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Noem Blasts Pot Legalization, Forgets She Started It by Signing Hemp Bill

South Dakotans approved medical marijuana and recreational pot in one fell swoop Tuesday. The Snow Queen is not amused:

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 revenuesafter 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!

Hey, Bryon, what's in that baggie? Gov. Kristi Noem, tweet from Buffalo, SD, posted 2020.11.05.
Hey, Bryon, what’s in that baggie? Gov. Kristi Noem, tweet from Buffalo, SD, posted 2020.11.05.

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.


  1. Francis Schaffer 2020-11-05

    She should read Chasing the Scream and learn the history of the war on drugs.

  2. DaveFN 2020-11-05

    She’s a Luddite in many, many ways. Not to mention self-righteous in her morality which turns a blind eye to the ravages of legalized gambling greasing the wheels of her economy, probably in the name of the “individual freedom” of her citizens and their “right” to squander their meager earnings at the expense of their families. And I’m not a pot smoker.

  3. jerry 2020-11-05

    Nothing from GNOem about the trump virus that is on a terrible killing spree in South Dakota. Infections just keep rising, hospitalization’s, through the roof, those on ventilators (terminal for most) by the dozens. GNOem is a failure and so are her legislators that follow her rabbit trail and fail to get anything done.

    Just blather about pot and her pitiful pity pot. You just know she is gonna do whatever she can to defeat the will of the people. She may want to consider that 270,000 of us voted for the measures. Pretty good voting bloc for the next cycle.

  4. mike livingston 2020-11-06

    these are my words what gives you the right to censor me ?

  5. mike livingston 2020-11-06

    my drunken mistake, sorry .are we truly concerned about that skanks amusement? I sure as hell am not.

  6. mike livingston 2020-11-06

    Now the anorexic little witch is suddenly concerned about the health and safety of the next generation, oh for petes sake, apparently we are stuck with trumpeon snake-oil for at least two more years. arg

  7. Nix 2020-11-06

    I think that the Dope Queen of Delusion has a great opportunity to address the State to let everyone know that she was mistaken in her position on Cannabis. She was wrong.
    The people have spoken.
    I want her to wear her new Tee Shirt
    that says
    “I was wrong , so I’ll just sit here in my wrongness”

    I printed the Dope is in Pierre
    bumper stickers, I’ll sure as hell get her a shirt.
    Or, she could modify hers.
    The Sun rose on our new state on Wednesday.
    It’s a great time to be a South Dakotan.
    Less Government and more personal freedom.
    Isn’t that the GOP mantra ?
    It is now!

  8. Tim 2020-11-06

    I fully expect the legislature to scrap IM26 this coming session, they have proven before they really don’t care what the voters want. Fortunately, A is a constitutional amendment and it will be much harder for them to screw with. We will see.

  9. o 2020-11-06

    Governor Noem: “We need to be finding ways to strengthen our families . . .”

    By keeping wages low, by denying health care, by increasing taxes on our lowest income families (the Trump tax cuts begin raising taxes after the election). . . ? I’m not sure families can survive any more GOP “support.”

  10. Jenny 2020-11-06

    Just ignore Noem, she’s in post traumatic election grief and is having trouble processing it all.

    Do the opposite of what the alt right wants to dictate and ya’ll be fine, SD. A little weed never hurt anyone.

  11. Mark Anderson 2020-11-06

    I had a friend from college who worked at a museum in Pierre who got busted for pot lost his job couldn’t get another because of it and spent his life painting houses and died before his time. You youngsters don’t know how great this is. Kristi, who cares what you think.

  12. o 2020-11-06

    Really this is all academic, the very reason marijuana was put on the ballot was BECAUSE Governor Noem (and the legislature) was against doing it. Otherwise THEY would have made this happen. Saying she is against it is all the more reason this HAD to go to the ballot.

    Let the political scientists figure out the intersection of SERIOUS Trump supporters and marijuana legalizers. That combination voter has to be unique to SD.

  13. mark 2020-11-06

    Cory, or anyone really, It is my understanding that since Amendment A is an amendment and not a measure, the legislature will be forced to add it to the constitution? How much if at all, would lawmakers be able to alter the amendment? I understand the DOR has until 2022 to work out the regulatory side of things, but it seems that after July 1 of next year, marijuana will be legal despite the lack of dispensaries etc. ??? Could you help explain please, Im worried Noem simply will refuse any bill brought to her and session would simply expire, thus just postponing.

  14. John 2020-11-07

    o, perfect and thanks for your words. If the legislature and noem had tried leading for a minute, it wouldn’t require ballot initiatives and out-of-state money to trying getting South Dakota into the 21st Century, to take care of South Dakotan’s health, and good fortune.

  15. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-11-07

    Mark, yes, as a constitutional amendment, A goes into effect on July 1. The Legislature cannot stop it, amend it, or repeal it. The Legislature can propose amendments (as it did with B, the sports-betting amendment), but all amendments must go to a vote of the people.

  16. mark 2020-11-07

    Kristi is making easy work for a potential Sutton 2022 run. If she drags her feet on Measure A, I fully expect her to lose in the next gubernatorial run. Her victory in 2018 was razor thin for red south dakota standards. Lack of leadership, disregard for “science, data and facts” during the pandemic, Billie will have a solid platform strictly on that. If any members of the state legislature do not respect the voice of the people, vote them out 2022!!!

  17. Caleb 2020-11-07

    For those who don’t read the Brookings Register, Brookings City Council member and retired police officer Joey Collins wrote a letter to the editor (which appeared in the October 28th issue) I hope Noem has read or would read:

    “I’ve been watching the debate on the two marijuana reform measures that are on the ballot this year in South Dakota and because I have a fairly unique perspective as a former Brookings police lieutenant, I thought I’d share it.
    When I worked in law enforcement, I did not hesitate to arrest individuals for marijuana violations. Not only because it was my job, but also because I was a D.A.R.E. officer and strongly supported prohibition. In fact, most of the arrests I made as a cop were for marijuana violations, especially when I was a K-9 officer.
    However, my views have changed and I am now a strong supporter of both Amendment A (legal adult-use), and Measure 26 (legal medical-use), and here’s why: prohibition simply does not work, and I know it in a way that most people don’t – I’ve seen it with my own eyes.
    Both of my parents died from cancer. Both could have benefited from marijuana. We knew that they were doing to die. However, their suffering could have been mitigated by using marijuana.
    I now realize that people who want to get marijuana can and will do so, the only questions are where they get it from, is it safe, and what entity will profit from the sale – black market dealers and organized crime, or the public. That’s really the question, and it’s not a close call, in my view.
    It’s important to note that Amendment A respects local control and allows cities and towns to regulate the location and operating hours of marijuana businesses, and they can even ban them outright. Hopefully, communities will see the potential benefits of shifting marijuana sales into licensed, regulated, and tax-paying businesses that prohibit anyone under 21 from entering.
    Voters should know that Amendment A also prevents the Legislature from repealing the medical marijuana policy established by Measure 26. This is critically important, because the Legislature could restrict or even repeal medical marijuana if Amendment A doesn’t pass. Please remember this: if you want medical marijuana to be legal, you really need to vote for Amendment A, as well.
    These initiatives are a common-sense approach, and I strongly urge everyone to consider voting yes on A and yes on 26!
    Thank you,
    Joey Collins

    Noem will gladly stay off our backs regarding any virus-related public health choice. I wish she would get off and stay off our backs regarding marijuana, and stop peddling unfounded projections rooted in old, manipulative mythology.

  18. Jenny 2020-11-07

    Noem has a real disconnect with SD voters if she is even against medical cannabis. Maybe she needs to spend more time listening to her fellow South Dakotans instead of trying to dictate.

  19. mark 2020-11-07

    What i do not understand is that, if Amendment A is a constitutional amendment, and is supposed to be added, than why would speaker Haugaard say they need to figure out their options when session convenes in January….What options?, add it. I dont know why he would say this the day after both measures passed on Kelo.

  20. jerry 2020-11-07

    The “options” will be just how much money they can pocket on this. Also, the Hag may have the trump virus “brain fog”, Seriously, that is real.

    .”After contracting the coronavirus in March, Michael Reagan lost all memory of his 12-day vacation in Paris, even though the trip was just a few weeks earlier.

    Several weeks after Erica Taylor recovered from her Covid-19 symptoms of nausea and cough, she became confused and forgetful, failing to even recognize her own car, the only Toyota Prius in her apartment complex’s parking lot.” New York Times 10.14.20

  21. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2020-11-08

    Mark, indeed, the Legislature has no options for changing the language of Amendment A. However, there are regulatory issues where the Legislature may try to restrict our access within the parameters of the amendment. And come Nov 3, 2024, the Legislature can change the 15% tax rate on marijuana.

    If nothing else, Haugaard can spend the Session digging up all of the existing statutes that Amendment A overrides that will require revision.

  22. bob clow 2020-11-08

    pot makes BIG money for states -what is she talking about?

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