And here I thought the USDA’s making hemp eligible for crop insurance would change Kristi’s mind….
Governor Kristi Noem still can’t tell the difference between industrial hemp and smokable marijuana. Just take a look at her latest screed from Second Floor, which she mistitles, “Industrial Hemp Is Not the Answer.”
As has been the case throughout her obstinate rejection of crop diversification in South Dakota, Governor Noem has not one argument against industrial hemp itself. She just keeps screaming that, like her, drug dogs and cops and prosecutors won’t be able to tell the difference between hemp that makes clothes and plywood and hempcrete and motorbike mufflers and bioplastic automobiles, and moms and dads and kids will all get high and destroy family life as we know it:
That’s what it boils down to. Legalizing industrial hemp weakens drug laws. It hurts law enforcement. It’s a step backward. South Dakota already faces a drug problem. Families continue to be ripped apart by substance abuse. I realize this position might not be popular, but that’s not why I’m taking it. As a governor who has said I will make every decision with the next generation in mind, I cannot sit by.
South Dakota must lead by example. We cannot rush into legalizing industrial hemp without knowing the cost we will pay. The safety and health of the next generation is not worth the gamble [Gov. Kristi Noem, weekly column, 2019.08.29].
Hemp was a staple of Minnesota’s economy before World War 2, and Minnesota families weren’t ripped apart back then by substance abuse. Kids can huff paint thinner, parents can make meth from a number of over-the-counter products, and lots of people get addicted and die from opioids, but we find ways for those legal and useful products to coexist with far greater risks from their own use than accrue from smoking pot, which cannot be made from the industrial hemp that Governor Noem resists.
Maybe Kristi and her cops can’t tell the difference between industrial hemp and wacky weed. But surely they can still tell the difference between a safe driver and an impaired driver. Surely employers can tell the difference between a productive worker and a doper asleep at his desk. Surely DSS and judges can tell the difference parents who are taking care of their children and addicts using their diaper money for daily highs/
Banning industrial hemp because it looks like marijuana is like banning swarthy dudes from the country because some Saudi Arabians once committed terrorism. Instead of obsessing about certain industrial products, Governor Noem and our lawmakers and law enforcers should weeding out bad behavior. South Dakota farmers should be able to grow hemp. South Dakota businesses should be able to make stuff with hemp. South Dakotans should be able to buy and use hemp products. As long as we all pay our taxes and tuck our kids in at night and don’t hurt anybody, Governor Noem should back off, the way good conservatives promise to do.