Press "Enter" to skip to content

The Dope Is in Pierre, Says New Bumper Sticker

Update 2019.09.22 15:08 CDT: All taken! Thanks for your interest! My guy will be sending out all 50 to our eager takers shortly!

Hey, anybody want a bumper sticker?

Hmm.. can drug dogs tell the difference between dope and the South Dakota Executive Branch?
Hmm.. can drug dogs tell the difference between dope and the South Dakota Executive Branch?

A friend of the blog has printed 50 of these bumper stickers and is giving them away. Send me your mailing address, and I’ll pass it on to this friend to mail you a little decoration for your bumper. First come, first served!


  1. leslie 2019-09-20 13:59

    Its an old joke.

  2. Richard 2019-09-20 16:08

    love it brilliant word play

  3. mike from iowa 2019-09-20 16:17

    There has to be more than one dope in Pierre. So what is the proper plural form of dope, not referring to the human dope.

  4. Sharon 2019-09-20 18:46

    Send me a bumper sticker – I’ll put it up in my store! GrassRoots 1575 N Lacrosse St Suite C Rapid City 57701! If he wants to make up more, I bet we could sell them!

  5. Debbo 2019-09-20 20:18

    Excellent sticker. Enjoy them, South Dakotans. You deserve something enjoyable. 😁

  6. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-09-20 22:13

    Hey, folks! So you know, I’m passing every request on to our generous reader. If your comment goes to the moderation queue, it gets to me, and if it has your address, I forward it to our bumper sticker guy. If you want to submit your address to me directly, you can also use the trusty Dakota Free Press Contact Form.

  7. Tim nelson 2019-09-20 23:19

    She is a good governor, just wrong on this one

  8. grudznick 2019-09-21 08:37

    Hemp is the evil little sister of the demon weed, and all who call for hemping are aiding drug dealers and brain addled stoner criminals.

    grudznick doesn’t drive any more but I’d take a sticker for my hat but I fear it would gum up the felt.

  9. Certain Inflatable Recreational Devices 2019-09-21 09:13

    She is an absent governor, vacant in mind and soul. And she is wrong about hemp. Send me a sticker, please.

  10. Melanie 2019-09-21 09:13

    Only lie lovers love prohibition. History shows hemp is useful and harmless. Opposers keep illegal dealers in business. Nixon gave us our modern, global drug war. Improper legislation invites corruption. Don’t hate, educate.

  11. Porter Lansing 2019-09-21 09:25

    Grudznick, “The In-State Tourist Hater” has little to no validity discussing farming. Probably never been on a farm for a month at a time, in his Sioux Falls raised life. He represents the liquor industry in Pierre and that’s about as far as his loyalty leads.

  12. Brad D Jenison 2019-09-21 10:34

    Ridiculous to ban Hemp!!!

  13. kj trailer trash 2019-09-21 12:46

    Soooo, I call myself “obvious man” sometimes, because sometimes I explain stuff to death and other times I’m missing the obvious, but this bumper sticker, though I love it, gives off a mixed message to me. The anti-hemp “dope” in Pierre would approve of a crossed-out hemp, wouldn’t she? Shouldn’t it be non-crossed-out “hemp,” or crossed-out “Anti-hemp hysteria,” or, maybe something that fits a small space better, like Hemp
    though I would love to see a “Hemp Ain’t Dope, Kristi-poo” sticker. “Hemp Ain’t Dope” would do fine with or without a slash through it, doncha think? Obviously Hemp, Ain’t, and Don’t are supposed to line up vertically, but something something computer illiteracy, followed by a diatribe about how much i hate every software designer who’s ever lived, and you get the point. Long story short, have a fun weekend, people and rock on.

  14. Certain Inflatable Recreational Devices 2019-09-21 17:56

    None of the hemp opponents (or, at least, none beyond the 15% absolute-idiot factor in favor of any flat-earth-type theory) are unaware that it’s only a matter of time before people everywhere in the USA will be able to ingest cannabis, in any form, legally.

    I can discern no political advantage for a politician to endorse hemp production. The majority of the 2019 legislative body did so. The governor, recognizing the fact of imminent legalization (or not. Maybe she is just plain dense as a post?) vetoed the suggestion, thus continuing the absurd tragicomedy of busting people for felonies because they have a few Greeley gummies in their vehicle.

    I want people to be able to plant and grow and harvest crops they think they can sell. I also want people to be able to ingest anything they, with age-appropriate assumption of mental competence, want to ingest, without threat of being jailed for that act.

    Once hemp production becomes a fact in the USA, there will be no heart left to prosecute people eating or smoking cannabis. It NEVER was about weed. It was ALWAYS against the market threat from hemp.

  15. Certain Inflatable Recreational Devices 2019-09-21 18:06

    I meant to say, in the first sentence of the second paragraph of my recent post, “I can discern no political disadvantage for a politician to endorse hemp production.”

    “Disadvantage,” not “advantage.”

  16. Porter Lansing 2019-09-21 18:15

    People in South Dakota will never be able to legally ingest cannabis. The analogies are easiest with gambling. Because gambling isn’t illegal nationally, a state still has to put it to a vote; either on a ballot or in Pierre. The German heritage of SD has enough mule headedness that the majority won’t pass anything where Washington is telling what to do. Nope. Never Dope! In fact, No Dope Without the Pope! The Catholic Church runs South Dakota and until it’s commanded in Rome, nothing will change.
    Even if a petition puts it on the ballot and it passed 70-30. Noem won’t allow it.

  17. Adam 2019-09-22 12:35

    Alcoholism drives rural philosophy and culture the most, not so much the dope, but that’s not to say they aren’t a bunch of dopes in Pierre.

  18. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-09-22 15:09

    Cease fire! All 50 stickers have been claimed! Thank you for your interest!

  19. Robert McTaggart 2019-09-22 17:27

    If hemp is truly not about the legalization of marijuana, then the effort should be to legalize hemp on its own merits.

    There should therefore be no tolerance for THC content for any industrial hemp that is stored, transported, or used in the manufacture of another product. If it is just about hemp, then there should not have to be any THC whatsoever. And that should be verifiable.

    CIRD says it was never about weed, and then adds that the outcome should be the decriminalization of those who use weed.


  20. grudznick 2019-09-22 20:00

    Dr. McT, it is always about the demon weed. My good friend Bob has confided to me that he has no cares about farmers or making balms with magic CBD, he wants to toke up the demon weed and sees hemp as a smokescreen to do so.

  21. jerry 2019-09-22 20:00

    Doc, that train already left the station. President Obama signed the 2014 Farm Bill that stipulated the difference between hemp and reefer. I thought you knew that in science, once the difference between objects has been made, you move on. Your new besty, GNOem told us over and over and over again about the wonderful Farm Bill and that by God, she was gonna sign it and get it to the Black guy. John Thune and EB5 guy Rounds, also said the same thing. Either you’re a poor scientist or you’re just trolling…again. Hemp has THC, that is part of its chemical makeup. Both you and GNOem know this of course, but it’s just a parlor game now of what came first the chicken or the egg.

    Our friends to the North, Canada, have it all figured out and they even have a white paper on the subject of hemp.
    They did such a good job of detailing the information that smart farmers in states like North Dakota, are going to discover profits at harvest. Imagine that! A farmer actually making a crop that is not dependent on China for profit! The dope is in Pierre and she has some company as well.

  22. Porter Lansing 2019-09-22 20:46

    You’ve been fooled, grudznick. But, it’s easy to fool a fool when he’s already fooling himself.

  23. Robert McTaggart 2019-09-22 20:57

    Grudznick, I am waiting for someone to have a Beto O’Rourke honesty moment and say “Yes, it is all about the weed!”

    jerry, you don’t appear to be ready to move on after public opinion was measured in South Dakota regarding these issues.

    I don’t know what the big deal is. Simply measure and prove that THC levels are indeed below threshold that the feds have decided upon in the farm bill, have hemp companies prove that hemp shipments and storage facilities are in compliance in order to keep their licenses, and find a way to pay for accurate and timely measurements.

    There is a way to get half a loaf (approval of hemp) without approving cannabis. I believe if you want hemp approved, that is the path to follow.

  24. grudznick 2019-09-22 21:00

    If these fellows really wanted to get hemp made to be legal, they could do so by stomping down on the demon weed. But they are dishonest with themselfs and they get the naive legislatures to do their bidding. It is all about the toking of the drug laden demon weed. Be honest, people, and move on to the real discussion.

  25. Porter Lansing 2019-09-22 21:25

    Why would a billion dollar industry change it’s product to include South Dakota? It’s good to have self esteem but there’s no basis for it. Much ado about such a small addition to a hemp market doing well without your help. If SD wants in, you’re gonna be the change or just go in another direction. Perhaps, changing Governors would be better for your farmers.

  26. Certain Inflatable Recreational Devices 2019-09-22 21:36

    From time to time, the spineless “grudznick” poses what seems to be a serious question. But, while there is some realness concealed among grudnick’s three sentences above, there is a smirk displayed also. I suppose that ANY recognition of grudznick’s miserable existence is a triumph for the troll, but sometimes I simply have to re-express my disdain for the being which performs no useful purpose, but which interjects itself like a rancid intestine into somewhat serious discussions.

  27. Robert McTaggart 2019-09-22 21:37

    I agree with Porter to this extent….if everyone is zigging, we should be zagging. Funds for economic development are better spent on other things.

  28. Certain Inflatable Recreational Devices 2019-09-22 21:40

    “Never” is a long time, Porter.

  29. Certain Inflatable Recreational Devices 2019-09-22 21:41

    Robert, you incredible idiot.

    Tell me why people should be subject to inhuman torture for ingesting cannabis.

  30. Porter Lansing 2019-09-22 22:00

    Never IS a long time. But, so is stubborn. One change I’ve noticed in the last fifty years, since I moved away. The rednecks in SD don’t hate Minnesota nearly as much as they used to. Now they hate Colorado, instead.

  31. Robert McTaggart 2019-09-22 22:14

    No, I see perfectly what you are doing. You are using this as a proxy for the decriminalization of cannabis as opposed to legalizing industrial hemp.

    I think those efforts should be separate. You apparently do not. My opinion is that hemp will not be approved unless it is politically separated in the approval effort and analytically separated from cannabis products.

    I get the impression that because the penalties are harsh in your opinion, that cannabis should just become legal….regardless of the harm that it can cause (particularly to others when smoked). However cannabis is illegal, so reducing penalties via the legislative process is your best bet for addressing your decriminalization concerns.

  32. jerry 2019-09-22 23:16

    The 2014 Farm Bill separated hemp from pot perfectly. Know why this lady is smiling?
    She is smiling because farmers are released from their shackles to be able to utilize their farm ground for something other than a Chinese bargaining chip. Booyah! She knows what she is doing just like we know what doc is doing, trolling.

  33. jerry 2019-09-22 23:25

    The dope is in Pierre, not in North Dakota.

    “With more than 3,000 acres in active production and an unparalleled system for getting viable, certified seeds to interested growers, North Dakota could one day be the leader in hemp – just as it is for other agricultural commodities from corn to flax seed. But North Dakota has natural enemies that limit hemp’s ability to thrive, as well as man made issues that curb the plant’s potential uses. The state’s 2017 drought plagued hemp growers in western North Dakota; four farmers lost hundreds of acres each. The water woes could reduce interest in a crop for which production and seed costs are much higher than other row crops, according to state agriculture officials.”

    There you go, the markets will dictate if the hemp is a viable crop or not but the farmers at least have the freedom to make that choice, not you doc or the dope in Pierre. That is the ongoing problem with farming today, no choice in market availability. Boo hoo, farmers need to remember that sort of thing around election time or they can just continue to bitch about it and solve nothing. Squirrel

  34. Robert McTaggart 2019-09-23 10:38

    It is certainly OK to pursue industrial hemp…after you can show that you can distinguish it from marijuana by measurement, and you can pay for that measurement.

    That should not require the approval of recreational uses of cannabis.

    You could invest in some science and develop an industrial hemp plant with ultralow levels of THC, but that would take too long for you. Instant gratification defeats science once again :^(.

    As you state above, just because you can grow industrial hemp, that doesn’t mean that it will be profitable. But it is a free country and you are allowed to invest in other items today that lose money…but even those items have to follow some rules and obtain approvals.

    Moreover, industrial hemp will not be a panacea for a state’s woes. Being part of a legal and diverse economic portfolio is a better goal.

    If there is no profit in it, but it turns out it is great for uses in environmental remediation of brownfield sites, then that would be helpful too. But you need to do some science to determine that.

  35. chris 2019-09-23 10:53

    nice paragraph from the Argus Leader/USA Today:

    [….So why is this all happening right now?

    The conditions were ripe for a crisis: Teen use of electronic nicotine cigarettes have soared as marijuana has become increasingly legal and accepted. Vaping became an increasingly popular, more discreet way to consume cannabis, especially by those already-primed young people. A black market has boomed in a regulatory void. That was thanks in part to the 2018 farm bill — signed by President Trump in December — which allowed growing and sales of marijuana-based hemp in many states and created a mass market for THC-containing cannabidiol, CBD. …]

  36. Robert McTaggart 2019-09-23 11:06

    Not using the e-cigarette systems at all would be a good approach. At the very least the use of electronic cigarette systems for something other than the intended product (which has not been studied or approved) should not be accepted.

  37. Certain Inflatable Recreational Devices 2019-09-23 11:26

    Robert: Tell me why people should be subject to inhuman torture for ingesting cannabis.

  38. jerry 2019-09-23 11:28

    The 2014 Farm Bill that the Black guy signed that came from the dope in Pierre was clear about the distinction doc. Ask your dopey girlfriend about that clarification as she laid claim to be all over that Farm Bill like a dirty diaper. Ask EB5 Rounds and Thune as well, they were singing off the same sheet music as dopey. Just stop playing so damn dumb, it is beneath your status.

  39. Robert McTaggart 2019-09-23 11:48

    Jerry, you still have to do the measuring.

    CIRD, please tell all of us why nuclear energy wouldn’t be helpful in preventing the effects of climate change that jerry notes have impacted the production of industrial hemp.

  40. Robert McTaggart 2019-09-23 12:08


    Regardless of your definition of inhuman torture (which you have not provided), if fines and penalties and sentences are too high, then you can either

    (a.) not partake in cannabis at all, or

    (b.) work to reduce said fines, penalties, and sentences through the legislative process, or

    (c.) convince enough voters to elect individuals who support your position.

    (a.) is probably a non-starter for you, but it is an option.

  41. bearcreekbat 2019-09-23 12:50

    CIRD, I haven’t been able to get a rational answer to your inquiry from McTaggart nor anyone else. Instead there seems to be a general begging of the question with non-answers like, the draconian punishment can be avoided by “not doing the crime,” or the “burden is on legalization advocates” to show why society shouldn’t continued inflicting unnecessary harm through criminal prosecution and punishment of people involved with marijuana.

    But I have read no meaningful attempt to justify the harm that criminal prosecution inflicts on so many folks compared to the relatively minor “danger” of the McTaggart articulated fears that he might be exposed to second-hand smoke or an increased chance being hurt by an impaired driver (despite reports referenced by the National Highway Safety Commission study undermining the assumptions for that fear – “The existing epidemiological research (both culpability and case-control studies) have produced contradictory estimates of risk for marijuana use. Some of these studies have suggested that marijuana use has minimal or no effect on the likelihood of crash involvement, while others have estimated a small increase in the risk of crash involvement.). [page 23]

    Neither even begins to address whether the relatively minimal increase in one’s personal risk of exposure to second hand smoke or impaired drivers (who are already violating existing laws from driving impaired that will remain in effect if marijuana is decriminalized) can rationally justify the destruction and damage inflicted on so many more people now being prosecuted for the “crime” of being involved with marijuana; along with the damage criminal prosecution causes to people who neither drive while impaired or do not smoke marijuana or, if they do, only smoke in areas or situations where neither children nor non-consenting adults are exposed to their second hand smoke.

    Maybe the McTaggart thinking is that these folks are unfortunate but needed “collateral damage” in the war to alliviate the fear of other people consuming marijuana. Or maybe that the financial incentive from the expenditure of tax dollars for the investigation, prosecution and incarceration of people involved with marijuana and its derivatives justifies the damage to these otherwise innocent folks. Or perhaps it is the fear of lost pharmaceutical revenue to investors in the manufacture and marketing of pain pills if legal marijuana becomes a legally available alternative to addictive and actual life threatening pain pills.

    I will be interested to see if you have any better luck than I have had in obtaining a reasonable explanation for continued marijuana criminalization policies that, in point of fact, have demonstrably harmed so many more people than ever have been otherwised harmed by marijuana involvement itself.

    McTaggart’s just posted his 2019-09-23 at 12:08 comment. Now I see he did exactly what I thought he would do with option (a). As for his other options, he again has failed to provide a rartional reason for prior comments indicating that he opposes either option (b) or (c).

  42. jerry 2019-09-23 13:14

    Of course you do measuring…just like in beer manufacturing or wine production. The 2014 Farm Bill that the dope in Pierre supported completely, did just that. The other two dopes, EB5 Rounds and Russian Thune, also were all in on the hemp in the Farm Bill because it differentiated between cannabis and hemp. It seems that some group is paying the dope in Pierre to prevent what she voted on, why else. Also doc, what dog do you have in this hunt besides your obsession with nukes and the desire to toss that pile of bullcrap into each subject?

  43. Debbo 2019-09-23 13:21

    Jerry, there’s also an apparent obsession with weed-phobia. That’s plenty of obsessing.

  44. Robert McTaggart 2019-09-23 14:20

    Isn’t it funny how being called a squirrel or a troll or an idiot fails to inspire one to side with an opposing argument?

    What if one simply does not want to smoke marijuana, nor want to inhale someone else’s marijuana smoke? Does your desire to smoke trump my right to clean air? Sorry, I meant override, not trump.

    It is clear how cannabis users would benefit, but entirely unclear how the non-user would benefit, and you need a majority somewhere along the line to approval.

    Usually a reduction in sentence for alcohol abuse is paired with an approach to try and reduce the abuse of alcohol. That seems to be a non-starter with regard to marijuana.

  45. Robert McTaggart 2019-09-23 14:32

    It’s your smoke, it’s your toxic chemical soup, it’s your THC. You paid for it. You should keep it.

    So you should be happy jerry…nuclear energy could help the climate which would help industrial hemp. You’re welcome :^).

  46. jerry 2019-09-23 15:22

    doc and his dopey girlfriend can just keep up the absurdness of the game they play. This game is probably not amusing to those who depend upon the land for their suppers, but farmers and ranchers have always been collateral damage as shown by the trump tariffs and trump trade war. You and dopey can parse and scratch each other’s belly’s while you troll citizens about the dangers of something that farmers were demanded to plant at the origins of this country.

  47. Robert McTaggart 2019-09-23 15:36

    If this were really about industrial hemp and improving the economy for local farmers, you would not make this about the legalization or decriminalization of marijuana.

    Wouldn’t you agree jerry that the chances of South Dakota approving industrial hemp…with the current legislature and governor…would be greater if marijuana were to remain illegal?

    You may not like that political reality, but that is true.

  48. bearcreekbat 2019-09-23 17:36

    McTaggart asks:

    What if one simply does not want to smoke marijuana, nor want to inhale someone else’s marijuana smoke?

    Let’s consider two options:

    “(a.) not partake in cannabis at all” and don’t hang around anyone who is smoking marijuana; or

    (b.) advocate in favor of laws that make criminals out of anyone involved with marijuana, isolate them from their families, children and friends by imprisoning them, use forfeiture laws to take their homes, cars and life savings, deny them the right to vote, own guns, or exercise the same rights as other citizens, all effectively screwing up their future employment opportunities and ability to support their families.

    “(a.) is probably a non-starter for you, but it is an option.”

  49. Robert McTaggart 2019-09-23 19:44


    With regard to (a.), if you are in a public space, you cannot avoid the smoking. If you are smoking in an apartment, the apartment above you will smell like marijuana or tobacco too, especially for heavy smokers. It is no surprise that marijuana smokers like the smell of marijuana. But that choice should not be imposed on others. Same thing goes for tobacco smokers.

    After all, you paid for that smoke. You should keep all of the smoke and all of the smoke smell for yourself. No need to share your combustion by-products with others without their consent.

    If you are a child with parents who smoke in the house (marijuana or tobacco), the child cannot avoid the smoking. Years of second hand smoke exposure have a life-long impact.

    To win people over on some form of legalization you have to show that it would save the state money, would reduce marijuana abuse, and would protect the public from doses of marijuana smoke that occur without their consent.

    Avoiding new smokers and gaining more non-smokers currently saves the state money. Legalization would have a better case if smoking marijuana in moderation yielded better financial and health outcomes for the state than not smoking at all. I don’t think that is likely, but good luck.

    I would be fine with more peer-reviewed studies on the harm of marijuana (long-term, medium term, and short-term) and a right-sizing of the penalties. If marijuana does no harm, then you should be happy to weight any penalties and penalty schedules for marijuana accordingly. If marijuana does harm to both the smoker and others…well… then you will not want to ask any questions.

  50. bearcreekbat 2019-09-24 01:55

    As expected, option (a) looks like a non-starter to McTaggart. Yet his fear of being involuntarily exposed to second hand smoke in public places or in an apartment above that of a marijuana smoker seems to overlook the steps that have been taken in jurisdictions that have stopped imposing criminal penalties on people involved with marijuana. California provides a useful example:

    It is illegal to consume, smoke, eat or vape cannabis in public. It is illegal to open a package containing cannabis or any cannabis products in public. This includes but is not limited to parks and sidewalks, business and residential areas.

    It is also illegal to consume cannabis in other locations where smoking is illegal, including bars, restaurants, buildings open to the public, places of employment and areas within 15 feet of doors and ventilation openings.

    You can consume cannabis on private property, but property owners and landlords may ban the use and possession of cannabis on their properties.

    Such regulations certainly address McTaggart’s hypotheticals by essentially eliminating the danger of exposure to legal marijuana smokers in public places and they give any renter the option of renting from a landlord that bans the use of marijuana on the property.

    Regulations prohibiting smoking in areas where children are present, including extending such prohibition to areas in homes inhabited or used by children, can also provide as much, and possibly even more, protection for children from exposure to second hand smoke as criminalizing all marijuana use or involvement. California has made a good start with the following laws prohibiting smoking:

    Within licensed day care centers, including private residences licensed as family day care homes. (Health and Safety Code Section 1596.795)

    . . .

    Within a foster or group home, as well as outside the home when children are present. (Health and Safety Code Section 1530.7)

    . . .

    In apartment and condominium indoor common areas (including hallways, stairwells, laundry rooms and recreation rooms). (Labor Code Section 6404.5) In addition, it is legal for landlords to make all housing they own and manage smoke-free. (Civil Code Section 1947.5)

    . . .

    When a minor (less than 18 years of age) is present in a motor vehicle that is in motion or at rest. (Health and Safety Code Section 118948)

    . . .

    In all public transportation systems and in any vehicle of an entity receiving transit assistance. (Health and Safety Code Section 118925)

    . . .

    By an operator of a youth bus at all times when operating a youth bus. (Vehicle Code 12523)

    . . .

    Within 25 feet of a playground, tot lot sandbox, or recreational area specifically designed for use by children, and within 250 feet of a youth sports event, which includes any practice, game, or related activity at which athletes up to 18 years of age are present. (Health and Safety Code 104495)

    . . .

    In all school districts, charter schools, and county offices of education, while students attend school-sponsored activities or are under the supervision and control of school employees. Tobacco and nicotine products are prohibited in charter school- or school district-owned or leased buildings, on school or district property, and in school or district vehicles. (Health and Safety Code Sections 104420, 104559; Education Code 48901)

    Adding marijuana to these prohibitions would seem a more rational and effective way to address second hand smoke issues for kids rather than making criminals out of anyone involved with marijuana at any place and at any time.

  51. Robert McTaggart 2019-09-24 12:17

    I fully understand and comprehend the harm that second hand smoke does. Trust me on this one.

    If the smoke were to stay on private property that would be one thing, but without any measures it doesn’t stay on private property….it’s called smoke. That is a problem in a town or city. I would grudgingly agree that edibles are better in this aspect.

    The biggest argument you could probably make in favor of legalization to win over Republicans is if it happened to save the state money and it would not impact other people.

    Thus the real hurdle you have for legalization is not my opposition, it is that the state actually saves real money in health care costs and increases its economic productivity when there are fewer smokers and when people stop smoking (both tobacco and marijuana).

  52. bearcreekbat 2019-09-24 12:27

    McTaggart, your argument implies that you might have compared the cost of investigating, prosecuting and incarcerating people involved with marijuana, including the costs to the State of taking care of children whose parents have been removed and sent to prison and the lack of ex-convicts’ to participate fully in the work force.

    If so, can you share your studies? If not, it may jst be you that is blowing smoke up the readers’ rear ends.

  53. Robert McTaggart 2019-09-24 12:34

    “Reductions in smoking in Arizona and California have been shown to be associated with reduced per capita healthcare expenditures in these states compared to control populations in the rest of the US. This paper extends that analysis to all states and estimates changes in healthcare expenditure attributable to changes in aggregate measures of smoking behavior in all states.”

    Maybe you should take your own advice for a change.

  54. Robert McTaggart 2019-09-24 12:36

    “Marijuana comorbidity is associated with longer length of stays and higher charges for patients suffering from a primary diagnosis of an alcohol problem. We also find higher average charges for patients suffering from mood disorders, though the finding is not robust across all model specifications. We do not find any significant effects for thought disorders. Findings from this study suggest that a marijuana comorbidity increases the cost of treating patients with alcohol problems and mood disorder diagnoses, implying that there may be real health consequences associated with marijuana abuse and dependence and more work considering this possibility is warranted.”

  55. Robert McTaggart 2019-09-24 12:48

    “The latest Surgeon General’s report, The Health Consequences of Smoking–50 Years of Progress, newly identified diabetes mellitus, rheumatoid arthritis and colorectal cancer as diseases caused by smoking – in addition to the lengthy list of cancers and chronic diseases already linked to tobacco use. Although significant achievements have been made during the past five decades, the burden of smoking-attributable disease, premature death and high costs will continue unless tobacco use is reduced more rapidly than its current trajectory.”

    “Cigarette smoking remains the leading cause of preventable death and disability in the United States, despite a significant decline in the number of people who smoke. Over 16 million Americans have at least one disease caused by smoking. This amounts to $170 billion in direct medical costs that could be saved every year if we could prevent youth from starting to smoke and help every person who smokes to quit.”

    Here is the kicker from the CDC….

    “There is no safe level of exposure to secondhand smoke. It causes stroke, lung cancer, and coronary heart disease in adults.”

  56. Robert McTaggart 2019-09-24 12:51

    “Marijuana is the most commonly used illegal drug in the United States, with 37.6 million users in the past year,1 and marijuana use may have a wide range of health effects on the body and brain.”

    They have links on this page with more marijuana-specific information.

  57. bearcreekbat 2019-09-24 18:40

    McTaggart, although your links are interesting I saw none that compared these heath costs to the cost of investigating, prosecuting and incarcerating people involved with marijuana, including the costs to the State of taking care of children whose parents have been removed and sent to prison and the lack of ex-convicts’ to participate fully in the work force. Hence any claim that the state “saves” tax dollars through criminalization seems factually unsupported. Unless of course, you are suggesting spending huge amounts of funds for criminalization to “save” a few heath care pennies constitutes “actually saves real money in health care costs and increases its economic productivity.” If that is your argument -spend a dollar to save a dime – then it seems another irrational policy.

    The first link seems to address tobacco rather than marijuana, and, as I am sure you understand, the cost of tobacco smoking is an invalid basis to compare costs since tobacco is not illegal and thus, in stark contrast to marijuana, there are no criminalization costs associated with tobacco.

    The second link addresses marijuana but provides zero information comparing the costs criminalization I inquired about to the medical costs covered by the link. Nor does the link offer any evidence showing, or even claim, that criminalization significantly reduces marijuana use, let alone reduce the medical costs described.

    The third link with your “kicker” deals with tobacco but makes no mention whatsoever of marijuana.

    The fourth link addesses marijuana health issues but provides no information about the cost of the matters discussed, let alone any comparison to the cost of criminalization and the related harm caused by criminalization policies.

    The last link deals with radon and tobacco use, with no mention of either marijuana nor the costs of criminalization I inquired about.

    Did I miss something? if not, then it seemsd that you are, in fact, just blowing more smoke once again by referencing only studies that don’t address or support your assertion “that the state actually saves real money in health care costs and increases its economic productivity when there are fewer smokers and when people stop smoking . . . marijuana.”

  58. Debbo 2019-09-24 20:27

    The Emily Post Institute has come forth with a book on the proper etiquette for weed use. Perfect. 😁😁

  59. jerry 2019-09-24 20:56

    Guess how much THC Medterra CBD Rapid Cooling Cream has in it?? ZERO THC! Thanks to doc, manufacturers are actually producing products that are from hemp that have no THC, booyah!

    It ain’t cheap though, but you can do like I did and purchase you some right here in Rapid City. I will let you all know how this stuff worked for me.

    This product is from Kentucky…hmmm, why does that seem interesting? We could be doing the same thing here but for dopey and troglodytes. Jobs jobs jobs…

  60. Robert McTaggart 2019-09-24 20:57

    Bad news BCB, health care costs will go up as law enforcement costs go down…because more people will smoke. More people drive while intoxicated. More people will be exposed to second hand smoke.

    With regard to individual savings from not smoking tobacco…

    I am sure that not smoking marijuana saves money too directly…not just in regard to long-term health care costs.

    Smoking anything is bad for your lungs…including banana peels. Smoke is smoke to a large extent due to combustion products, and both marijuana and tobacco smoke have many of the same cancer causing by-products.

    Here is the good news. Because marijuana is illegal, there have not been enough studies on the long-term effects…not like tobacco. Here is an idea…do the thorough testing PRIOR to legalization, not afterwards.

    But you are right, the costs for marijuana health care could in fact be a LOT worse because of what is in marijuana and not in tobacco.

  61. Robert McTaggart 2019-09-24 21:02

    The Radon connection has little to do with the fact that there is nicotine or tobacco or THC or cannabis. Radon clings to the carbon and other particulate matter. Marijuana smoke debris does not violate the laws of chemistry and physics.

    Because there isn’t a similar table for the risk of marijuana plus Radon with hard numbers should not be a cause for celebration. It should be cause for concern, because the Northern Plains / Upper Midwest region has some of the higher Radon levels in the nation.

  62. jerry 2019-09-24 21:06

    Doc and dopey are trying to fool everyone into thinking this is about getting high, that doesn’t even work on your students dude, they all know the difference…and you two do as well. This is about hemp and hemp processing only. This could help farmers and just folks in general improve their economic situations. It’s called jobs jobs jobs.

    How can you be an entrepreneur if you don’t understand the basics of marketing? That’s what will come from the planting of hemp. Ask Alex. Here is the explanation of the difference between hemp oil and cbd oil.

  63. Robert McTaggart 2019-09-24 21:23

    If it is about hemp, then industrial hemp approval could occur without making marijuana legal.

    But apparently marijuana can’t be legalized on its own merits without the de facto approval currently afforded by approving industrial hemp.

  64. jerry 2019-09-24 21:27

    The 2014 Farm Bill signed by the Black guy, makes hemp legal. It does not make marijuana legal. You have it bass ackwards doc.

  65. bearcreekbat 2019-09-25 02:59

    A review of McTaggart’s comments reveals that he simply has found no research to support his cost claims. Instead, his posts and links simply dodge and weave around the issue, never once even addressing the actual cost of criminalization and the savings that eliminating the cost of investigation, prosecution and incarceration might generate, not to mention the savings from ceasing to ruin lives with criminal prosecutions.

    He makes blanket factual statements like “health care costs will go up as law enforcement costs go down…because more people will smoke. More people drive while intoxicated. More people will be exposed to second hand smoke,” but provides no factual data to support such claims.

    For example, where marijuana has been legalized consumers now have an alternative to smoking marijuana – e.g. edibles. Assuming arguendo marijuana use increases when decriminalized, where is the data that states the increase is in smoking rather than consuming edibles? Indeed, isn’t it just as reasonable to posit that many former marijuana smokers switched to legally available edibles thereby reducing or ending their smoking altogether?

    Likewise, where medical marijuana has been legalized people can ingest marijuana to treat seizures and other disorders in a variety of forms and substances other than smoking it. Where is the data that supports some blanket assertion that medical users increased smoking rather than ingesting by other newly available methods?

    McTaggart’s assertion about second hand smoke assumes an increase in smoking in places that will expose others to second hand smoke, but provides no factual research or data in support for such a claim. Likewise, the DUI claim is speculative at best as indicated in the National Highway Safety Commission study I linked in an earlier comment.

    It would behove all readers to consider carefully the source of claims about the increased costs of decriminalizing marijuana when evaluating whether the claims are factually accurate or are simply more hyperbole – modern adaptions of the propaganda leading to the original marijuana hysteria from the 1930’s that ruined the lives of so many people, particuarly minorities, over the decades that have followed.

    And back to the question repeatedly posed by CIRD that started this discussion: “Tell me why people should be subject to inhuman torture for ingesting cannabis.” Still no rational factual answer that I can discern from McTaggart nor anyone else.

  66. jerry 2019-09-25 10:02

    I applied the CBD cream last evening. It seemed to me to be more effective than Icy Hot and with much less odor. I had a very good night’s rest and will reapply this evening. All in all, the first use worked pretty well and would recommend it to those who have pain in their joints. Also, there is no THC in this product and you can purchase it in Rapid City, to help pay city tax as well as dopey’s state tax.

    This product is from Kentucky so South Dakota farmers, tough luck. Demand better representation in Pierre or you get more dopes while you beg for bailouts at the mercy of China.

  67. Porter Lansing 2019-09-25 10:06

    Jerry … Maybe you can try what my Mom used to do, with your CBD cream. She’d smear some Mentholatum on my upper lip before bedtime for sniffles.

  68. Robert McTaggart 2019-09-25 10:35

    It’s called logic. If there is more smoking, there is more secondhand smoke. Marijuana smoke and tobacco smoke have a lot of the same cancer-causing agents in them. So we should assume less cancer?

    The american cancer society has said that they need to do more studies with regard to the effects of medical uses of marijuana, particularly for reducing nausea and pain. So do the studies. Like any drug, a drug can be abused, including chronic use. There is more of a case for a controlled medical use of marijuana….but not if it gets prescribed every time you have a headache.

    But you go ahead and be the guinea pig in the lab if you want to for recreational use. The CDC reports issues with all organs of the body for long-term use.

    I provide some data for you, and then you just simply reject it.

    So go ahead and pre-reject this:

    “Smoked marijuana delivers THC and other cannabinoids to the body, but it also delivers harmful substances to users and those close by, including many of the same substances found in tobacco smoke, which are harmful to the lungs and cardiovascular system.

    Researchers have found limited evidence of an association between current, frequent, or chronic marijuana smoking and testicular cancer (non-seminoma-type).”

    “Secondhand marijuana smoke

    The known health risks of secondhand exposure to cigarette smoke—to the heart or lungs, for instance—raise questions about whether secondhand exposure to marijuana smoke poses similar health risks. While there is very little data on the health consequences of breathing secondhand marijuana smoke, there is concern that it could cause harmful health effects, including among children.

    Recent studies have found strong associations between those who said there was someone in the home who used marijuana or a caretaker who used marijuana and the child having detectable levels of THC — the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana. Children exposed to the psychoactive compounds in marijuana are potentially at risk for negative health effects, including developmental problems for babies whose mothers used marijuana while pregnant. Other research shows that marijuana use during adolescence can impact the developing teenage brain and cause problems with attention, motivation, and memory.

    Because marijuana plants come in different strains with different levels of active chemicals, it can make each user’s experience very hard to predict. More research is needed to understand the full impact of marijuana use on cancer.”

  69. Robert McTaggart 2019-09-25 10:40

    To me “inhuman torture” means actual physical torture, which is not occurring with regard to marijuana enforcement. What is happening is that people want to live a life free of consequences instead of working to change the laws. And sometimes they find resistance to changing those laws.

    Sorry, but your approach to legalization is not convincing. Instead, show that the overall costs are reduced with legalization, and the state’s population will not be impacted by your personal choices for a drug that can do harm. Maybe you should offer to have another box to check off, so that you pay a little extra in insurance for future marijuana health care costs.

    And still, you have not answered whether you would approve of industrial hemp without approving marijuana (and hemp is what this is supposedly about). So instead of answering that question, I get a question about decriminalization (non sequitur).

    I think we can all agree what we really need is more cowbell.

  70. Certain Inflatable Recreational Devices 2019-09-25 10:46

    McTaggart’s grand-dad was an SS sergeant. He is reputed to have said this to an old woman who asked him “Why?”

    “It’s not personal. I kinda like you Jews. But laws is laws. If you don’t like them, go to Berlin and lobby for change. Anyway, there is no ‘why’ here.”

    Then he closed the boxcar door.

  71. Robert McTaggart 2019-09-25 11:00

    For all your complaining about data, there is no data here about how bad marijuana users have it compared with other crimes, nor how much money we would save by having a different approach. Instead of trying to convince me that way, I get called idiot, squirrel, etc. Where is the hallowed data from Colorado?

    Comparing the plight of marijuana users to what Jews endured during the Holocaust is a bit over the top. Please reconsider or rephrase those comments.

  72. Robert McTaggart 2019-09-25 11:21

    To summarize…

    I can be convinced about finding a role for medical marijuana regarding the reduction of nausea, pain, vomiting, etc. in a medical setting…but more data is required. Prescriptions for headaches aren’t a sufficient reason for medical marijuana. It is a drug.

    I can be convinced to approve industrial hemp, as long as it is completely separate from marijuana approval and it is regulated. It can then fail or succeed on its own in the open market.

    The smoking of marijuana in public spaces is a definite no-go for me. Smoking anything with kids in the house (and/or in a high Radon environment) is a no-go. I’m open to a discussion for edibles on private property, but the driving while intoxicated rules need to have measurable limits for things like THC.

    I don’t mind more independent studies with regard to the effects (i.e. peer-reviewed studies with controls, not done by the marijuana interests), and then right-sizing penalties based upon the level of harm that is found. But I am completely against eliminating penalties just because tobacco and alcohol are legal or people assume there is no harm.

  73. jerry 2019-09-25 11:48

    Doc takes another veer off the road again and off we go to the Doc and Dopey Show. Both are obsessed with marijuana. Here in South Dakota, we are talking about hemp and CBD with ZERO THC. Who cares about marijuana? If you want it, you can buy it in most any South Dakota town.

    Hemp could be a cash crop for needy farmers as well as places for storefront business like in Rapid City, to process and sell. Commerce baby, booyah! Jobs jobs jobs that are not shoveling crap in a CAFO. I’m seeing a pattern in my life now where Republican thinking is not about business but stifling business, what gives.

  74. bearcreekbat 2019-09-25 11:51

    There he goes again – McTaggart’s comments are a one trick pony dodging and weaving to avoid his lack of an answer to CIRD’s reasonable question, adding an attempted definitional distraction. And he now makes suggestions about how I should be treated for using marijuana in my private life – “be the guinea pig in the lab” and “pay a little extra in insurance.” For the record, I do not use marijuana in any form, nor use or smoke tobacco, nor imbibe alcohol (save for a rare single glass of wine with a special meal).

    My only dogs in this fight are my experience seeing how useless criminalization can wreck a decent person’s life and a desire for policy based on factual reality rather than hyperbolic emotional speculation.

    McTaggart says “It’s called logic.” While that could technically be accurate, calling his conclusions logical does not mean they are reasonable or even true, especially when his “logic” is based on imaginary, rather than factual, premises. For example, we learn early on that a statement can qualify as perfectly logical, but also be factually incorrect and not particularly reasonable. Here is one example:

    For example, consider this syllogism, which involves a false premise:

    If the streets are wet, it has rained recently. (premise)
    The streets are wet. (premise)
    Therefore it has rained recently. (conclusion)

    This argument is logically valid, but quite demonstrably wrong, because its first premise is false – one could hose down the streets, the local river could have flooded, etc.

    Another observation – Trumpists like to dispute using the term “cage” to describe taking children away from parents and family and locking them inside wire enclosures, as if winning that semantical argument somehow incorrectly leads to a conclusion that eliminates the harm inflicted on these kids. Disputing the term “inhuman torture” is a similar flawed semantical argument that doesn’t mitigate the harm in the slightest that is caused to those people prosecuted under draconian marijuana criminal laws.

  75. Robert McTaggart 2019-09-25 12:17

    Exactly jerry, we don’t need marijuana approved at all with regard to industrial hemp. So install the infrastructure to do the proper oversight of hemp to keep marijuana out of it.

    BCB and CIRD, I don’t feel the need to go down that road due to all the name calling. I am open to right-sizing the penalties, but not eliminating them when marijuana does harm. But let’s be honest, that is not going to be enough for you guys.

  76. Certain Inflatable Recreational Devices 2019-09-25 12:26

    McTaggart, would you like to propose criminal penalties for EVERYTHING that does “harm?”

    What would be an appropriate punishment for my eating candy corn?

  77. bearcreekbat 2019-09-25 12:36

    McTaggart, again for the record I reviewed my comments in this thread. While I criticized your comments and your use of factually inaccurate statements, I did not find any in which I called you a name or engaged in name-calling. The contrary implication in your recent comment is incorrect and simply seems another attempt to justify your apparent inability to provide a supportable answer CIRD’s question.

  78. jerry 2019-09-25 12:40

    Kentucky already has done that elimination of THC. As I noted, I personally made a purchase of CBD and it clearly states on the container ZERO THC. You have no credibility when it comes to this, so better to just move on to nukes or something else that you have in your quiver. Hemp is what the issue here for farmers is, not marijuana. South Dakota has rejected that before. HEMP is the subject, isn’t that what you try to instill in your students? Stay on subject??

  79. Porter Lansing 2019-09-25 13:00

    I’m usually the youngest (65) in the barber shop. This morning an OG who had to be over 80 mentioned to the room that he’d started on these CBD drops for his sore joints and was very pleased. Another man, about my age agreed. Both were like me; waiting for the local Kroger to stock their shelves. Luckily Kroger is a giant corporation so the high demand and low supply shouldn’t increase the price.

  80. Robert McTaggart 2019-09-25 13:39

    Why are we talking about decriminalization when the subject is hemp? Because folks like BCB and CIRD want marijuana approval to piggy-back onto hemp approval for free. Also, decriminalization is of a greater interest to them due to personal experience or experience of others they know.

    I understand. For me it is secondhand smoke exposure. I am in favor of reducing involuntary secondhand smoke exposures to zero. If you can reduce that by the right kind of penalties, fines, volunteer work, etc….great. If you can help people find better socioeconomic paths to reduce smoking, great.

    Not emitting the secondhand smoke in the first place works the best. Eliminating that from public spaces helps.

  81. bearcreekbat 2019-09-25 13:56

    McTaggart, please stop making incorrect assertions about what I do, want or what my comments addressed. My comments said nothing about wanting “marijuana approval to piggy-back onto hemp approval for free.” Rather, my comments simply pointed out that neither you or anyone else has provided a factually accurate answer to CIRD’s question and my comments linked research and public policy measures that corrected several misleading or inaccurate statements in your comments, and asked you to document your comparative cost claims, among other claims, which you have not yet done.

    As far as I am concerned marijuana and hemp are two completely different products with completely different uses. Opposition to marijuana decriminalization is an irrational reason to oppose hemp legalization.

  82. Robert McTaggart 2019-09-25 14:16

    The data you really and honestly want likely does not exist in peer-reviewed form because it would require federal funding to do the sufficient studies…and marijuana is illegal at the federal level. Colorado likely has the most data regarding costs at the moment. You need independent groups to get similar results to form a basis for better regulations, and 5-10 years of data after a startup period to really start to see any trends.

    What you are saying with regard to marijuana data at the moment is that because you have never been burned by fire, it’s OK to run into that burning building over there. So having the data really isn’t that important if the conclusion is made and then you look for the data to support said conclusion.

    As I keep saying, marijuana decriminalization or legalization is not necessary for approval of hemp legislation. If they are separate, then keep them apart. I have proposed several ways of doing so, and all I get back are comments about the need for decriminalization and the legalization of marijuana.

  83. Certain Inflatable Recreational Devices 2019-09-25 14:33

    Robert McTaggart, you are either more dense than an avocado seed, or you are simply a liar.

  84. Robert McTaggart 2019-09-25 14:59

    Secondhand smoke is a health issue to people that are not smoking marijuana or tobacco. #truth

  85. bearcreekbat 2019-09-25 15:03

    Okay, McTaggart I will try to help you out a bit with some publicly available estimates regarding the direct cost of marijuana prohibition. I note these figures do not include the indirect costs incurred by broken families and lost employment opportunities of those arrested and prosecuted.

    Marijuana prohibition now costs state and federal government as much as $20 billion a year, an economist told The Huffington Post — and legalization efforts are only just beginning to chip away at that.

    That number comes from Jeffrey Miron, a senior lecturer at Harvard University who in 2010 studied the likely impacts of drug legalization, finding that about $8.7 billion would be saved on law enforcement and another $8.7 billion would be generated from taxes on marijuana. Accounting for inflation, that would add up to about $20 billion now, he said.

    The number is modest in terms of the overall government budget — but far too high a price to pay for a drug that does little to harm non-users, he argued.

    . . .

    During the runup to Washington’s referendum, the state branch of the American Civil Liberties Union estimated that local governments spent $211 million on enforcing marijuana laws between 2000 and 2010. . . .

    Marijuana busts increased last year, with nearly 600,000 people being arrested on a possession charge—a staggering number that costs taxpayers billions of dollars even as the vast majority of Americans support legalization of the drug.

    The new arrest data, released Monday by the FBI, comes at a time when nearly 30 states allow the drug for medical use and eight have legalized it recreationally.

    . . .

    The statistic is not only telling for those targeted by the war on drugs, it’s also costly for taxpayers who footed the bill for about 587,700 people to make their way through the criminal justice system last year.

    A study found that in 2010, when busts reached about 750,000, the cost of arrests amounted to more than $3.6 billion—and Sánchez-Moreno says the cost is still in the billions, even though overall arrests are down 20 percent since their peak. . . .

    There are many more published reports and studies documenting the cost of marijuana criminalization if you have doubts about the accuracy of these reported estimates.

    Now all you need to do is find sources for the increase in cost of whatever medical harm you contend decriminalization has caused or will cause, including of course rational estimates if precise figures are unavailable, and compare the two to see if your assertions are correct in fact or are simply more emotional hyperbole.

  86. Robert McTaggart 2019-09-25 15:30

    Basically you need enough people in the study to have plenty of statistics. You need enough statistics to establish trends or distinguish between models.

    For economic studies, you need enough municipalities or states to do the same thing.

    Moreover, people need to see how the data was collected so that they can replicate the experiment or the analysis. I believe the CDC has some of these things footnoted if you want to explore more.

    So I don’t have much doubt that a right-sizing of regulations paired with avoidance of secondhand smoke exposures could curb abuse and reduce law enforcement costs to joe taxpayer.

    I have more doubts about the longer term costs to our health care system.
    Here are some more health effects from smoking marijuana by the national institutes of health

    “More research is needed to know if secondhand marijuana smoke has similar health risks as secondhand tobacco smoke. A recent study on rats suggests that secondhand marijuana smoke can do as much damage to the heart and blood vessels as secondhand tobacco smoke. But researchers haven’t fully explored the effect of secondhand marijuana smoke on humans. What they do know is that the toxins and tar found in marijuana smoke could affect vulnerable people, such as children or people with asthma. ”

    That’s good enough for CIRD to run into the burning building I suppose.

  87. Robert McTaggart 2019-09-25 15:47

    If you want to have regulations based upon actual data and understand the trends, you need enough statistics. That is my point….reports are still informative and of interest but they are one data point. You cannot make a trendline with one data point.

    As an example, currently the standards for assessing risks from low doses of radiation are based upon data gathered at high doses of radiation. I disagree with this as well. Not only have we not taken enough data, we have not done the studies necessary to distinguish between a variety of models at the low end.

  88. Debbo 2019-09-25 15:55

    Mac, I’ve been following this topic and reading the comments. You’ve described the ill effects of 2nd hand smoke ad nauseam. I agree. It’s a health hazard.

    I’m a nonsmoker in Minnesota. The only time I encounter 2nd hand smoke is when I deliberately choose to put myself in the company of smokers. Avoiding 2nd hand smoke is easy, doesn’t limit my social or work life. In fact, I don’t even think about it because it’s so totally not an issue.

    If the same laws for tobacco smoking and vaping apply to weed, I just can’t see what your hangup is about 2nd hand smoke. (And please, don’t go on again about the negative health effects.)

    If you’re getting 2nd hand smoke now, weed isn’t the problem. It’s your state or local smoking laws.

  89. Robert McTaggart 2019-09-25 16:20

    Secondhand smoke kills. So it is worth going on about. Moreover it completely annihilates the position that marijuana smoking is harmless. If you want to smoke privately and impact just yourself, I guess that is on you….but this is impacting others involuntarily.

    Sure, you can avoid public spaces…but then don’t call them public spaces if I can only go there when the smokers are not there.

    If you live above a chain smoker, you would say the chain smoker is on private property. I say either smoke somewhere else, contain the smoke, or prevent the smoke from getting into the other apartments. That is true for both tobacco and marijuana.

  90. Robert McTaggart 2019-09-25 16:30


    Where do you think the smoke and the ash go? It looks like it just disappears when you smoke, but it does mix into the ecosystem. Smoking does produce carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and other chemicals.

    Can one truly be pro-environment and pro-marijuana at the same time?

  91. Robert McTaggart 2019-09-25 17:14

    “Study reveals high environmental cost of tobacco”

    “From crop to pack, tobacco commands an intensive use of resources and forces the release of harmful chemicals in the soil and waterways, as well as significant amounts of greenhouse gases. Its leftovers linger, as tobacco litter is the biggest component of litter worldwide.”

    For tobacco, the combination of greenhouse gases was found to be equivalent to 1.5 million vehicles driven annually. The litter is non-biodegradable. The more smoking you do, the more afforestation will be required in the future.

    “Tobacco threatens us all,” WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said in a note. “It exacerbates poverty, reduces economic productivity, contributes to poor household food choices, and pollutes indoor air.”

    And yes, marijuana has a carbon footprint in addition to its combustion….just from growing marijuana indoors.

    “Colo. struggles with marijuana’s huge carbon footprint.”

    This occurs because of the huge energy usage needed to grow indoor marijuana plants. Ironically, LED lighting that is energy-efficient is often worse for growing quality marijuana.

    Just growing four varieties of marijuana plant led to increases in volatile organic compounds (i.e. not smoking them). VOCs can mix with nitrogen oxides to make smog. So growing them near highways could cause an air quality issue.

    “Such estimates have been scarce, largely because the federal government still considers cannabis an illegal industry. That has made it difficult for researchers to obtain funding from federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.”

  92. Robert McTaggart 2019-09-25 17:15

    “Study reveals high environmental cost of tobacco”

    “From crop to pack, tobacco commands an intensive use of resources and forces the release of harmful chemicals in the soil and waterways, as well as significant amounts of greenhouse gases. Its leftovers linger, as tobacco litter is the biggest component of litter worldwide.”

    For tobacco, the combination of greenhouse gases was found to be equivalent to 1.5 million vehicles driven annually. The litter is non-biodegradable. The more smoking you do, the more afforestation will be required in the future.

    “Tobacco threatens us all,” WHO Director-General Margaret Chan said in a note. “It exacerbates poverty, reduces economic productivity, contributes to poor household food choices, and pollutes indoor air.”

    And yes, marijuana has a carbon footprint in addition to its combustion….just from growing marijuana indoors.


    “Colo. struggles with marijuana’s huge carbon footprint.”

    This occurs because of the huge energy usage needed to grow indoor marijuana plants. Ironically, LED lighting that is energy-efficient is often worse for growing quality marijuana.

    Just growing four varieties of marijuana plant led to increases in volatile organic compounds (i.e. not smoking them). VOCs can mix with nitrogen oxides to make smog. So growing them near highways could cause an air quality issue.

    “Such estimates have been scarce, largely because the federal government still considers cannabis an illegal industry. That has made it difficult for researchers to obtain funding from federal agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.”

  93. Porter Lansing 2019-09-25 17:17

    Your credibility is suffering seriously, Dr. McTaggart. Not the first time or the first subject you’ve made people think you’re invalid. No second hand marijuana smoke has ever killed anyone. No marijuana of any kind has ever killed anyone … unless a bale of it falls on your head! Now, apologize and calm down!
    Dr. Stephen Sidney (associate director for research for Kaiser Permanente, Oakland, Calif., in the Sept 20 issue of The British Medical Journal) points to two large studies. The first is from (where else?) California.
    -A large HMO looked at 65,177 men and women age 15-49. Over 10 years, marijuana users died no sooner than nonusers.
    -The second study looked at 45,450 Swedish army conscripts. They were 18-20 years old when asked about marijuana use. Fifteen years later, the marijuana users were just as likely to remain alive as nonusers.
    -And since marijuana smoking can’t kill outright — there’s no such thing as a fatal marijuana overdose — short-term use isn’t deadly. Long-term use can’t be good for you. But Sidney notes that most marijuana smokers don’t become long-term users.

  94. bearcreekbat 2019-09-25 17:22

    Recognizing that the documented measurable economic harm and human cost caused by the irrational criminalization of marijuana is not outweighed by whatever theoretical cost and harm of dectriminalization that McTaggart can imagine is not a “pro-marijuana” position. Rather it is a “pro-factual reality” position.

  95. Robert McTaggart 2019-09-25 18:14


    I didn’t say it was instantaneous. It is a chronic condition, which means it occurs over time. Shorter lifespans result.

    BCB….what is irrational is ignoring data that suggests that something must be done to protect public health. And then ignoring approaches that attempt to improve public health.

    Are you guys both climate change deniers? The data says something has to be done there too. But instead you promote growing cannabis indoors to increase THC levels, which is energy intensive—and today that means carbon intensive.

    Instead of a hemp bumper sticker you should be awarded a Trump bumper sticker. The effort to legalize marijuana is soundly defeating the Democratic messages regarding health care, science-based decision making, and climate change. #PelosiClapBack

  96. Porter Lansing 2019-09-25 18:32

    McTag … I don’t believe you and you’re wrong to often to have credibility. Prove how much shorter. I say no shorter and the Doctor I linked to agrees. No shorter.
    No reason to discuss with you because you’ve taken to just making things up. Same with nukes. Are you a real PhD or did you make that up, too. Show some credentials. He’s all yours, BCB -O – Debbo – Mike – Jerry et al #phoney

  97. bearcreekbat 2019-09-25 18:59

    I agree that it would be “irrational [to ignore] data that suggests that something must be done to protect public health. And then ignoring approaches that attempt to improve public health.”

    Continued criminalization of marijuana involvement as a solution to these issues would also be irrational, as your failure to provide a rational answer to CIRD’s inquiry has shown.

    As for your “climate change deniers” and “Trump bumper sticker” statements, these are obviously trolling efforts that merit no response in any meaningful discussion.

  98. Robert McTaggart 2019-09-25 19:13

    I keep saying that I am open to science-based decision making on right-sizing regulations. But that is not good enough.

    “As for your “climate change deniers” and “Trump bumper sticker” statements, these are obviously trolling that deserve no further response in any meaningful discussion.”

    Yeah…those were pretty good to earn a response of not being worthy of a response ;^).

    That doesn’t mean marijuana cannot be more consistent with those principles. Don’t pollute the air. You can eliminate health effects for others. Have regulations that curb abuse. And you can either live with lower THC marijuana, or invest in energy systems that do not require grid electricity.

    But instead, you want good old-fashioned Republican laissez-faire economics for marijuana with no regulations. #SameAsItEverWas

  99. Porter Lansing 2019-09-25 20:06

    You, stop it Tag. Your link doesn’t say what you’re asserting. It says that poor health later in life is attributed to marijuana users that also use alcohol and tobacco. It also says that the results weren’t from a study but from self reporting by a group of reformed and disgruntled marijuana users.
    Try again.

  100. Robert McTaggart 2019-09-25 20:20

    You’re welcome.

    “Swedish researchers analyzed the records of more than 45,000 men beginning in 1969 and 1970. The scientists from the Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm reported that 4,000 died during the 42-year follow-up period, and men who’d used marijuana heavily at ages 18 and 19 were 40 percent more likely to die by age 60 compared to guys who hadn’t used the drug.”

  101. Porter Lansing 2019-09-25 20:49

    You’re wrong, again. The fact that we both can produce numerous studies that fully contradict each other’s assertions says that the issue is fully and absolutely undecided and unsettled. You’re welcome.

  102. Robert McTaggart 2019-09-25 21:01

    It depends on the nature of the source and the statistical thoroughness of the study. Not just the number of the studies (with the exception of a large volume of well done studies).

    It also depends on the nature of the use and what you are trying to measure (mental, physical, etc.).

    I just showed you that heavy users are more likely to die sooner.

    You’re welcome.

  103. Debbo 2019-09-25 21:17

    Mac said, “Where do you think the smoke and the ash go?”

    It doesn’t go where I am, and I go wherever I want. My activities are not limited based on smokers. You keep saying that smoke keeps you out of public spaces, but that’s simply not true, or for you only for some strange reason.

    All you seem to have going for you is that 2nd hand smoke is a health hazard, so you keep saying that while ignoring everything else. The laws that limit where individuals can smoke work very well. If people are allowed to smoke weed as well as tobacco those same laws will continue to work just as well.

    I’m beginning to think Porter has you pegged. You’re a 2 trick pony– nuclear is the solution, weed is totally bad. If you actually and directly addressed the questions you’re asked here you could begin to rebuild your credibility.

    If you want to.

  104. bearcreekbat 2019-09-26 09:39

    Earlier McTaggart wanted to quibble about CIRD’s use of the phrase “inhuman torture” to describe one of the effects of SD’s criminalization of marijuana, as if arguing about terminology could somehow avoid facing the human cost of the State’s draconian polices. Well, Cory has another post today that contains a report from an inmate describing some of his experiences while being imprisoned for a drug offense. People prosecuted and jailed for felony marijuana offenses are in similar circumstances. Here is a sample of what he experienced:

    . . . mentally I was raped by the State and the laws that govern it. I have been through every level of incarceration from minimum custody to super max administrative segregation. I have seen, felt, and dealt with many horrible things while incarcerated. I have heard the screams in the night, seen the blood, and felt the mace in my eyes. I have lost loved ones, friends, and a piece of myself behind these walls. At times I was sure even God had abandoned me. Forced into isolation and shackled daily, my perspective grew. . . . .

    Perhaps this individual’s experience can help readers gain a better understanding of just why CIRD uses the phrase “inhuman torture” to describe what the State currently does to our friends, family and neighbors charged with marijuana crimes under current marijuana policies.

  105. Porter Lansing 2019-09-26 10:01

    Australia’s capital city (Canberra – pop. 410,000) and it’s surrounding territory voted yesterday to legalize recreational marijuana.
    Ya’ know; South Dakotans can attempt to rationalize, justify, and intellectualize their way to becoming even more of what they’ve always been.
    ~ Firmly entrenched on the wrong side of history.
    Good luck to ‘ya. America needs a few cultural and sociological museums.

  106. Robert McTaggart 2019-09-26 12:12


    You forgot to add that discussion about picking up dog poop if you are truly interested in clean water ;^). No, I don’t jump in on every topic, but clean energy, climate change, anything nuclear, Radon, and secondhand smoke tend to be my interests so far. Sometimes educational issues too.

    Yes, conservation of mass and energy dictates that the smoke particles go somewhere. This includes the ecosystem and bodies of water. So do you believe in clean water or not?

    The conflict between the support of recreational marijuana (and in particular heavy use of recreational marijuana) and Democratic goals is clear. You cannot promote health care and recreational marijuana. You cannot promote clean air and marijuana. You cannot promote solutions for climate change when growing marijuana runs counter to those efforts.

    The use of indoor facilities to grow marijuana with higher levels of THC is resource intensive….fertilizer, water, and especially power. 24/7 operations will have a carbon footprint if they are connected to the grid, and boy do they love that consistent, reliable power to grow marijuana! There is a lot of engineering required to operate and power those things! There is interest in LEDs, but the best results have not been coming from LEDs…work in progress. As long as higher levels of THC are of interest, the indoor facilities will consume electricity made mostly by fossil fuels today.

    ….because we are avoiding nuclear.

    Australia is investigating building nuclear power plants and what to do with the waste.

    So I guess if Australia is doing it, we in South Dakota have to do it.


    Have you considered that the best thing for the state is not to have marijuana or hemp at all? People may actually want to leave the states where it is being approved.

  107. Debbo 2019-09-26 13:45

    All right Mac.
    Weed is bad. Nuclear is good. Period. (sigh)

  108. Robert McTaggart 2019-09-26 15:16

    Correction….Nuclear is great!


    The only area where weed may be good is marijuana-derived products that help the sickest of patients avoid nausea and pain. Both the CDC and NIH have expressed interest in further study in this regard. Otherwise a risk/benefit analysis does not favor using marijuana when you discover the systemic and chronic effects on human organs.

    You would think that if the production of more marijuana were of interest (which is what supporters want), with more THC (which the market wants apparently), producers would also be living up to clean energy standards. I mean a lot of the proponents of legalizing marijuana are advocates also for the green new deal.

    Although there is certainly interest in LEDs and solar energy, when it comes right down to it, the producers like reliable energy whether it is clean or not (sigh).

    They are not in the energy conservation business nor the water conservation business. They are in the marijuana growing business.

    If you want to argue that growing marijuana indoors for greater THC content is a good use of our fossil fuel resources, then by all means, go right ahead. If you want laissez-faire economic policy for marijuana without regulations or regard for health impacts, go right ahead.

  109. Robert McTaggart 2019-09-27 13:17

    The CDC is now urging people to stop any vaping of products with THC.

    “Of the patients who reported what products they used, THC-containing products were the most prominent link across patients, with only 16% reporting using only nicotine-containing products,” Schuchat said.

    “We do not know yet what exactly is making people sick,” Schuchat said. “For example, whether particular solvents or adulterants are leading to lung injury, or whether cases lead to a single supplier or multiple ones.”

  110. Donald Pay 2019-10-16 11:22

    Maybe Noem’s concerns are not completely without basis. The link below is to an article on some of the issues Wisconsin has had in the second year of hemp production. There have been some hiccups involving the testing of hemp. The Wisconsin department responsible for the testing was backlogged, resulting in testing being delayed at many farm. One aspect of hemp, apparently, is that the longer you wait, the more THC content builds up. Farmers want to harvest hemp before the THC content begins to increase at the end of the growing season, but they had to wait for Department of Ag testing first. So, many are now being told to destroy their crop because the testing didn’t occur when the farmers wanted to harvest. It is thought that more personnel or use of third party labs can correct these problems, but, for this year, some hemp farmers are taking it in the shorts.

    There have been reports, also, that marijuana thieves have been raiding some plots of hemp. The thought is dealers are wanting to collect the hemp to cut with potent pot. That way they make more money.

  111. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2019-10-16 19:31

    Interesting, Donald… though the main part sounds like a failure of government, not of the crop itself. It also sounds like an easy way for Noem to sabotage any hemp legalization that might take place over her veto next Session: simply order the Ag. Dept. to drag its feet, watch lots of the first hemp crop get too high a THC level, then say, “See? I told you so!” and shut the whole show down. Maybe we’d better include our own state-level insurance plan: make the state liable for any losses caused by failure to inspect within a certain timeframe.

    As for dealers, those thieving bastards! But can’t buyers tell when their good smoking dope has been cut with the unsmokable industrial hemp?

  112. Porter Lansing 2019-10-16 19:51

    There is a viable market for less strong marijuana. Just as there are SD drinkers who don’t drink whiskey, just beer. The retail and medical stores don’t sell “schwag”, as plain old Mexican pot is called. These buyers either use the black market, as they have since before legalization, grow their own or turn their plant allotment over to someone who grows “Mexican weed” only. i.e. (Every medical pot cardholder can grow six plants. They usually turn the growth of those plants over to a caregiver who can grow pot for cardholders. These caregivers are mostly medical dispensaries who get to grow the plants of hundreds of cardholders. These dispensaries usually give a bonus to each cardholder when they sign over their plants, once a year when the medical card is renewed. The bonus is usually around two hundred bucks worth of product of your choice. That dispensary is then your home store, although you can purchase at any medical dispensary. Your home store is usually where you get your best bargains.)

Comments are closed.