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Haugaard Misses Chance to Boost Campaign with Strong Marijuana/Single-Subject Response

If I were a Republican legislator running for Governor, here’s the statement I would have released Wednesday (and retweeted this coming Monday to get back in the news cycle after everyone recovers from turkey and shopping) to blast Kristi Noem for overturning the will of the people on Amendment A:

Today, the South Dakota Supreme Court ruled that Amendment A (Medical Marijuana, Hemp, and Recreational Marijuana) was an unconstitutional initiated measure, and was rejected by the Court on a technicality called the single-subject rule, a subjective and infinitely malleable standard that disrespects the wisdom of the voters, chokes our cherished right of initiative, and has no place in our state Constitution.

The voters definitely supported decriminalizing the use and possession of recreational marijuana. However, by fouling this reasonable amendment with taxpayer-funded courtroom antics, Governor Kristi Noem showed her contempt for the voters and for the basic principles of individual liberty, personal responsibility, property rights, and limited government engraved in our party platform  That is why it is important to replace Kristi Noem with a Governor who puts Us the People and our principles above her own attention-seeking ambitions.

The Legislature is keenly aware of the public’s concern that the people’s voice must be heard and respected. As a result, I am drafting two pieces of legislation for the 2022 Legislative Session: a bill to reinstate the marijuana-related provisions voters approved in 2020, and a resolution to place before the voters an amendment to repeal the absurd and unnecessary single-subject rule [Alt-Universe Heidelberger for Governor, press release, 2021.11.24].

Back in our actual universe, we are stuck with Republican Steve Haugaard missing an opportunity to fry the Governor, win supporters, and promote the will of the people and instead pouring out this wrong-headed mumbledy-peg:

“Today, the South Dakota Supreme Court ruled that Amendment A (Medical Marijuana, Hemp, and Recreational Marijuana) was an unconstitutional initiated measure, and was rejected by the Court on a technicality, due to the fact that it included more than one subject,” Haugaard explained.

“The voters definitely supported the availability of medical marijuana (which passed in IM 26 and remains as law) and it appeared voters were generally intending to support the idea of decriminalizing the use and possession of ‘recreational marijuana.’ However, the concern is that voters were left with some confusion as to whether both had to pass to legalize medical. That is why it is important to make sure that each measure contemplates only one subject, and that is why the Court ruled against it.”

Haugaard continued, “The Legislature is keenly aware of the public’s concern that the people’s voice must be heard and respected. As a result, the Legislature has already been working on bills and recommendations for the upcoming Session to work through the issues surrounding marijuana. It will be a subject of special interest during the Session” [Steve Haugaard for Governor, press release, 2021.11.24].

Haugaard’s first paragraph fails as a campaign statement as he endorses Kristi Noem’s twisted position as “fact.”

Haugaard’s second paragraph reinforces that position, but it also veers off into an unrelated and unfounded claim about voter intent that distracts from what the focus of every communication from his campaign should be: demonstrating his superiority to the callous corruption of Kristi Noem.

Haugaard’s third paragraph offers vague promises that sound like the usual Republican caucus secret-keeping instead of the bold leadership any Noem challenger must promise. Haugaard doesn’t tell us what measures he would support. He doesn’t promise to reinstate the popular will that Noem has thwarted. He doesn’t promise to take a personal role in passing any legislation. The Legislature isn’t running for Governor, Steve; you are! Don’t just say others are going to talk about the problem; say, “I will propose and advocate and pass Solutions X, Y, and Z!”

It’s frustrating being a Democrat and knowing I could be a better Republican candidate than the challengers who float to the top of the GOP pool.


  1. grudznick 2021-11-26

    Demon weed legalization be damned, Mr. Haugaard, purportedly a lawyer, should have issued a scathing missive against the sloppily written and unconstitutionally drafted amendment lettered ‘A’. He could have knocked the already-down Messrs. Seiler and Johnson into the dirt and paved the way for an unsloppy and constitutional law-bill to institute the Toker Tax.

  2. larry kurtz 2021-11-26

    Protectors of the status quo and the special interests who support them are going to do everything they can to malign our effort. They will portray the proposal as something it isn’t. They will dismiss it as unrealistic. They will attack us personally. Our challenge is to stick to facts and principles, and pass a tough anti-corruption law that will transform that failing integrity report from an “F” to a sparkling “A” for excellence. If We The People – conservatives, moderates, independents, libertarians and liberals – do that together, if we approve the Government Accountability and Anti-Corruption Act, we can and will end status quo politics and restore integrity to South Dakota politics. [Rick Weiland, Don Frankenfeld]

    When 15 percent of eligible voters turn out for elections Rick and Don are just farting in the bathtub they’re sharing.

  3. DaveFN 2021-11-26

    You best submit a job application to Haugaard, Cory.

  4. Mark Anderson 2021-11-26

    There is a big difference between listening and acting. Haugaard is acting, he should get an emmy.

  5. buckobear 2021-11-26

    “I am pleased the Court sided with me in upholding the will of the voters.” – Kevin Thom
    …. all 46% what didn’t vote for it.

  6. Bob Newland 2021-11-26

    I am pleased to see that Thom has studied “Animal Farm.” I am not pleased to see that he didn’t understand what it was about.

  7. jerry 2021-11-26

    Besides genitalia, there really is not a single shred of difference between NOem and the Hag. Someone else needs to step up as a candidate for pot and the will of the people

  8. grudznick 2021-11-26

    Allow grudznick to, again, go BuwahahahaHAHAHA. It tickles my tummy.

  9. O 2021-11-26

    Grudznick, given the will of the people was made clear in the vote on Amendment A, and given that we poor people cannot fathom the intricacies of government (based on our will being overturned by the lofty judiciary), wouldn’t you HAVE to agree now that the legislature AND Governor Nome have a moral imperative, as the representatives of the peoples’ will and the experts in legislative phrasing, to enact the three elements (as identified by the SDSC) of Amendment A into law properly ASAP?

  10. Porter Lansing 2021-11-26

    Well put, O. #cheers

  11. ArloBlundt 2021-11-26

    Well…it may be, at this time, that the Noem-Haugaard camps are of one mind in fighting it out with the Democrat candidate in the general election on the issue of pot legalization….despite how the referendum went, they are of one mind that opposing pot in all its forms will unite their base and, when combined with the usual harping about abortion, bring out the big majority Republican vote…South Dakota—turn your clock back fifty years.

  12. jerry 2021-11-26

    Pot rejection by NOem is just one of her many failures. I would like to see an opponent, any opponent of her disgusting governorship, find the results of how many were treated with hydroxychloroquine by Sioux Falls hospitals and what the follow up was on those treated. Where were the side effects published?

  13. grudznick 2021-11-26

    Mr. O, have you not comprehended what grudznick is saying? The Republicans will enact the demon weed in a law bill. Where it should be. Not in the construction where those like Messrs. Seiler and Johnson sloppily and unconstitutionally (fact as shown by the court) tried to foist it on us all.

    grudznick wins yet another debate.

  14. O 2021-11-27

    grudznick, sometimes the flower of your prose leaves my simple mind swooning, thank you for the clarification. Not only do you win, we agree on the pathway our representatives, must take.

  15. Porter Lansing 2021-11-27

    Interested Party shoots …. HE SCORES!!

    klezmer it is

  16. larry kurtz 2021-11-27

    Actually, Mr. Lansing the word “bitchy” was omitted from a previous comment: perhaps a better descriptor for the prose grudznick leaves here.

  17. ArloBlundt 2021-11-27

    Well…grudznick is wrong….the Republicans will never legalize pot…they will “NEVER WAIVER, FOR TO WAIVER IS WEAKNESS….they will find a way to run in 2022 defending the status quo.

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