Rapid City Mayor Steve Allender is voting Yes on Amendment D to expand Medicaid, since it will make South Dakotans and South Dakota’s economy healthier. But former RC police chief Allender is voting No on Initiated Measure 27, the legalization of recreational marijuana, because he says it will make South Dakotan less healthy, if not dead. Allender ticks off facts he ascribes to marijuana-happy Colorado (and demonstrated that the South Dakota Municipal League needs to have someone proofread its newsletter):
Traffic deaths in which drivers tested positive for marijuana increased 109% while all traffic deaths increase [sic] 31%.
Traffic deaths involving drivers who tested positive for marijuana more than doubled from 55 in 2013 to 115 people in in [sic] 2018.
The percentage of all Colorado traffic deaths that were marijuana related increased from 15% in 2013 to 23% in 2018.
…The yearly number of emergency department visits related to marijuana increased 54% after the legalization of recreational marijuana.
The yearly number of marijuana related hospitalizations increased 101% after the legalization of recreational marijuana.
…After a few years of experience with medical and recreational marijuana, 64% of local jurisdictions in Colorado have band [sic] medical and recreational marijuana businesses [Steve Allender, “President’s Report,” South Dakota Municipalities, October 2022, p. 5].
Election Day is November 8; any eligible South Dakotan who wishes to vote on Initiated Measure 27 and all the other fun and exciting choices on the ballot may go to the courthouse today and every business day until Election Day to cast an early ballot.