70% of us voting to legalize medical marijuana last November didn’t stop Governor Kristi Noem from blasting our vote as wrongheaded and throwing roadblocks in the way of making therapeutic cannabis available in South Dakota. I thus have to wonder what polling she’s reading now that’s persuading her to baldfacedly lie about her longstanding opposition to all things cannabinoidal:
“I think there’s people that have misconstrued my position on medical marijuana,” Noem said. “For years, I’ve said I’ve supported medical marijuana” [Bridget Bennett, “Governor Noem: ‘For Years, I’ve Said I’ve Supported Medical Marijuana’,” KELO-TV, 2021.06.24].
Bennett doesn’t let that whopper go unchecked:
It’s a very different message from the commercials she appeared in before the November 3rd election, campaigning against the effort to legalize marijuana in the state.
“I’m urging all South Dakotans to vote no on legalizing marijuana this November,” Noem said in a commercial that aired ahead of the 2020 election [Bennett, 2021.06.24].
Noem opposed South Dakota’s medical marijuana initiative a year before it went before the voters. She fought non-smokable, non-medicinal industrial hemp just because it looks like marijuana and because she thought it would lead to legalizing recreational marijuana. When Noem was campaigning for Governor in 2018, she said, “As governor, I will oppose all attempts to legalize marijuana.”
And in 2009, when Noem was serving the South Dakota Legislature, she had a chance to support two bills that would have given allows South Dakotans to use marijuana for medicinal purposes. 2009 House Bill 1127 would have created a cannabis cardholder system similar to what we enacted with Initiated Measure 26, while 2009 House Bill 1128 would have allowed individuals arrested for use or possession of marijuana to invoke medical reasons as a defense. Then-Representative Noem did not sponsor those bills.
Despite Governor Noem’s long-standing opposition, medical marijuana becomes legal in South Dakota on Thursday. You probably won’t notice much more haze in the air, since Kristi is already smoking up the joint with her flaming pants.