Catholic Social Services of Rapid City exec Jim Kinyon and Jesus-y District 4 Representative Fred Deutsch (R-4/Florence) have launched a ballot question committee to fight Initiated Measure 27, the marijuana legalization measure South Dakotans will vote on this November. Kinyon and Deutsch call their committee “Protecting South Dakota Kids“.
Wait a minute: I’m checking the text of IM 27 for the part that hands kids pot…
Section 2. …This chapter does not affect laws that otherwise regulate:
(1) Delivery or distribution of marijuana or marijuana accessories, with or without consideration, to a person younger than twenty-one years of age;
(2) Purchase, possession, use, or transport of marijuana or marijuana accessories by a person younger than twenty-one years of age;
(3) Consumption of marijuana by a person younger than twenty-one years of age;…
(7) Possession or consumption of marijuana or possession of marijuana accessories on the grounds of a public or private preschool, elementary school, or high school, in a school bus, or on the grounds of any correctional facility;….
Section 4.… Subject to the limitations in this chapter, and notwithstanding any other law, the following acts, if done by a person at least twenty-one years of age, may not be an offense under state or local law, regulation, or ordinance; be subject to a civil fine, penalty, or sanction; be a basis for detention, search, or arrest; be a basis for the denial of any right or privilege; or be a basis for asset seizure or forfeiture:
…(3) Assisting another person who is at least twenty-one years of age, or allowing property to be used, in any of the acts permitted by this section; and
(4) Possessing, using, delivering, distributing, manufacturing, transferring, or selling to persons twenty-one years of age or older marijuana accessories.
Section 5.… A person who commits the following acts is subject to a civil penalty not exceeding the amount specified:
…(4) Is under twenty-one years of age and possesses, uses, ingests, inhales, transports, delivers without consideration or distributes without consideration one ounce or less of marijuana or possesses, delivers without consideration, or distributes without consideration marijuana accessories, one hundred dollars. The person shall be provided the option of attending up to four hours of drug education or counseling in lieu of the civil penalty [Initiated Measure 27, South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws, retrieved 2022.08.25].
So Initiated Measure 27 would leave marijuana illegal for anyone under 21, just like alcohol. IM 27 would leave in place legal penalties for anyone who pushes pot on kids, just like alcohol. Deutsch’s fellow legislators have been setting a far worse example for kids through their alcohol abuse than through pot-smoking, but he and addiction counselor Kinyon aren’t leading any charge to ban adults from endangering children by the far riskier activity of consuming alcohol. (To his credit, Rep. Deutsch did vote against 2016 Senate Bill 102, which allowed alcohol sales on our Regental campi, where kids going to watch Jackrabbit and Coyote football may now be surrounded by the “more vibrant atmosphere” created by beer-drinking fans.)
But PSDK chair Kinyon, whose Catholic Church has its own issues with protecting children, and PSDK treasurer Deutsch, who meets kids on social media and shows inordinate interest in their bathroom activities, put up a banner of kids running through grass and whip out a fun mix of grooming language and prairie xenophobia to tell people IM 27 will harm children:
We need your support to fight off New York City Hedge Fund Managers and a well-funded, out-of-state pot lobby that has invested millions to “educate” South Dakotans about the “merits” of their product while seeking access to our kids, our families, and our communities [Protecting South Dakota Kids, home page, retrieved 2022.08.25].
The ten stories about people allegedly harmed by marijuana use all come from out of state as well. Should we be as concerned about the out-of-state anti-pot lobby seeking to “educate” South Dakota voters?
Deutsch hates democracy and the initiative process, but the committee he treasures invokes past initiative votes against marijuana to justify rejecting IM 27. Amusingly, PSDK cites 2006 and 2010 rejections of statewide marijuana initiatives to back its case while denying the validity of the 2020 vote for marijuana liberalization as an invalid result of advertising trickery:
In 2006 and in 2010 South Dakotans soundly defeated recreational pot initiatives. In 2020, 1.6 million dollars of propaganda was funded from out-of-state to mislead voters on the “merits” of legalizing recreational pot. Big commercial marijuana interest and money from radicals dumped millions into our state [PSDK, retrieved 2022.08.25].
In another misrepresentation, PSDK claims that IM 27, “which out-of-state marijuana corporations wrote,” will only fine “violators… $100 for distributing to our kids.” As shown above, Section 5 of IM 21 does cap the civil penalty for pot peddlers under 21 to $100, but Section 2 leaves in places laws imposing criminal penalties on pot peddlers of all ages, including SDCL 22-42-7, which makes distribution of any amount of marijuana to minors a felony; handing kids even the most diminutive doobie could land the hander in the pen for two years with a fine of $4,000.
But projecting like good Republicans, PSDK says on its falsehood-riddled website, “Help us tell the marijuana industry to stay out of South Dakota and we will not be fooled by their lies.” Watch for more fact-frayed foolery wrapped in paranoid kiddie-love from Kinyon, Deutsch, and the anti-pot agitators.