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Newland: Support Meade County Initiative to Allow More Medical Marijuana Businesses

This guest column comes from longtime marijuana-reform advocate Bob Newland of Hot Springs.

Bob Newland, guest columnist, petitioner, marijuana advocate.
Bob Newland, guest columnist, petitioner, marijuana advocate.

With a record of having sponsored and managed seven failed statewide cannabis-related ballot measures during the past 25 years, I was a logical candidate to manage a cannabis-related ballot issue petition drive in Meade County, SoDak.

There are three distinct stages of a ballot question campaign, conception, gestation, and birth (or stillbirth). Conception consists of, “Hey, why don’t we change this law?” If sperm meets egg in the conversation which follows, then it’s time to gestate.

During gestation, the ballot-fetus is exposed to challenges like starvation and such. People outside the conception group must like the fact of its gestation, and feed its mother so she can feed it. Eventually, often in November, the ballot-baby is delivered, dead or alive. If it lives, it’s because its parents managed to convince enough people that it was worth feeding.

In my attempts to change laws in SoDak, lots of people supported the conception, which largely consisted of “It’s crazy to put people in jail for possessing a vegetable,” and they fed the gestation well enough to produce stillbirths. 

In the Spring of 2022, I find myself part only of the gestation, rather than having partaken in the conception, of a cannabis-related ballot question in the farm-team leagues of petition circulation–“County Ordinance Initiatives.”

I have to suppose that is partially because, while I have thrown my share of lances at windmills, I have at least brought lances to the battle. In my tortured metaphor, I am trying to say that I have a deserved reputation of having put issues on ballots, even though the questions failed at the polls.

There is now being circulated a petition containing a ballot question in Meade County which challenges the validity of a county ordinance which grants a license to operate a medical cannabis dispensary to one, and only one, licensee. I’m running this signature drive which will, the sponsor hopes, effect change in several key elements of current Meade County SoDak law. The state of this currently-gestating fetus at its birth is of no concern to me, other than I have a certain amount of moral outrage over the current law in Meade County. I don’t live in the affected county. My Fast-Clipboard-for-Hire contract only obliges me to deliver a product that survives the Petition Signature Validation Process. Whether it survives a subsequent vote is the problem of the folks who paid for the petition drive.

In 2020, SoDak voters approved a ballot issue setting out some rules for the administration of a naturally-occurring weed as a palliative to certain medical conditions suffered by current and prospective voters. In other words, the various jurisdictions in SoDak would be able to administer the retailing of Medical Cannabis in somewhat the manner those jurisdictions chose.

Meade County, through its County Commission, chose to issue no permits to grow, possess, test, make CBD munchies, or sell “medical cannabis.” From what I hear, the Meade County Commission was advised by Jason Ravnsborg, notorious Dakota Free Press fan, that it would have to at least issue one license for the county. So, a few weeks ago a Meade County “Medical Cannabis Dispensary” license was issued to an entity called “Puffy’s,” based in Rapid City SoDak.

My sources tell me that Puffy’s was granted an ewxclusive privilege to the extent, at least, of county commission representatives lying to other aspirants to the license. It’s not important to my goals in this endeavor whether any of my overheard insights of skullduggery are accurate. The fact is, the Meade County Commission codified in Meade County Ordinance 53 that it would issue one license. It then issued that license to the first application they opened and said, “Puffy’s won the lottery.”

So, I am circulating a petition in Meade County SoDak that asks Meade County Voters whether they’d like to see the County Commission allow a reasonable amount of Medical Cannabis availability across the high plains of the largest county in South Dakota. Two million acres, 3483 square miles, 29,852 people.

I say to them, “Hi. I’m circulating a petition to induce the county commission to allow more than one medical cannabis dispensary ion the county. Do you live in Meade County?” If the answer is affirmative (most who qualify have by this time stuck out a hand for the clipboard), I then ask if they’d like to help us put the issue on the ballot. Seriously, among people I’ve asked who claim to be Meade County Voters, the signature rate is better than 85%.

I am face-to-facing a couple hundred people per day, about 60% of whom claim to be registered to vote in Meade County. Actually only about 70% of that group turn out to have a good (some are questionable) match in the voter list I purchased which purports to be the same list the state uses for Meade County Voters. In downtown Sturgis SoDak, the county seat of Meade County, almost everyone has an opinion on the License Awarding Caper; almost everyone thinks the one-dispensary-limit in Meade County is seven layers of bullshit.

I plan to revisit Dakota Free Press with further installments of “Have Clipboard – Will Travel.” Meanwhile, here’s Meade County Ordinance 53, and here’s our proposed amendment to that ordinance, the one I’m showing folks:

Meade County initiative petition, submitted by Bob Newland to Dakota Free Press 2022.05.06.
Meade County initiative petition, submitted by Bob Newland to Dakota Free Press 2022.05.06.

The other side contains the signature lines.

I have been hired to accomplish a mathematical goal. I have become intrigued with “Why?” Why, Meade County, did you do the things you did? One unintended consequence was to provide me with a fairly substantial fee for bringing this attempted correction of your policy home.

In 2020, Meade County approved Amendment A 52% to 48%. It approved Amendment 26 (Medical Cannabis) 60% to 40%. I like those numbers. In Meade PH#%^*&(*))g County, SoDak, fercrissakes.

Bye for now.

Bob Newland 

“His Fast Clipboard for Hire Meets the Calling Wind”


  1. larry kurtz 2022-05-07

    Greetings from Vermilion, gang. Sorry I can’t support white people running the therapeutic cannabis gig in South Dakota.

  2. grudznick 2022-05-07

    Hey, Bob, while you’re out and about with your clipboard would you check on the quality of a few different gas station hot dogs and provide updates on the joints we should avoid? In fact, sampling a few burgers here and there and reporting the results would also be appreciated.

  3. ABC 2022-05-07

    So apparently a company under the new ordinance can grow, Test, manufacture and sell the medical weed. So there could be 3 companies offering the 3 services if the ruling Republicans could be unwigged enough to approve them.

    In Mitchell, a Native American Group was trying to buy the Wisconsin bankruptcy abandoned Shopko building for a growing facility. Crotchety City Council types and crotchety meeting attendees harrumphed it down and killed it. It would have been a good scene in Mel Brooks Blazing Saddles! Common clay of the New West , you know, morons. And … harrumph, harrumph.

    So now this group has capital to buy a building and has to look for a new building. The harrumphers were talking about the odor emitted by the growing or drying of the wed?

    Since they couldn’t defeat it at the polls, they are trying to kill it or slow it down by their dumbness.

    Are we closer to Federal laws on this, or are they always deferring to the states, who defer to the crotchety local guys?

    This wasn’t a problem in the early 1930s when marijuana was 100% legal, until a rich California guy lobbied a Congress to stop hemp and weed.

    When a majority of people are apathetic or not so smart, and a minority of us are smart, we still have to engineer a good solution. This creates jobs and alleviates suffering. The creatures that want to prolong the suffering, our only duty is to vote all of them out forever!

    Speaking of harrumphed, Sales tax was introduced in 1936 at 2% @and weed was outlawed in 1937. Why don’t the harrumphers turn their wrath on the sales tax the Democrats passed in 1936 here? Now the Republicans have it at 6 to 6.5%, Yes they did it, and the war against compassionate medical marijuana continues. They have No family values, period. Vote them out forever.

  4. Bob Newland 2022-05-07

    I have a weenie you can bite, grudznutz.

  5. Bob Newland 2022-05-07

    It’s a strange atmosphere in Sturgis. The Trump 2024 flag wavers are among the most enthusiastic about our petition.

  6. grudznick 2022-05-07

    This may surprise some of you fellows, but many consider grudznick a harrumpher. And, I suppose I am. Until you fellows admit you just want to toke the sweet demon weed to get your euphoric highs and float around in your mind, all this bunk about “compassion and suffering” are garbage. This is just about frying your brains in the local dens of ill repute. So call me a “harrumpher,” and of course “crotchety,” because by golly, I am.

  7. grudznick 2022-05-07

    Keep that thing in your pants, Bob. You got nothing for me, no.
    Your sister knows how to dance. She might be more my speed, yeah.
    She moves just like a panther, baby, I’ll bet you never knew.

  8. Jake 2022-05-07

    Grudz-sit there in your reveries with your Knob Creek or Jack Daniels swirling in ice, thinking of all those you have helped to the higher rung of success by purchasing that “Demon Drink”!!!
    The ‘regulated’ liquor industry’ (production all the way thru sales to public heavily regulated: in itself amazingly undisturbed by conservatives like you begging for LESS regulation!) and tellall those who wanna “toke: they should emulate you and your liking for th Demon Drink!
    You frickin’ hypocrite!

  9. larry kurtz 2022-05-07

    That Mr. Newland has anything in his pants is a revelation nobody needs to know.

    South Dakota is a hole nobody needs to probe.

  10. Bob Newland 2022-05-07

    Kurtz and crudznutz seem to be vying for who has the least to say.

  11. All Mammal 2022-05-07

    I have another thing to say. Allow me to dare kick some fact in the ear of plant haters and uppity malt whiskey snorters:
    weed is ok to use for medicinal purposes, as well as for any other reason under the sun, such as, but not limited to:
    Appetite enhancing, anti nausea, anti anxiety, self esteem, boredom, focus, seizures, will to live, pain management, kicking foul habits, coming down from drugs, menstrual cramps, the wonderful flavor, creativity, insomnia, PTSD, kick smoking cigarettes, social lubricant, camaraderie, to piss someone off, to feel connected with nature, to forget life sucks, to remember life isn’t so bad, study high-take the test high-get high scores, reward, unbury sense of humor, so it doesn’t go to waste, and the number one pro the curmudgeons need to kiss their lucky sun spot the buddha heads they encounter are minding their own business, getting reefed:
    weed allows you to be tolerated. Instead of running you off or shutting you up something fierce, we let it go and laugh at you instead. Weed has kept jerks from getting dotted up for being judgmental jerks and they should be grateful. “Hey let’s spark the owl and go commit acts of violence,” said no stoner, ever.
    For the holy rollers in opposition to personal liberty:
    Genesis 1:29 sums it up.
    According to the history books, marijuana propaganda demonized weed claiming it caused black and Mexican men to go into a frenzy and rape white women. It is now known that was a bunch of racist fear mongering used by the media tycoons to eliminate competition from the hemp industry for making a better paper product for their newspaper presses. Rich white guys still have their base convinced in 2022. The question isn’t whether or not to ‘allow’ grown-ace locs to do what they want in the privacy of their home. The question should be: why are you so obsessed with what I do?

  12. grudznick 2022-05-07

    The strange, yet almost perfect triangle, which encompasses grudznick, my good friend Lar, and my close personal friend Bob, is probably tough for someof you fellows to decipher. It involves a lot of demon weed, a lot of breakfast debates, and a fair amount of internal Libertarian politics. You fellows wouldn’t understand.

  13. Bob Newland 2022-05-07

    Crudznutz is constitutionally unable to write a sensible sentence.

  14. Bob Newland 2022-05-07

    Mainly because he (it) is a wimpy coward. Kurtz, at least, signs his name.

  15. grudznick 2022-05-07

    Bob, I’ll bring your goats back later tonight. Put them back in the usual pen. As you know, I have a roomful of screaming miniature goats who wear swell hats.

  16. Arlo Blundt 2022-05-07

    Good for you, Bob and good luck with your petition in Meade County where I think you can be successful. Senator Schoenbeck and other manipulative Republican leaders have badly misjudged the basic distrust of South Dakotans for the government Schoenbeck and pals have foisted upon us. I was way up in the UP of Michigan last fall, where there are plenty of F— Biden, Whitman (the Governor there) is an idiot, and Trump-Freedoms Last Stand banners and bumper stickers everywhere, yet, there was a line around the block at the Medical Marijuana Store…land office business. There appear to be plenty of hash heads self medicating their mental illness. I don’t sense much support for harpooning medical marijuana in Meade County or South Dakota outside active Pentacostals and Country Club Republicans. If you can get them to the polls, during a Primary when they usually don’t vote, I believe the rest of the South Dakotans in Meade County will vote your way. Prepare for Victory.

  17. Bob Newland 2022-05-07

    Thanks, Arlo. Based on street-level acceptance of the petition proposition and the visceral disdain I hear for the county commission, I am confident of the voting- day success of the question.

  18. Janet Olson 2022-05-08

    Grudz harrumph curmudgeon while I’m euphoric and floating around in my mind I’m also vastly relieved from my 28 year history of MS effects especially spasticity, increased energy, able to independently perform ADLs and transfer from my wheelchair to other areas much more efficiently. You have no idea of how many medical diagnoses benefit from the use of medical marijuana. I don’t get “high” I get relief every once in a while. Get some help. Talk with someone who has an illness or disability who has a better life because of the use.

  19. Arlo Blundt 2022-05-08

    Yes, Janet, Marijuana has been recognized by people with MS as an effective analgesic, if not anesthetic, for years and the fact that government has ignored their suffering and has threatened them with jail terms for relieving their pain and distress with cannabis is just more absurdity. Great tragedy goes along with keeping cannabis illegal. The Republicans especially like putting as many people as possible in jails and prisons, disrupting their lives, and limiting their possibilities. Having severe consequences for pot possession is a key cornerstone of their “personal accountability” mantra. Of course they are not responsible for any of this tragedy, only the pot user must be held accountable. The public, except for the cretins inhabiting the fringes, understand the absurdity and are willing to end it.

  20. M 2022-05-09

    Thanks for sharing Janet. Most people that are against it have no idea what they are talking about. They prefer prescription drugs over naturally God given and easily grown herbs. I wish you well and hope it’s easily available to you, which it should be anyone. I think it’s inhumane to withhold life saving or life changing, or pain helping therapies from those in need.

    Bob Newland, I have a book that you might be interested in titled “The Emperor Wears No Clothes” by Jack Herer, 1990 edition. If people like Grudz read it perhaps they might see what’s involved in the campaign against marijuana that began a century ago and why people like you have to FIGHT LIKE HELL for something so helpful to so many people. Thanks for what you do.

  21. Bob Newland 2022-05-09

    “The Emperor…” is surely one of the most influential books ever published. It gave me a knowledge base to bolster my anger at the gratuitous persecution of cannabis users. As for crudznutz, that piece of fecal matter aspires to nothing other than being a smarmy little tick.

  22. John Dale 2022-05-09

    Bob Newland is Grudznick’s mini-me from an alternate dimension.

  23. larry kurtz 2022-05-09

    White people in South Dakota can’t run police departments in in South Dakota let alone legal cannabis.

  24. Bob Newland 2022-05-09

    Thanks, John Dale. Higher praise has rarely been received.

    Kurtz, I agree. NO ONE is qualified to regulate the weed. Give it up, jerks. It’s a weed.

  25. mike from iowa 2022-05-31

    For Newland, Kurtz and other backers of medical pot and prescription cards, iowa Supreme Court ruled that a medical pot card issued in another state dies not satisfy a 51 year old law about validity of prescriptions, and found a defendant guilty of possession even thouigh her card was legally issued in Arizona.

    If i didn’t know better, I would have thought the justice writing the opinion was selected by drumpf.

  26. larry kurtz 2022-05-31

    Thanks Mike. Why red state legislatures and governors want to punish travelers and patients alike does seem counterintuitive.

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