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Attorney General: Hemp Doesn’t Hinder Law Enforcement

While Kristi Noem was off filling her rodeo fans in Vegas full of bull, killer Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg was back here at home admitting that Kristi was full of it when she warned that legalizing hemp would trigger a law enforcement apocalypse:

When Noem used her veto power to stop industrial hemp legalization in 2019, she said at the time she not only feared hemp legalization as part of a broader, long-term effort to legalize medical and recreational marijuana, it would also “undermine enforcement of the drug laws” in South Dakota.

Tim Bormann, chief of staff in the Attorney General’s Office, told the Argus Leader this week, concerns about distinguishing hemp from marijuana stemmed from “interested parties” within the state not having an agreed upon field test for THC levels.

That’s no longer the case.

“There is now an accepted field test available to check THC levels to allow for a quick and efficient differentiation between industrial hemp and marijuana,” he said.

And according to the 2021 Hemp Report, a document compiling statistics and other information related to hemp legalization’s effect on enforcement of other drug laws, only twice did police agencies in the state discover violations of the state’s hemp laws in the previous 12 months.

One resulted in no charges, while the other led to a broader drug bust that has a Washington state man facing multiple drug possession and distribution charges [Joe Sneve, “Report: Fears Whether Hemp, CBD Products Would Complicate Drug Laws Haven’t Materialized in SD,” that Sioux Falls paper, 2021.12.01].

The AG’s report confirms what was clear to sober observers in 2019: Noem’s anti-hemp hysteria—including her infamous and deceptive list of 319 questions about hemp, including 82 about law enforcement—was bogus. She flip-flopped in the 2020 Session and surrendered to the Legislature’s determination to legalize industrial hemp. South Dakota farmers are now successfully producing hemp, and South Dakota law enforcement is seeing none of the impact on public safety that Noem predicted.


  1. Nix 2021-12-03 08:40

    If I recall, besides the 319 curve balls
    she tossed, the state was going to hire
    extra drug officers, more drug dogs,
    warehousing needed to be built to house all of the illegal hemp that was to be confiscated because Super Trooper Miller and Deputy Dog Thoms and their
    circus fleas couldn’t tell the difference between hemp and cannabis.
    Oh, the MESS !
    The semi truck with an entire load of bails is hemp.
    The left hander in my pocket is cannabis.

  2. larry kurtz 2021-12-03 09:02

    If farmers can sue for pesticide drift can tribes sue for cannabis pollen drift?

    Industrial cannabis is not the benign introduced species it’s cracked up to be and stray pollen from the hemp industry can wreak havoc on producers of therapeutic and “recreational” cannabis. Medicine and a potential revenue source are being put at risk by an experiment that makes Jerusalem artichokes and Belgian endive look like safe investments.

  3. larry kurtz 2021-12-03 09:07

    CBD products being sold in South Dakota and other states are little different from raw milk, preserves, pies or juices that are often tainted with hormones, pesticides and worse but sold at farmers markets anyway. Giving the products as gifts is one thing but selling untested product especially through interstate commerce is completely different.

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