constitution – e.g. the Bill of Rights, or pre-empted by federal law such as interstate commerce transactions, to be illegal. The state has full power prosecution those violations. It just doesn’t matter whether that conduct is also illegal under federal law. In fact, most conduct that states have declared to be illegal is not also illegal under federal law because the federal government’s criminal jurisdiction is much narrower than state criminal jurisdiction.

  18. mike from iowa 2019-03-04 07:14

    I doubt the Fed uses pot cases to collect fines to run their various agencies the way some states trap motorists for the money.

  19. Kal Lis 2019-03-04 07:48


    Thanks for clarification

  20. o 2019-03-04 08:53

    One claim made by Governor Noem that gave me pause was that the problem with hemp as a crop is that it looks just like full-tilt, get-you-high marijuana (my term – not hers). That makes it difficult for law enforcement to monitor.

    I can see that being problematic, if illegal marijuana can be grown side by aside with legal hemp being used as camouflage. Am I (and the Governor) missing something here?

  21. marvin kammerer 2019-03-04 10:24

    canada seems to have a lot more sense than the US for a long time dealing with hemp! & with a lot less problem with cannabis.the farmers there have made money with & have marketed it in various forms in the US.i have attended hemp hoedowns at tilford,sd & drank their fine beer.i have attended the gov.harvesting of hemp on the reservation as an observer. the courage of alex white plum & family is a good example of patriots versus overbearing government people .it is long past time to grow & accept hemp as product for the betterment of sd.we should at the same time thank the white plum family for their courage & pay them for the damages we’ve caused them. they are a sovereign people!

  22. Debbo 2019-03-04 23:55

    There must be a lot of $ at risk for Noem to be willing to fight about this.

    Porter, I think Murphy/Grudz is the biggest liar on DFP. Every other word.

  23. bearcreekbat 2019-03-05 10:44

    Update on transporting hemp versus marijuana as a bogus or valid argument against legalization in SD. I previously commented that this seemed to be a weak argument because since both marijuana and hemp are illegal in SD, SD law enforcement need not make any effort to distiguish the two in traffic stops. It appears I was incorrect.

    I have recently seen articles indicating the 2018 Farm Bill addressed the interstate transportation of hemp and prohibited states from interfering with transport. If so, and if this is a valid exercise of federal power over the states, then the anti-hemp argument based on the trouble law enforcing must go to when checking a vehicle found with marijuana or hemp goes out the window. Whether SD legalizes hemp or not does not matter – authorities still must distinguish between the two plants.

    Apparently there are still some law enforcement groups that disagree and want to use state law to prosecute the transportation of hemp.

    This also raises some interesting questions about searches for marijuana, again whether or not SD legalizes hemp. It would seem to change a probable cause standard. For example, if a drug dog cannot distinguish the plants, does a drug dog alert still constitute probable cause to search for marijuana? And what about individuals that transport hemp derived products like CBD oil, can they be stopped, searched and arrested in the same manner as transporters of marijuana?

    This is a can of worms, but the argument that SD shouldn’t legalize hemp because of these problems appears to be simply nonsense under the 2018 Farm Bill. The problems will not change in any way if SD legalizes hemp.

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