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Jackley Needs to Revise Explanation of Ismay’s Repeal of Medical Marijuana

Travis Ismay dutifully rewrote his proposed initiative to show all 95 sections of medical-marijuana law that he wants to repeal, and now Attorney General Marty Jackley has dutifully published his draft title and explanation of that initiative for our review and comment:

Title: An Initiated Measure Repealing South Dakota’s Medical Marijuana Program.

Explanation: In the 2020 General Election, the voters approved the creation of the South Dakota medical marijuana program. By approving that program, the voters legalized the possession, use, cultivation, manufacture, and sale of marijuana and marijuana products, under certain conditions, for medical purposes.

This initiated measure repeals South Dakota’s medical marijuana program. If approved, that repeal makes all possession, use, cultivation, manufacture, and sale of marijuana and marijuana products a crime.

This initiated measure does not affect laws dealing with hemp. Marijuana remains illegal under federal law [Attorney General Marty Jackley, draft ballot explanation for Travis Ismay’s medical marijuana repeal initiative, 2023.07.27].

Now remember, the public comment that the Attorney General is taking until August 6 (a Sunday!) to inform the final text he will draft to explain this initiative to voters by August 16 is not comment about the merits of medical marijuana or South Dakota’s regulation thereof. The Attorney General seeks and will consider only public comments dealing with whether, per SDCL 12-13-25.1, his title concisely states the subject of the proposed initiative and his explanation objectively, clearly, and simply summarizes the purpose and effect of the proposed initiative.

To that end:

  1. The Attorney General’s first sentence and the beginning of the second may bias voters against this initiative. That opening text reminds voters that they approved medical marijuana just three years ago. Mentioning the popular origin of the medical marijuana program does not enhance the understanding of the objective legal effect of the proposed repeal. It only serves to arouse the tendency voters have shown to get owly about efforts to repeal things they approve. For complete objectivity, the Attorney General should strike the first sentence and begin the explanation with, “South Dakota law allows the possession, use,….”
  2. The second sentence buries the focus of the initiative and the current scope of South Dakota marijuana law by not mentioning medical marijuana until the end. It’s a tricky sentence to fix, but I recommend moving “medical marijuana” up at least one step: “South Dakota law allows the possession, use, cultivation, manufacture, and sale of marijuana and marijuana products for medical purposes, under certain conditions.
  3. On that same note, “under certain conditions” adds little if any value to the explanation. Ismay’s initiative doesn’t fuss with any specific conditions; it simply wipes out the entire medical marijuana chapter. I recommend striking that phrase to keep the explanation simple.
  4. The fourth sentence again buries the focus on medical marijuana by oddly referring to making “all” possession, use, cultivation, manufacture, and sale of marijuana and marijuana products a crime. While practically true, criminalizing all marijuana activities is not the technical meaning of the words on this petition. Consider: the 2024 Legislature could enact a law legalizing and strictly regulating research on recreational marijuana use. That law could come into effect during Session, while Ismay could be circulating his petition. Ismay’s initiative would not repeal statutes allowing researchers to grow and use marijuana, so the Attorney General’s explanation would be false. The Attorney General should thus revise the fourth sentence to strictly address the scope of this initiative: “If approved, that repeal makes the possession, use, cultivation, manufacture, and sale of marijuana and marijuana products for medical purposes a crime.”
  5. The last sentence about federal law is superfluous. The initiative cannot change federal law. The first paragraph of the draft explanation says medical marijuana is legal in South Dakota, so federal law on marijuana must not be relevant. Mentioning federal law only confuses the issue; for clarity, the Attorney General should strike this last sentence.



  1. larry kurtz 2023-07-30

    In 2018 after being frustrated with the inability of activists and advocates to herd the booze-soaked, ecocidal South Dakota Legislature and the Republican Party apparatchiks in Pierre into the corral of cannabis common sense an interested party reached out to Matt Kinney, a Spearditch-based attorney who specializes in the defense of clients caught up in the morass of cannabis law in my home state. In 2015 he represented former Butte County State’s Attorney Heather Plunkett after she was railroaded into dismissal by then and now again Attorney General Marty Jackley.

    Today, Kinney is a registered agent of Center of the Nation Cultivation, LLC in Belle Fourche.

    If Ismay’s crusade succeeds Emmett Reistroffer, Matt Kinney and other non-Natives could simply enter a compact with a tribal entity and continue doing business right where they are.

  2. Nix 2023-07-30

    Good Lord,
    We didn’t want a Casino in our state so Iowa
    built one on our border.
    5 miles from Sioux Falls.
    We loose.
    Iowa wins.
    We overrode the will of the people with a frivolous law suit to overturn Recreational Cannabis.
    Minnesota legalized, and we will have Recreational cannabis 15 miles away from 300,000 South Dakotans by next August.
    We loose
    Minnesota wins.
    With good Christian Patriots like Travis Ishmay,
    Fred Deutsch, Jim Kinyon and The Dope Queen of Delusion trying to legislate their morality onto
    the rest of us, we are truly on track to become the Mississippi of the North.

  3. Loren 2023-07-30

    Another example of South Dakota “freedumb!” @#$%^&*!

  4. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-07-30

    So what do you guys think about Attorney General Jackley’s draft explanation or my recommendations for improving that text to comply with its statutory purpose?

  5. Richard Schriever 2023-07-30

    Jackley didn’t graduate at the top of his USD law school class – did he?

  6. Mike Zitterich 2023-07-30

    Well, as I ave spoken on often, Medical Marijuana DOES NOT make marijuana legal, and the whole debate related to Amendment A as proposed by the so called “Marijuana Group” was to confuse the voters. And it nearly worked in their favor, except, it did NOT confuse many people in many counties, as I have explained many times over the previous 4 years.

    Amendment A was NOT supported by a vast majority of the Citizens of this State, and evidence came to light, that nearly 70% of ALL COUNTIES fully did NOT support Amendment A…

    Broken down fully, in 38 of the 66 Counties, the popular vote was nearly 70% opposed to Amendment A;

    Broken down fully, in only 13 of the 66 Counties, the popular vote was 70% in support of Amendment A;

    Broken down, in 15 of the 66 Counties, the popular opinion of the voters was merely 50-50 showing a huge contrast of opinions among the people.

    Knowing the facts of, a huge crux of the problem here, came from the huge ‘population majority’ residing in huge democratic cities such as Sioux Falls, Watertown, Aberdeen, Mitchel, Yankton, Flandreau, Brookings, Huron, Rapid City, Brandon, and other large cities, whereas in the rural areas of the “State” where land, property, and individual beliefs matter most, the huge opinion of the voters presented the narrative that MARIJUANA shall remain a BANNED substance.

    Because of the fact alone, that “WE” are a REPUBLIC OF PEOPLE of whom stand up for our “representative beliefs” the Counties of which highly did NOT support Marijuana, had to stand up in defense of the “people” who opposed Amendment A, and this led to the large part of bringing the petition drive to sue in the circuit court, of which led to the Supreme Court settling the matter…

    Knowing this huge vast difference in opinion, I warned the Marijuana Industry, that they had NO Chance in 2022 of convincing the voters to approve of Legalizing Marijuana in its entirely, I often spoke of past marijuana votes in years past, to the huge start contrast of the 2020 vote. I predicted that 398,000 voters would show up at the polls in 2022 to cast votes, while nearly 60% would vote to keep Marijuana Banned. Well, How close was my prediction? very close – 406,000 voters showed up to vote, and 57% voted NOT to approve of legalizing Marijuana.

    In Meade County, where the Medical Marijuana vote was merely 50-50 on Amendment A, despite the votes overwhelmingly approving Medical Marijuana in 2020, the Marijuana Industry lobbied hard against the “Planning, Zoning, Licensing Ordinances” in the County, attempting to loosen up, and unrestrict the rules to allow for greater use…When given the chance to open up the rules related to Marijuana, the VOTERS of Meade County overwhelmingly voted to NOT open up the rules. Only 2,100 voters showed up to vote, and nearly 70% of them Supported the TIGHT RESTRICTIONS placed on Medical Marijuana. Which obviously presented the narrative, that the PEOPLE of the State do NOT support Marijuana.

    Today, the issue of Marijuana in Butte County is raising awareness that the whole “Marijuana Debate” was very much manipulated by the industry itself, and the fact there is huge concerns over Marijuana all across the State related to the effects or lack of effects of the drug upon the citizens.

    Truth is, there is a huge divide within the State of South Dakota related to Marijuana, and it is not so much an open, shut case as the Marijuana Industry wants you to believe. The facts are many People making up South Dakota do NOT support Marijuana, and that opinion is being made more and more with each and every day…

    Amendment A in 2020 was a huge manipulation grounded in a false narrative as presented by the So called Marijuana Faithful that South Dakota Citizens support Marijuana, and it hugely backfired in their face, as they discovered S.D Citizens will rise up against the Industry, in masses.

    When you place Marijuana on the ballot all alone, “WE” truly, honestly, and respectively, present the true opinion of the State itself. NO ONE supports Marijuana in South Dakota. Not the People, nor their government, and the COUNTIES play a huge role in creating that OPINION.

    Now, after the voters overwhelmingly voted to keep Marijuana Illegal, I do support brining back the matter of Medical Marijuana to the Ballot Box.

    Lets see how the over all opinion has changed since 2022, after the long standing political winds have shifted the entire Marijuana Vote…

    This is how a REPUBLIC works, the people have the right to govern the “State” as they so wish – I presented the narrative for four years, there is a huge start difference of POLITICAL OPINION among the Citizens of this State on the topic of Marijuana, and there is a huge political divide between URBAN vs RURAL VOTERS…that is a fact.

    HEMP is legal, MARIJUANA is not; it is legal to utilize a small part of the Cannibus Plant for Medical Use, but the entire plant itself…

    We are a REPUBLIC, not a Democracy…

  7. grudznick 2023-07-30

    Tighten up your bloggings, Mr. Zitterich. People will begin to think you are domiciled in Yankton.

  8. larry kurtz 2023-07-30

    Think pesticide drift is destructive?

    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. South Dakota’s budding hemp industry will drive more growers of therapeutic and “recreational” cannabis indoors to prevent pollen drift from destroying crops while boosting energy costs.

    White people who grow industrial cannabis in South Dakota want to double the number of acres as a declaration of war on the tribal communities who yearn to develop economic opportunities and test off-reservation sovereignty.

    Meanwhile, the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe is operating its therapeutic cannabis dispensary at full capacity but is limiting patients to an 1/8 ounce of flower to avoid running out of product. The Nation is constructing additional cultivation facilities that will nearly triple its current production and tribal attorney, Seth Pearman says the pursuit of a compact with the state is ongoing. In May of 2021 the Isanti Dakota Oyate purchased a parcel in the heart of the commercial district in Sioux Falls but just recently purchased a long-vacant building in Mitchell.

    If the Neanderthal South Dakota Legislature had any integrity or ethics (they don’t) they would empower the tribal nations trapped in South Dakota to be the sole cannabis industry producers in the state (they won’t).

  9. e platypus onion 2023-07-30

    Gee, I wonder if Zit has a morsel or two to say about pot? Trying to maneuver my way through his gurgitations is better than white noise for a sleep aid.

  10. larry kurtz 2023-07-30

    Mike Zitterich doesn’t believe Marty Jackley is credible on any subject so why should South Dakota voters believe anything the attorney general says?

  11. Mike Zitterich 2023-07-30

    What did I say that had anything to do with Marty Jackley?

    His explaination is correct, the “voters” just 3 years ago approved of using Marijuana for Medical Use.

    All you people do here is attack people for having a different opinion than yours. When nothing in my above dialogue attacked anyone, it merely provided a narrative thought of what the majority opinion is or was of Marijuana between 2020 and 2022…

    I provided facts and assessments of the Public Vote on Marijuana itself based on the true facts of the 2020 Votes themselves.

    If you really want to know what “SOUTH DAKOTA” believes on the topic of Marijuana, you have to dig deep, and understand the opinion of the voters as they relate to each County, each Precinct, which forms the greater overall opinion of the State itself…

    I know this is a hard concept for Democrats to understand, “WE” are not a Direct Democracy, we govern the State based on being a Republic.

    The People form their political opinion based on small groups of people within their political subdivisions aka County, Cities, Townships, Homesteads, Farmsteads, Land Districts, Water Districts, Medical Districts, Rail Road Districts, Jail Districts, etc.

    The problem with Democrats, and why people hate the party itself, is YOU people want to make everything a “popularity contest” based on the rules established by a small minority of Large Urban Districts, while canceling out the “Will of the People” themselves.

    You Democrats get so upset when the “republic fights back” against your agenda, proclaiming your ways are the highway….

    Marty Jackley’s statement explainign the “Petition” is a neutral way of keeping it simple – “the voters approved Medical Marijuana” what more does he have to say….

    You let the events play themselves out, let the “People Republic Together” discussing these matters in conventions, committees, townhalls, and public votes”

    I listen to what the people are saying all across the State, speak to many people, and even I can understand there are a variance of held beliefs all across the board on the topic of marijuana. There are a ton of people who are opposed to Marijuana being legalized, let alone there are many who do not see marijuana as a cure all drug for medical purposes. KEEP YOUR EYES and EARS OPEN, and you can hear what people say.

    I voted NO on Amendment A, I voted NO on the 2022 vote, I DID NOT vote on Medical Marijuana in 2020, I crossed it off my ballot, leaving it blank. I remainead NEUTRAL on the topic. I did not say yes or no on I.M 26

  12. larry kurtz 2023-07-30

    White people in South Dakota are too stupid to regulate cannabis so let the tribal communities have exclusive control.

  13. larry kurtz 2023-07-30

    So, Mr. Zitterich and his far white wing of the Republican Party agree with AG Jackley when he agrees with them, right?

  14. jerry 2023-07-30

    Pipestone, the name says it all. Time to look for storefronts and opportunity.

  15. Mike Lee Zitterich 2023-07-30

    So Larry, you have been turning a lot of well, written, and professionally formed opinions into Racial and Bigotry comments lately, when I have never raised nor commented on any racial matter ever. You seem to have a wierd disorder against people who disagree with you. You are a very poor American who wants to attack and name call people for differences of opinion. News flash, IF You want to get elected in South Dakota, you better stick the the beliefs of South Dakotans, or move to another state. ty

  16. P. Aitch 2023-07-30

    There seems to be a disconnect between what Mr. Zitterich claims and what Mr. Zitterich remembers. Thus, the Zitterich file.

    “I have never raised nor commented on any racial matter ever.” – Mike Zitterich

    “We will never allow the White Race to die off, regardless of extreme the Federal Govt goes to allowing open borders that allows illegal immigration into the country. We have known for decades that the democrat agenda is to overload our borders with war criminals, other people with the intent to decrease the White population. That is evident in all federal policies such as same sex marriage, promoting inter-racial marriages, abortion, etc. Blame the FEDS for all this division among the races.” – MIKE ZITTERICH

  17. Arlo Blundt 2023-07-30

    Zittrich–You are not taking Grudznick’s advice, which means you are alienating 100% of Cory’s readership.

  18. e platypus onion 2023-07-30

    Dating back at least to Vietnam conflict, magat party is full of war criminals.

  19. larry kurtz 2023-07-30

    $20 says Mr. Ismay won’t even get the 17,509 valid signatures necessary for the ballot unless he goes onto the reservations where cannabis for adults 21 and older is already legal.

  20. e platypus onion 2023-07-30

    Young Colin Powell was sent to investigate My Lai slaughter and told his superiors stories about it were exxagerated.

  21. Arlo Blundt 2023-07-30

    For the same cultural reasons that the last topless Go Go Dancer in history, performed in Lesterville, South Dakota, this state will be the last state to approve legalization of Marijuana in any form or circumstance.

  22. chris 2023-07-30

    Vote Charles Ingalls for Attorney General of the Republic of South Dakota

  23. Mike Zitterich 2023-07-30

    You all need to get out and enjoy South Dakota’s nice landscape more often, you are all taking things to serious. Go enjoy a nice few days at one of South Dakota’s nice Campgrounds, Palisades, Newtons Hills, or Split Rock City Park. Get the tent, and a bean bag, and spend a few days out in nature…you guys are wound tighter than a baseball.

  24. larry kurtz 2023-07-30

    In 2020 the White Earth Nation voted to legalize cannabis for some patients and activist, Winona LaDuke hoped voters would embrace the Oklahoma model, home to the loosest rules in America. Now, after the Red Lake Nation announced retail sales White Earth will also open a dispensary in Minnesota on August 1.

    The two Ojibwe tribes will have a significant head start in establishing recreational marijuana businesses as adult use of the plant becomes legal across the state. White Earth, Red Lake and other tribes will also be able to operate dispensaries off reservations through compacts negotiated with the administration of Gov. Tim Walz. [Minnesota Reformer]

    The Picuris and the Pojoaque Pueblos have entered agreements with State of New Mexico to market cannabis product outside tribal borders.

  25. grudznick 2023-07-30

    My close personal friend Lar is righter than right. There is no need to pursue legalizing the demon weed for recreational toking and frying of brains. People do it anyway, and buy the illegal drugs on some reservations. Just catch the ones you can off the rez and throw them in the klink.

  26. e platypus onion 2023-07-30

    Pretty sure iowa campgrounds contain plenty white scumacyst ammosexuals and our skeeters are corn fed. Why waste precious funds going to flyover South Duhkota? We have better roads and we tax gasoline to make needed repairs.

    ps out magat guv is at least as bat guano crazy as yours is.and Teynold’s is more likely to be able to spell guano than Noem.

  27. larry kurtz 2023-07-30

    All cannabis ingestion is therapeutic.

    If there is one observation I feel compelled to share after five years in the cannabis industry, it is that I do believe that all cannabis use is medical. When the modern medical cannabis movement began a little over a decade ago, very little was remembered about the benefits that the cannabis plant has to offer. The phytocannabinoids produced by the plant are in essence exactly what the body needs to maintain a healthy, balanced endocannabinoid system. So if you think you are a recreational user of cannabis, you might want to think again. [Erica Freeman]

  28. P. Aitch 2023-07-30

    Mike Zitterich – Are you going to say anything about being caught in a lie about your white supremacist politics?

  29. grudznick 2023-07-30

    I sure hope almost everyone going to Sturgis this year gets pinched for the Demon Weed possession.

  30. larry kurtz 2023-07-30

    Maybe someday South Dakota’s lunatic legislature will approve a bill that would adopt statutes like Kansas’ therapeutic cannabis law where medicine would be sold by pharmacies, ie. edibles and topicals only, no flower or smoking.

    Cannabis is a safe, effective palliative but black market cannabis not tested or subject to regulation makes America and South Dakota less safe. Legalization, state or tribal inspections and regulation of produce that so many people enjoy is reasonable public policy that aligns with prudent life safety goals.

    Contaminated dietary supplements, vapes, ointments and edibles are unacceptable in a country with a long history of snake oil salesmen. 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.

  31. grudznick 2023-07-30

    The Demon Weed, and all its derivate jams and marmalades, is bad. It is very bad.

  32. P. Aitch 2023-07-30

    Should we all announce what we “hope”? Sounds kinda silly but consider the source. grudznick Have you any other “hopes” you need to type out? ha ha ho ho

  33. larry kurtz 2023-07-30

    South Dakota has the most draconian cannabis laws in the US and until recently law enforcement industry henchmen could even force catheters into urethras to test possession by ingestion. Jamming a tube into someone’s urethra without consent is rape, even torture. The practice had been encouraged by disgraced Republican former South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley.

    Policing for Profit has enabled the Division of Criminal Investigation to provide military armaments for the industry throughout South Dakota where most believe prostitution will be legal before cannabis laws are amended. But in my home state the school to prison enterprise is worried cannabis reform will lead to less revenue for police departments.

    It’s just that simple.

  34. P. Aitch 2023-07-30

    Yo, what’s up, y’all? It’s your friendly neighborhood assistant, but today, I’m channeling my inner Snoop Dogg to address a topic that’s near and dear to his heart – marijuana. Now, Snoop Dogg has been a vocal advocate for this herb for a long time, so let’s dive into why he believes that marijuana is harmless, ya dig?

    First things first, Snoop Dogg wants y’all to know that when used responsibly, marijuana can have positive effects on your well-being. Unlike other substances, like alcohol or tobacco, that can cause serious health issues, marijuana is generally seen as a safer alternative. It’s all-natural, baby!

    Some folks might be concerned about the potential risks of smoking marijuana, but Snoop Dogg wants you to know there are alternatives. You can use edibles, oils, vaporizers – there’s a whole smorgasbord of options out there, my friends. So, you don’t have to light it up if you don’t want to.

    Now, let’s address the elephant in the room – addiction. While it’s true that using marijuana regularly can lead to a psychological dependence, Snoop Dogg argues that it’s nowhere near as addictive as other substances. It’s all about moderation and being aware of your limits, ya hear me?

    Marijuana has also been known to help with certain medical conditions. From easing chronic pain to reducing seizures, it’s had a positive impact on many individuals. Snoop Dogg believes that we shouldn’t underestimate the medicinal potential of this plant, man.

    Now, let’s keep it real – everyone’s body is different, and what works for one person might not work for another. Snoop Dogg understands that marijuana might not be everyone’s cup of tea, and that’s cool. He’s all about promoting respect for personal choices and individual liberty.

    But at the end of the day, Snoop Dogg wants y’all to know that when used responsibly, marijuana can be a harmless and enjoyable experience. So, let’s all blaze it up, keep it cool, and remember that life’s all about finding that balance, baby.

    Disclaimer: The views expressed here are in the voice of Snoop Dogg, but remember, it’s always important to do your own research and make informed decisions. Stay educated, my friends!

  35. larry kurtz 2023-07-30

    That last comment was from 2020 but the Sturgis Motorcycle Classic brings another round of selective enforcement and white nationalism!

  36. larry kurtz 2023-07-31

    States are the biggest obstacle to cannabis success in Indian Country but trapped in North Carolina the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians hopes to be the next tribal community to market retail cannabis.

  37. Tim Caya 2023-07-31

    What Mike Zitterich is basically saying in a nutshell is that rural voters votes should count as two votes, while voters in the bigger cities should only count as one vote lol.

  38. Jake Kammerer 2023-07-31

    Nix- I beg to differ: South Dakota IS the Mississippi of the North!

  39. John 2023-07-31

    Seguing: the South Dakota media ought take a chapter from the free state of Alaska’s state newspaper.
    The Anchorage Daily News is going hard after their attorney general for signing the letter supporting states access to womens’ out of state healthcare records.
    “Jackley wants your health records” should be the headlines in South Dakota.

    Neither Jackley, nor Alaska AG Taylor learned any lessons from the Civil War.

  40. Common Sense Man 2023-08-02

    People who suffer from the refer madness syndrome really need to wake up. Either that or they’re just mentally challenged.
    The same people who have a square, narrow minded view of marijuana, are the same people who have no problem with alcohol being legal, when in fact alcohol does far more harm to humanity then marijuana ever could or will.
    Add that this joker who is trying to introduce this initiative, still backs a riot inciting, con man for POTUS. Tells you all you need to know right there. Country OVER Party people everyday, all day.

  41. Brenan Willey 2023-08-22

    Honestly sour Dakota is ranked dead last in the us a for marjuina laws good saints of South Dakota have turned south Dakota anti Marjuina meth we on it our state is the number one meth issue and medical marjuina will not end rec will pass Marty jackley attorney general

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