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Judge Kills Legal Pot in South Dakota: Amendment A Tackled Too Many Subjects, Had to Go Through Constitutional Convention

Amendment A is toast, for now. Sixth Circuit Judge Christina Klinger yesterday nullified South Dakotans’ vote to write recreational marijuana, industrial hemp, and the regulation and taxation thereof into our Constitution.

Judge Klinger rejected the plaintiffs’ effort to frame their challenge to Amendment A as an election contest, saying that the complainants showed no evidence of irregularities in the conduct of voting or counting of votes. “Contestants have not alleged any irregularities during the 2020 General Election, much less shown anything suggesting the will of the voters was suppressed. As a result, the issues alleged are not appropriately resolved in an election contest cause of action.”

Judge Klinger chose instead to suppress the will of the voters herself by accepting the plaintiffs’ arguments that Amendment A encompasses multiple subjects and worked such a drastic change in our system of government that it had to arise from a constitutional convention, not the initiative petition process.

The defenders of Amendment A argued that Amendment A addressed the single subject of cannabis. Judge Klinger held their own words against them, noting that Amendment A only twice, in the separate definitions of primary terms marijuana and hemp. Judge Klinger says those very definitions define marijuana and hemp as separate subjects. Klinger goes on to identify Amendment A’s civil penalties for certain marijuana-related violations, restrictions on professional discipline for marijuana-related activities, the 15% excise tax on marijuana sales, and the allocation of that tax revenue to public schools and the general fund as “not ‘reasonably germane” to the overall topic of legalizing marijuana” and thus in violation of the single-subject rule for constitutional amendments enacted by voters in 2018.

In other words, voters cannot enact any comprehensive or complicated policy reforms via constitutional amendment. They must only deal with the narrowest issues in their proposed constitutional amendments. Any implications for enforcement, regulation, or taxation must be either parsed into multiple and thus impractical ballot measure campaigns, shoehorned into omnibus initiated measure petitions that the Legislature can overturn before enactment, or simply left to the will of the unresponsive Legislature and Governor who seek to consolidate their control over all policy manners in their elitist Republican hands.

Recognizing that her single-subject ruling would have sufficed, Judge Klinger nonetheless proceeds “in the interest of efficiency and the public importance” to lay down her judicial marker on the question of whether Amendment A was an amendment or a revision. Under the plaintiffs’ interpretation of Article 23 of the South Dakota Constitution, amendments—limited changes to the Constitution—can reach the ballot through the initiative petition process, while revisions—more extensive changes—must arise from a constitutional convention, which can be called by a three-fourths vote of both chambers of the Legislature or by a majority vote of the people called by initiative petition.

Judge Klinger said Amendment A “is not a drastic rewrite of the South Dakota Constitution.” She said Amendment A is not as extensive as a revision in an oft-cited California case on the subject of amendments versus revisions. “However, it does institute ‘far reaching changes in the nature of our basic governmental plan.'” Klinger identified multiple changes to government authority that cross her threshold of constitutional revision:

  1. Amendment A grants exclusive power to license and regulate aspects of marijuana to the Department of Revenue, boxing out the Legislature’s authority.
  2. Amendment A takes away the Legislature’s power to enact civil penalties for public marijuana use.
  3. Amendment A takes away the Governor’s power to reallocate authority over the licensing and regulation of marijuana to departments that might more efficiently manage pot policy.
  4. Amendment A “unconstitutionally waives the State’s sovereign immunity” and usurps the Legislature’s power to set the rules for how and when the state may be sued by empowering residents to sue the Department of Revenue if it failed to enact pot rules by April 1, 2022.

Judge Klinger also rejected the argument that the plaintiffs should have waged their complaint before the election. She said just the opposite: the courts don’t hear arguments against laws or constitutional amendments until the legislative process is complete and the law or amendment has been approved. Judge Klinger said hearing the plaintiffs’ challenge before the election would have violated the judiciary’s “principle of noninterference.” Judge Klinger’s ruling runs counter to the precedent set in numerous other states where courts have blocked initiatives from appearing on the ballot due to violations of the single-subject rule.

So put the doobage down, friends and neighbors: as it stands, pot stays illegal in South Dakota. Amendment A’s sponsors plan to appeal (and let’s see if the big money behind this measure have the guts to stick with a fight about broader initiative rights and constitutional law instead of the measly merits of marijuana), but for now, the only way you’re getting cannabis in your system come July 1 is with a doctor’s prescription.


  1. Eve Fisher 2021-02-09

    I’m just hoping that our governor doesn’t try to stop the medical marijuana as well.

  2. CraigSk 2021-02-09

    Is it time for a recall vote on this governor? She is completely un transparent in her governance, and does not care about the will of the people of South Dakota. What does it take to get South Dakotans to care about themselves and elect a governor that cares about them. Sutton would have been great for South Dakota.

  3. JamesN 2021-02-09

    Maybe next time it’ll just say “Legalize Marijuana.” Maybe that’ll be simple enough for the republican machine to have no way to overturn the will of the voter. This whole thing stinks worse than a kitchen full of pot brownies.

  4. Nix 2021-02-09

    This should surprise no one. Klinger is a Noem appointed judge. She would poop
    Purple if the Dope Queen of Delusion told her to.
    So, let’s hope that the SD Supreme Court
    will uphold the will of the people.
    The thing that kills me is that the Judge
    The Queen, Thoms and Miller believe
    They are making a difference when in fact they lost the “war” on cannabis
    Long long ago.
    For all of you South Dakotans that support this B. S. , enjoy the delusion.

  5. Bob Newland 2021-02-09

    Ever since I first ingested cannabis in SoDak, 53 years ago, I have rarely been more than a few days from restocking my stash. Back in the ’70s and through most of the ’80s, we had dry spells between April and September, as we waited for the Colombian and Oaxacan crops to ripen.

    SInce about ’85, though, as indoor grows in the states proliferated, the crop became year-round, and the waits were shorter and less frequent. Also, cannabis steadily decreased in inflation-adjusted price. During the past 20 years, my average wait to obtain a re-stock has been about 20 minutes, and the price has competed favorably with the legal retail weed available five hours south of here.

    So, Cory, it’s not true that “the only way you’re getting cannabis in your system come July 1 is with a doctor’s prescription.” I doubt, in fact, that anyone in SoDak who really wants weed is going to go without.

  6. o 2021-02-09

    Now what are the odds that the legislature, seeing the clear will of the people – albeit through imperfect form — now legislates the elements that the voters of SD clearly want?

  7. Ryan 2021-02-09

    I’d like to see a legislator put a bill together ASAP legalizing it on the same basic terms as Amendment A and make everyone in pierre vote to see if they support the people’s will, or prove that this technical challenge is just poorly disguised subversion after all.

    Noem’s hypocrisy would be unbelievable if it wasn’t so perfectly in character for her and the majority of her party. And that judge’s opinion is total legal garbage. Unreal.

  8. jerry 2021-02-09

    What was expected here, democracy? Please, that ideal left the building some time ago. Voter suppression is how the republican governs, simple as that. Just because you might be a white boy or girl doesn’t mean you have voting rights in
    South Dakota. Now you know how women and folks of color see democracy, it’s what the nanny state dictates.

  9. Mike Livingston 2021-02-09

    What if everyone who voted for cannibus were to sign a recall petition to rid the state of Ms Noem Nada aka trump n heels?

  10. o 2021-02-09

    I see the one-issue question as purely one of chosen perspective. A IS one issue: marijuana; A is multiple issues: recreational marijuana, industrial hemp, and taxation. I would have to concede that both merit consideration. I just would say that because BOTH sides have merit, the burden then becomes greater to override the will of the people. The point is NOT can a reasoned argument be made that A covers multiple issues, but can the will of the people be sustained by saying that a reasonable argument can be made that A IS one issue.

    The mistake in the honorable Klinger’s decision is that it gives deference to the power of the legislature as the crux of dismissal. I (and other here certainly) believe the deference should have been given to the will of the people.

  11. Jenny 2021-02-09

    Minnesotans go to Illinois now for their gummy stash. Walz would love to sign a recreational cannabis bill here but the Party of Misery and Pain refuse to vote for it.

  12. Buckobear 2021-02-09

    I thought that the state AG was required to rule on the constitutionality of an initiated measure before it went to the voters.
    oh wait …………

  13. Troy 2021-02-09

    Rhetorical question: Has anyone who was for this Amendment asked themselves why those who normally oppose pot legalization spent so little time and money opposing this amendment?

    I’ll answer the question: The Amendment as drafted was unequivocally and explicitly in violation of the Constitution on multiple grounds (as CAH did a good job of summarizing from the ruling). They knew they didn’t have to fight it. It didn’t take a rocket scientist to see this coming.

    Constitutions exist to protect all of our rights, especially minority rights. Disregarding the Constitution when it serves your purposes ensures the Constitution will not be there when you need it to protect you from the majority.

  14. o 2021-02-09

    Troy, I agree with what you say about the importance of the Constitution and its protections. I disagree with the reason for the lack of opposition. I think the opponents (and most of the supporters) never, NEVER thought SD would ever have a majority vote on the side of legalization of recreational marijuana use.

    I was a supporter, voted for it, and was SHOCKED by the outcome.

  15. Whitless 2021-02-09

    The judge’s decision raises several questions for appeal. One is standing.

    Judge Klinger found that Sheriff Thom and Colonel Miller have standing because they swore an oath to uphold the South Dakota Constitution. By implication, is she saying that South Dakota voters attacked the state constitution by passing Amendment A? How does she reconcile this finding against the duty of the Attorney General to defend Amendment A? Sheriff Thom, Colonel Miller and the AG’s office are all charged with upholding South Dakota law.

    She also finds that Amendment A affects Sheriff’s Thom’s ability to keeping intoxicated drivers off of roads. My understanding is that Amendment A does not affect the ability of law enforcement to enforce DUI laws.

    Finally, she holds that Colonel Miller has standing because the Department of Public Safety is vested with the authority to assist in the enforcement of all laws, police regulations, and rules governing motor vehicles and motor carriers. Section 6 of Amendment A gives the Department of Revenue the exclusive authority to enforce regulations that govern the transport of marijuana. By finding that a conflict of laws exists, the judge does not explain why Colonel Miller is allowed to attack the constitutionality of all of Amendment A rather than just this provision of Section 6.

  16. Troy 2021-02-09


    In the past the opposition, every time it was on the ballot, spent money and mobilized opposition. This time they barely made a token opposition. If they fought it before and not this time, do you really think they thought it was a foregone electoral decision or a foregone matter of unconstitutionality? It is clear to me it is the latter.

  17. jerry 2021-02-09

    I guess Troy is saying that if the opposition would’ve just fought a little bit to make voters think there was a disagreement, then all would be well. Funny that these same voters, who supported the Amendment, also supported trump. The gnome nanny state, of which Troy is a proud member, lives.

    Troy, can you explain then why when there is a fight, like with finding out about your nanny’s travel expenses, your people quickly shut down the very thought of the people’s right to know?

  18. First mate smee 2021-02-09

    Noem said 54% of the people made the wrong popular votes and only I know what’s right for my state. Remember when you appeal to the supreme court the judges were also appointed by Noem

  19. leslie 2021-02-09

    “thus in violation of the single-subject rule for constitutional amendments enacted by voters in 2018.”

    The real issue here?

  20. SD is 20 per cent nonwhite 2021-02-09

    Noem the female Nixon. Impeach! One or more of the Democratic legislators can put forth motion to impeach.

    Daugaaaaaaaard of Denmark and Noem of My boss trump fame do they have the right to veto the people’s right of Initiative And referendum, by judge or legislative Lebensraum?

    No. We passed the law. Noem does not have the authority to be our Mussolini. Impeach!

  21. leslie 2021-02-09

    Troy, can Kristi be prosecuted under whats left of her riot statute?

  22. Dicta 2021-02-09

    Maybe the opposition didn’t fight because space aliens control them! Making up the motives of other people to coincide with my belief structure sure is fun!

  23. bearcreekbat 2021-02-09

    In my view o’s comment touches on the heart of the legal question:

    I see the one-issue question as purely one of chosen perspective. A IS one issue: marijuana; A is multiple issues: recreational marijuana, industrial hemp, and taxation. I would have to concede that both merit consideration. I just would say that because BOTH sides have merit, the burden then becomes greater to override the will of the people. The point is NOT can a reasoned argument be made that A covers multiple issues, but can the will of the people be sustained by saying that a reasonable argument can be made that A IS one issue. {emphasis added

    Absent some meaningful evidence to the contrary, I reject the argument that simply because Noem appointed any judge that judge will bend over backward to rule however Noem advocates. Such a claim falls in the category of Q-Anon type conspiracy thinking, thereby avoiding objective and reasonable analysis of what went wrong.

    I believe the key question in the SD Supreme Court will be whether Judge Klinger properly applied the correct standard of review. Cory’s link to Judge Kilinger’s letter opinion indicates the Judge accurately articulated this standard, which is essentially the standard identified by o:

    “When considering a constitutional amendment after its Adoption by the people, the question is not whether it is possible to Condemn the amendment, but whether it is possible to Upheld [sic] it.” Barnhart v. Herseth, 88 S.D. 503, 512, 222 N.W.2d 131, 136 (1974). An amendment has a strong presumption of constitutionality after it is passed by the people. Id. A constitutional amendment passed by the people should be sustained unless it “plainly and palpably appear(s) to be invalid.” Id. “Legislative action is accorded a presumption in favor of validity and propriety and should not be held unconstitutional . . . unless its infringement of constitutional restrictions is so plain and palpable as to admit of no reasonable doubt.” Meierhenry v. City of Huron, 354 N.W.2d 171, 176 (S.D. 1984).

    In my view, however, the Judge failed to actually apply this standard in her analysis. Instead, the Judge articulated a much weaker standard:

    The subject of Amendment A is: the legalization of marijuana. When applying the reasonably germane test, the question is whether the provisions of Amendment A are related and interdependent as to constitute a single scheme.</b/ [emphasis added]

    In my view, which seems to parallel o’s argument, the correct statement of the issues should have been:

    “the question is whether there are any reasonable arguments that the provisions of Amendment A are related and interdependent as to constitute a single scheme. If such arguments can be identified then plaintiffs have not shown beyond the required “reasonable doubt” that this amendment is invalid. Simply because there may be reasonable arguments that the provisions are not related and interdependent as to constitute a single scheme, such arguments must fail under the standard of review required by the SD Supreme Court, unless the contrary arguments in favor of upholding the Amendment are, as a matter of fact and law, entirely unreasonable rather than merely less persuasive.”

    Judge Klinger’s mistake in analysis becomes crystal clear in the Court’s analysis that follows the above misstatenment of the issue. Rather than addressing the Defendant’s arguments supporting the Amendment and finding these arguments to be “unreasonable,” with a meaningful explanation why, the Judge changed focus and instead addressed and accepted only the Plaintiff’s arguments that the Amendment violated the single subject requirement eliminating any analysis or discussion of Plaintiff’s arguments. Indeed, the sole reference I saw in the Judge’s letter opinion addressing Defendant’s single subject arguments was as follows:

    Defendant and Intervenors argue Amendment A’s main subject is cannabis, which would encompass both marijuana and hemp.

    The Judge then summarily rejects this single sentence, with no meaningful explanation or analysis of why this argument is unreasonable, relying only on an infrequent use of the specific term “cannabis” in the language of the amendment.

    However, neither the title of Amendment A nor the Attorney General’s Explanation mention the word “cannabis.” The only time “cannabis” appears in the entirety of Amendment A is in the definitions of “marijuana” and “hemp” in § 1. Although marijuana and hemp both originate from the cannabis plant, Amendment A clearly defines them as different subjects. “

    Such analysis elevates form (the frequency of use and placement of a single word) over substance (whether the content of the entire Amendment deals with cannabis). I will be very surprised if the SD Supreme Court upholds this decision on this analysis alone.

  24. happy camper 2021-02-09

    This may backfire South Dakota voters don’t like to be jerked around and may be even more resolute next time. Her ruling doesn’t seem to clarify just how it should be presented. To avoid further back and forth maybe the Supreme Court will give more guidance? What was her need to clarify amendment versus revision?
    “Although this finding invalidates the amendment, this court will consider further
    argument on the issue of whether Amendment A was an amendment or revision in the interest of
    efficiency and the public importance.”
    Link to ruling:

  25. Ryan 2021-02-09

    Brilliant legal analysis by bcb. As usual.

  26. o 2021-02-09

    happy, or does this become the trigger of an actual SD Con Con? I think NOBODY wants to open that can of worms — putting EVERYTHING up for grabs.

    bearcreekbat, thank you for putting the legal research to my gut feeling.

  27. happy camper 2021-02-09

    Then the Supreme Court will have to give guidance, clarify what is broad, give direction to the Attorney General, otherwise, they’re just playing games. I know plenty of Republicans who are disgusted with Noem over the secrecy issue. I like how Tsitrian phrased it: Her “confidence in us is selective and apparently applies only when we make choices that she deems to be right.” South Dakota is gonna get tired of Big Sister Kristie.

  28. Whitless 2021-02-09

    In her decision, Judge Klinger held that Plaintiffs’ claims were timely by holding that they were based on the substance of Amendment A, including the violation of the one subject requirement. The South Dakota Constitution provides in relevant part that, “no proposed amendment may embrace more than one subject.” S.D. Const. Art. XXIII, section 1. Similarly, SDCL 2-1-11.1 provides that, “[n]o initiated measure may embrace more than one subject, which shall be expressed in the title.”

    I differ with the judge’s opinion and believe that the language of “proposed amendment” means that the requirement of a single subject amendment is a form requirement rather than substantive. In addition, the language of “proposed amendment” should be understood to mean that a challenge of the single subject rule must occur prior to the election. In footnote 6 of her opinion, she references decisions from Nebraska, Florida and Oklahoma that dealt with challenges to the single subject rule in those states. In all of those decisions, the single subject challenge to the proposed amendments occurred prior to the election. Why should South Dakota be any different? It seems to me that a challenge asserting a violation of the single subject requirement could and should have been pursued with a mandamus action prior to the election.

  29. happy camper 2021-02-09

    Wasn’t the AGs opinion a mandamus action? Not everybody here’s a lawyer. Either he was working in unison with Noem or he gave an incompetent ruling. Now they must be forced to explain how the amendments have to be presented. Seems to me they got a one time victory, if the more single subject vote will pass. It may not, if recreational has to be listed by itself.

  30. Arlo Blundt 2021-02-09

    well….not unexpected…there is an entire legal industry built around pot prosecutions…hard to let that profit center disappear….employs a lot of people, ruins a lot of people…lets see what the Supreme Court says, in the past they have been sympathetic to the will of the people

  31. Whitless 2021-02-09

    BCB’s analysis is spot on about how the judge misapplied the standard of review for the single subject requirement. I would be surprised if the state supreme court doesn’t send all or part of this case back to Judge Klinger.

  32. Jenny 2021-02-09

    I wonder how much in kickbacks this time the SD GOP mafia paid out.

  33. happy camper 2021-02-09

    From the Clinton days, does it depend on the meaning of the word is? Not by a long shot. I would like to agree with you, but Recreational Weed is for getting high, Medical for pain management, and Hemp for industrial applications. It’s very easy to see these are distinct purposes that if voted on separately, would, or could, very likely have had distinctly different outcomes, but simply put, when shoved together they gave the desired result. I don’t want to disagree, but it’s really not one subject.

  34. Mark Anderson 2021-02-09

    Come on South Dakotan’s bow down to kristi, she’s your ruler and knows what’s best for you.

  35. buckobear 2021-02-09

    Gosh !! As far as enforcement goes, why can’t the Pennington County or the State Patrol enforce the existing laws … like the cell phone use while driving?
    Laws that aren’t enforced are only suggestions.

  36. happy camper 2021-02-09

    Buckobear, how exactly, would you like to enforce not using a cell phone use while driving? Have you never done so?

    We should each ask ourselves why we are against this ruling. If not upheld, the consequences, well, be careful what you wish for. Although Kritisi Noem’s motives are wrong, the process has to be right. In the long run, we will all benefit from the correct process.

  37. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-02-09

    Again, a reminder to all: South Dakota law does not permit recall of any elected official other than city officials. Any energy you wish to direct against the Governor needs to be focused on finding a viable candidate to beat her in 2022.

  38. Troy 2021-02-09

    In South Dakota, minority rights are pretty dang important if one were a Democrat. I am shocked at the general attitude of you liberals regarding the Constitution.

    If you throw away the Constitution today, what check do you expect tomorrow on the Executive and Legislative branches tomorrow without the Constitution.

    I feel crazy protecting your rights but then I read your comments and I realize you are crazy.

  39. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-02-09

    Bob reminds me of the practical reality of the availability of marijuana in South Dakota… which I was also reminded of by some rich herbal aromas emanating from an Aberdeen residence I passed on my way to work today. The only way you’ll legally obtain pot in South Dakota after July 1 is with a doctor’s note.

  40. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-02-09

    Troy, baloney. Don’t try to do revisionist history and portray Noem as the sage and attentive analyst who knew all along exactly what was going to happen. The GOP didn’t see this change of public opinion coming. Noem didn’t see anything coming: she was too busy denying covid, kissing up to Trump, and building her national profile for her 2024 run for President. However, if you have transcripts of party conversations about the strategy to prove me wrong, please do share.

    If Noem was doing any calculus, she may have thought that the party couldn’t afford to wage a viable campaign against the big-money marijuana interests. Maybe she preferred to pour some more state money into Matt McCaulley’s pockets. Lawsuits are always a crap shoot, but at least McCaulley would get richer, and a lawsuit in front of one judge she appointed is less of a crap shoot than a fair election involving the will of hundreds of thousands of voters.

    But if Noem were doing deeper calculus, she’d have figured she would face less backlash from campainging against pot and losing at the 2020 polls than she would be rigging up this questionable lawsuit, on the taxpayer’s dime, and overturning the expressed will of the people, who, if at least a couple comments above indicate public sentiment, are now ready to recall her for taking away their voice. Amendment A as a campaign issue in 2022 would have disappeared if the people had spoken, the Legislature and the Governor had enacted, and the tax dollars had started rolling in. Now Amendment remains an issue, mobilizes the pot interests to put new initiatives on the ballot in 2022, and maybe even dedicate some cash to getting Noem out of office.

  41. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2021-02-09

    Leslie, yes, the single-subject rule the Republican Legislature put on the ballot in 2018 is very much the issue here. If we hadn’t let the Republicans lure us into undermining our initiative power, we wouldn’t be facing this issue. I doubt the amendment/revision issue would have stood on its own.

    If marijuana interests or others want to use initiative to secure policy change, they must invest in defending the process itself from constant Republican attacks and sabotage.

  42. Troy Jones 2021-02-09

    You guys keep living in your world. Thanks while confirming your distance from reality is beyond being abridged. I will be back again in six months to see if reality has broached your minds.

    The Constitution is your best protection from the majority. If you want to throw out the constitution, there is a majority in this State more than willing to run right over the top of you.

    Frankly, I don’t care enough to defend you.

  43. Jenny 2021-02-09

    Its too bad SD is not open for business Troy. As much as you pubs tout SDs pro business climate and how much you love your freedom, that doesn’t include a product that over half the country has used. Targeting the LGBT with hate bills every year in Pierre is super bad for business when proudly pro LGBT MN is right next door.
    So spare us the crazy talk that you are protecting our rights. Cannabis would be moving forward in SD if Billie Sutton was governor. Remember that SD, the next time you go vote.

  44. Donald Pay 2021-02-09

    Yeah, one judge can eff up a wet dream. That’s why there’s always an appeal.

    I wasn’t a fan of this amendment. I might have voted for it, or I might have done my usual anti-sin thing, and voted no. I don’t imbibe, but I don’t care if others of age do. I have concern if the youngsters start inhaling.
    The pot laws are nonsensical, but I also don’t like sin lobbies. But, since it passed, I sort of support it, since I support passed initiatives in general.

    But this is a good lesson. Simple initiatives give the anti-democracy crowd and the special interests a tougher target. Here’s my draft:

    “Marijuana will be legal to grow, sell, transport, eat or smoke in the State of South Dakota as of January 1, 2023.”

  45. Troy 2021-02-09

    Jenny, I have no desire to save you from yourself. Do what you will. It seems to be working. You have 10% of the legislature.

  46. jerry 2021-02-09

    Why do law and order trumpian republicans support treason but not being able to tolerate the vote of the people?.. Oh yeah, they hate democracy

  47. leslie 2021-02-10

    “Not on my watch” Noem.

    But, we’re on it—SD voters, that is, will likely help her kiss goodbye—her job. And those of Sheriff Thom and Top Trooper Miller, is it? And I notice we seem to be welcoming monied Right wing extremist Southern camo-capped AR15 militia idiots in Deadwood, wrapping themselves in stars/stripes for homeless Veterans care (KELO last night). Thanks Kristi.

    AND KXL pipeline. And what’s left of the “Geo Soros Riot Buster” law. (More “not on my watch” Clint Eastwood idiocy from Noem.) And Georgia Communists! Give it a rest w/GOP dog whistles! And Dusty already blew his political career before it started with pardoned operative Blagovitch—er, Erickson. And convicted deported Putin operative Maria Butina,

    Please do not buy this spoiled Material Girl a new airplane! A fenced Executive Mansion and guns in the capitol. When will it end for her? A flamethrower? Her own nuclear armed B-21?

    JFC. Separate politics from serving the public’s general welfare, Republicans! (Although arguably it is a state interest to reduce unnecessary societal health care costs to protect the public from THC self-harm/addiction, but more science is necessary and Trump pretty much sidelined NIH/NIDA.)

    GOP Death spiral. Hahahaha

    “Crash and burn” votes from Thune and Rounds too. “Impeachment is unconstitutional”—my ass! The glee of Trump’s second impeachment trial, AFTER he’s out on his fat patoot, during a world pandemic which very well may take us all down (Ryan) before climate change gets remediated.

    Thk u ver ver much fer the rant:)

  48. kj trailer trash 2021-02-10

    Troy–Holy god to hell, how in any bizarro-land of rightwing hair-splitting “thinking” is it proper to reject the will of the people because rightwingers are too small-brained to be able to handle more than one subject at a time? I have no doubt whatsoever that you’d win in any sort of “constitutional debate” with me, yet I can’t imagine that passing an amendment to legalize pot will in some way lead to the Noem Gestapo passing amendments to lock up “the gays”, to strip women, Dems, and Natives of their rights, or for that matter to do anything the powers-that-be and the Republican legislature aren’t already doing which benefits only the minority or the wealthy. I don’t know legal or constitutional technicalities from shinola, but I’m well-versed on the absolute soullessness of Conservative “thinking” in this state and country. Some day, pot will be legalized in this state, and people will ask each other, “Why did we have to spend so much time and money and legal verbiage delaying this when we knew in 2020 that people wanted it done?” You do realize that the amendment could NOT have passed if not for the support of thousands upon thousands of rightwing South Dakotans who love to hate “others” with the same mouth they smoke their weed with, right? Those vermin scum who trashed the U.S. Capitol had their own “weed room” to hang out in, in between chasing down elected officials who they wished to hang or behead. “Pot: It ain’t just for commie pinko hippie draftcard burners any more.”

  49. happy camper 2021-02-10

    Troy is right on this. Disregarding Noem’s motives on this issue, the process is more important than just this outcome. If this flawed initiative were allowed to go through “the other side” would use it to their own nefarious means. A very fair process helps everyone.

  50. kj trailer trash 2021-02-11

    Troy and happy camper–please explain to me, like I was 6 years old, and with concrete real world examples, some instances of how the precedent, which would be set by this godawfully horrific “multi-subject” amendment, would be used by the Republican majority in the Leg to railroad things through which would harm the rights of any of us. Concrete examples only, no “saving ourselves” or “use it to their own nefarious means.”

  51. Troy 2021-02-11

    If the words of the Constitution can be ignored by a majority, the minority rights has no protections from the majority. Since Democrats have 10% of the Legislature, if I were you and in such a clear minority, I’d be doing all I can to make sure the Constitution is adhered to.

    Like I said, the majority doesn’t need a Constitution. The minority does.

  52. kj trailer trash 2021-02-12

    Troy–Still no concrete examples, just a repeat of your scare words about the rightwing halfwits in the Leg trying to railroad us by warping the Constitution. They already railroad every single rightwing bit of idiocy within or without the framework of the Constitution. Splitting hairs on the pot vote to overrule the will of the people does absolutely NOTHING, Einstein, to help the future of those of us who are not Conservatives and who therefore have a brain. Go read the Washington Examiner and comment on that echo chamber. DFP is for intelligent caring people.

  53. Troy Jones 2021-02-12


    What prevents the larger and wealthier counties (the counties contiguous to Minnehaha and Pennington are over 50% of the voters today) from passing a law by initiated measure which drops the Sales tax 1% (roughly $350mm), cut state aid to $350mm, and then give each of the school districts the power to institute a 1% sales tax? How would that work in the school districts with small retail bases? It would be a windfall to every regional trade center in SD with Sioux Falls and Rapid City getting so much they could offer to share with the districts that surround them. It is the Constitution which would stop that.

    What prevents passing a law to require one to be 21 (or older) to serve in the legislature? The Constitution.

    What prevents the elimination of term limits in the legislature or changing the terms of service? The Constitution.

    What prevents a legislator who opposes the Governor or the majority party or something else from being arrested and prevented from coming to the Legislature? The Constitution.

    What requires a keeping of a public record regarding legislative actions? The Constitution.

    What stops the elimination of the offices of Treasurer, Auditor, and Attorney General and combining them into the Executive Branch? The Constitution.

    What gives the people the right to initiate laws, and amendments? The Constitution.

    If these are insufficient for you KJ, I suggest you read the Constitution and ask yourself: “Am I willing to lose these protections?” Everyone on this list I came up without reading the constitution. I’m sure I could find literally 100’s of things a majority of either the Legislature or a majority of the people (which won’t be long until a 100 mile radius of Sioux Falls and Rapid City will represent 75% of the voters/legislators if they already don’t) are prevented to do because of the Constitution.

  54. Jenny 2021-02-12

    And I’m sure Troy was just fine that his pub friends voted against the public having a right to see Noem’s security expenses. Quit pretending that SD is an Open Records State.

  55. troy 2021-02-12


    Republican or Democrat, I don’t ever think security costs should be disclosed cumulatively and especially for individual trips. Rationale: I think our elected leaders make significant sacrifices of time to serve us.

    1) I don’t want them ever to feel political pressure to reduce their security expenses below what their security people advise.

    2) I don’t want them ever to feel political pressure not to go somewhere because of the required security. And I don’t care if is official business, political business, or to visit a parent. An elected leader living a balanced life (includes family life) will be a better leader for us.

    3) We never know the chatter which threatens our public servants and I don’t want proper responses to that chatter to not happen because of security cost or operation disclosure.

  56. kj trailer trash 2021-02-12

    Thanks Troy, now I have some concrete examples to mull over. I appreciate that. Whether I totally doubt any of them would ever happen isn’t the issue. The issue is that you gave me examples. Thanks.

  57. Jenny 2021-02-12

    Kristi was serving herself only when she was running around the country campaigning for Trump. If Kristi is worried about the public wanting to reduce her security expenses, maybe she shouldn’t take so many trips during a pandemic.

    What is she hiding?
    We all know if a Democrat governor was running around the country campaigning for Biden, the cost disclosure bill would have passed swiftly and that governor would have been hung for it.

  58. jerry 2021-02-12

    Troy, what steps do you have to do to get an imitated measure up for voter approval regarding removing sales tax?

    Do you have to disclose what that initiated measure is? Asking for a friend that doesn’t understand your logic or lack of.

  59. Porter Lansing 2021-02-15

    Until SoDak decriminalizes marijuana no progress will be made in the legalization movement.
    -No state has ever legalized even medical before the populace was softened by decriminalization.
    -“Anyone discovered with small amounts of marijuana receive a hundred dollar paper citation and no criminal record.”
    -A couple three years of this and the opposition will see the harmlessness of the item and Miranda Gohn’s lying rhetoric will be seen as just BS.
    -Lederman and Powers will find other ways to make money and the “right side of history” can be approached.

  60. leslie 2021-02-15

    50% polled Republican voters are willing to use force to gain their desired policy. McConnell *only* cares about winning.*

    Thune sucks at his breast.

    Is this your sane world Troy?

    *Jane Mayer, New Yorker today

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