I was personally opposed to these measures and firmly believe they’re the wrong choice for South Dakota’s communities. We need to be finding ways to strengthen our families, and I think we’re taking a step backward in that effort. I’m also very disappointed that we will be growing state government by millions of dollars in costs to public safety and to set up this new regulatory system [Gov. Kristi Noem, quoted in staff, “Noem: Marijuana Measures Approved by Voters ‘The Wrong Choice’ for South Dakota,” KSFY, 2020.11.05].
Growing government? Millions of dollars in costs? The Legislative Research Council said that medical marijuana will cost $677,309 to launch and then will pay for itself. The LRC says the broader measure legalizing various strains and uses of cannabis will produce net revenues, after regulatory costs, of $356K in Leaf Year 1, then $10.8M, $19.6M, and $29.4M annually. That’s over $60M over four years, half required to go to public schools, half dumped into the general fund. Jeepers—you’d think someone running for President in 2024 would love to have a windfall like that to lavish on public works to demonstrate to the country what a great job she can do as our next Dear Leader. Kristi, do you not recognize a lifeline when you see one?
And come on, Kristi, if South Dakota took a step backward, who set us down that wayward path? Why, you, Kristi! It’s all about you!
No, it’s not because you’re stressing us out so much we all need to chill with our Doobie Brothers. You warned us last year that legalizing industrial hemp was a gateway policy to weakening drug laws:
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].
And then this year, you took that step backward, signing 2020 House Bill 1008 from that hippie green socialist Representative Oren Lesmeister (D-28A/Parade) to legalize industrial hemp. You thus signaled to all of your faithful followers (a strong minority of whom are South Dakota voters) that you overstated your alarm in 2019 and that it was safe to take another step in the same direction and legalize purchasing weed from your doctor or the Kum & Go (or better yet, Gas & Grass).
Sorry, Kristi: you said on the national record in your outlandish and irrational war against trusty industrial hemp in 2019 that down the industrial-hemp road lay reefer madness. And now, following your sudden and similarly inexplicable flip-flop last January, here we are, just as you predicted, racing down Highway 420 to a hazier future.