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HB 1024: Kevin Jensen and Other Republicans Uphold Federal Gun Control to Wag Fingers at Medical Marijuana Users

Republicans hate federal gun regulations… until they don’t.

Representative Kevin Jensen (R-16/Canton) offers House Bill 1024, which would require applicants for medical marijuana cards to receive and acknowledge with a separate signature that the federal Gun Control Act of 1968 prohibits pot possessors from packing pistols (or rifles, or bullets). The HB 1024 notice would also require acknowledgment that South Dakota medical marijuana users are violating federal law, which still deems marijuana a controlled substance.

HB 1024 is another erosion of South Dakotans’ right to access the weed they think cures what ails them, a right approved by voters in 2020. It’s bad legislation in that it would write into state law references to federal law that may be on the verge of changing as Congress moves toward decriminalization (come on, Kevin—at least include a de-trigger clause!).

HB 1024 is also another exposure of South Dakota Republicans’ sheer sloganeering hypocrisy. In 2022, Kevin Jensen co-sponsored and voted for House Bill 1052, a dangerous nullification bill that would have banned the state from providing any help in enforcing federal gun laws. That 2022 nullification bill would have prohibited Jensen’s proposal to remind medical marijuana users that they are breaking the federal gun/pot law. Jensen’s HB 1024 co-sponsors include eight other legislators who co-sponsored the 2022 federal gun law nullification (Deutsch, Fitzgerald, Phil Jensen, Mulally, Overweg, Perry, Frye-Mueller, and Stalzer) and one more who voted for it (Gross).

Jensen and his Republican colleagues are thus perfectly happy to use the federal gun laws they oppose to augment their efforts to tangle up the medical marijuana they oppose in more paperwork and bureaucracy.


  1. Richard Schriever 2023-12-26 06:36


    Consent of the Governed Act:

    “Any initiated act or Constitutional Amendment passed by a direct vote of the people, shall not be nullified or altered or amended in any way by any means other to a direct vote of the people.”

    How many examples every year do we need to see the need for this??

    I ask again, how is Professor Bengs’ campaign for his weak-kneed, over thought version coming along?

  2. larry kurtz 2023-12-26 08:13

    Shorter headline: Republicans Control

  3. John 2023-12-26 08:55

    It’s long past the time to repeal the 2d Amendment and adopt Swiss gun laws.

  4. larry kurtz 2023-12-26 09:09

    Cannabis is an effective treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and South Dakota’s abominable winters used to take their toll on me: long, frigid, endless despair and Exit 14 looking like a monument to the clear-span building that has been air-dropped into Antarctica.

    A study recently published in the Journal of Rural Health found the suicide rate for farmers is not only the highest of any occupation in America, it’s spiking because of a lack of ready access to mental health care services. In 2018 the Rapid City Journal blamed the South Dakota Republican Party for spikes in suicides and depression. So did a Sanford executive. Still another study just concluded cannabis is an effective antidepressant therapy for some patients while keeping it illegal creates paranoia, anxiety and stigmatization.

    But living where winter is less than a month long, days always get above freezing, the legislature is comprised of caring Democrats and cannabis is selling for $4.20 a gram my SAD has vanished and replaced with effervescent hopefulness.

  5. larry kurtz 2023-12-26 09:14

    The Republicans on that list want all South Dakotans to be just like them: sullen, hostile, mean-spirited and anal retentive to such a degree nothing can dislodge the pent-up butt hurt.

  6. disposable everything 2023-12-26 09:45

    So this is the Ione exception to the 2nd ammendment the idiots in Pierre feel is worthy of legislation? Wtaf

  7. sx123 2023-12-26 10:32

    Using similar logic, beer possessors can’t pack heat, meaning: Nobody in South Dakota can carry a gun…

  8. grudznick 2023-12-26 10:33

    The Demon Weed is bad. It is very bad.

  9. sx123 2023-12-26 10:37

    Grud, booze is about as bad as it gets. Stats easily show this.

  10. John 2023-12-26 10:38

    disposable: While I agree with your sentiment; it’s likely in this age of court-created 2d Amendment absolutism that any infringement on gun ownership or user or use will be ‘unconstitutional’. I’m surprised in this age of 2d Amendment absolutism that none of the ammo-sexuals haven’t sought to overturn the National Firearms Act of 1934 which banned some, and put machine gun ownership under strict regulation, banned sawed-off shotguns, etc.

    Most justices and judges, and too many legislators view the US Constitution as a suicide pact. Freedom from responsibility. Freedom from accountability.

  11. sx123 2023-12-26 10:41

    I’ll give up my guns before giving up my beer though. Beer is perhaps the greatest thing mankind has ever invented, and I’m not talking domestic brew; I mean those ancient Bavarian and Belgium recipes. Ain’t nothing better…

  12. JO 2023-12-26 11:21

    grudznick Do you know anyone among your multiple friends who are diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis or any other malady that use medical marijuana and find significant relief of symptoms? The 2nd Amendment needs an overhaul.

  13. Dave Spier 2023-12-26 11:35

    SD house rep Kevin Jensen is also a NRA instructor. When a firearm purchaser fills out the 4473 required for a firearm purchase, the federal law concerning firearms and devil’s lettuce is one of the questions.

    Kevin Jensen’s bill makes it clear to the devil’s lettuce user/purchaser that the Gun Control Act of 1968 made it legal for the ATF to come take your guns if they choose to use this substance legally or illegally..

    I believe Kevin Jensen’s definition of gun control is the same as mine – the ability to hit your target.

    Be very cautious of any SD state reps and SD state senators who oppose this bill. They want to make it easier for the feds to take your guns.

  14. larry kurtz 2023-12-26 11:52

    After New Mexico legalized for adults over 21 the therapeutic cannabis program is collapsing due in large part because of stupid federal gun laws. Buy cannabis on the reservations trapped in South Dakota and just lie on your firearm application.

  15. Bob Newland 2023-12-26 12:09

    Once again, I am mystified at the respondents on this blog who treat the coward grudznutz as if it were human.

  16. grudznick 2023-12-26 12:13

    Ms. JO, I do not. I do know some fellows who toke up, but they do it for the buzz and make no excuses about using it for “medical” reasons. They laugh and laugh about their cards.

  17. bearcreekbat 2023-12-26 12:32

    Apparently the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals recently addressed an identical issue:

    A federal appeals court in August struck down a decades-old law barring users of illegal drugs from possessing firearms – another blow to US gun regulations after the Supreme Court cleared the way for courts to reexamine the nation’s gun laws under a new legal standard – and a ruling that could be relevant in the new indictment of Hunter Biden.

    In a unanimous judgment from a three-judge panel of the conservative 5th US Circuit Court of Appeals, the court said the 1968 law is unconstitutional, citing a landmark 2022 Supreme Court decision that changes the framework that lower courts must use when analyzing gun restrictions.
    . . .
    The ruling means that the man who brought the challenge to the regulation, Patrick Daniels, will have his July 2022 conviction under the law thrown out. Daniels had been sentenced to nearly four years in prison and three years of probation.

    “As applied to Daniels, then, (the federal gun law) violates the Second Amendment,” Smith wrote.

    Daniels had been arrested in April 2022 after law enforcement officers searched his car during a stop and found marijuana butts and two loaded firearms. The officers did not administer a drug test the night of the stop, but Daniels admitted that he was a frequent user of marijuana. . . . . (emphasis supplied)

  18. Richard Schriever 2023-12-26 12:34

    sx123, as a former representative for the longest continually operating brewery on Earth (since 1634 – Paulaner – Munich), I concur with your tastes in bier.

  19. sx123 2023-12-26 12:44

    I was drinking Paulaner Oktoberfest on Christmas Eve. I know that’s out of season, but dang, it’s good stuff. Got some different Trappists for this week…

  20. sx123 2023-12-26 12:59

    Richard, you used to work for Paulaner? If so, very cool. If that was more of a metaphor, good one!

    As for the topic and weed and firearms, just like don’t drink and hunt/drive, don’t toke and hunt/drive. Since the feds dont really enforce weed laws in general, why should they enforce this one with regards to firearm posession?

  21. LCJ 2023-12-26 13:08

    For the record alcohol, smoking and gambling are much more addictive than weed.
    The sounds and lights in video lottery machines are specifically designed to stimulate the player and make them spend more.
    Cigarettes are more difficult to quit than heroin.
    SD was too slow to make weed legal.
    Already, many people are car pooling to Missouri and the two tribes in Minnesota that sell to out of state customers.
    January 4 their will be another one even closer to SD

  22. All Mammal 2023-12-26 13:45

    “Any practical gun control will automatically make criminals out of law abiding citizens overnight!” They screech and fret when it comes to red-flagging abusive prickheads when attempting to purchase a firearm to teach that b/w/s a lesson, or when a 20 yr/old male with mental issues wants to buy AR-15s with armor-piercing rounds. No infringing on that. Oh my!

    Yet when it comes to mature men and women sweetly exorcising personal freedom, without bothering anyone, “Disarm them and criminalize them!”

    Butt plugs in our state’s law-making profession should come up with something that actually makes life better and more safe and can it with the holier than thou stuff. Pull that plug out, it is unbecoming.

  23. larry kurtz 2023-12-26 13:57

    I quit feeling sorry a long time ago for the poor slobs who are stuck living in off-reservation South Dakota.

  24. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-12-26 14:42

    BCB, very interesting case law. We are in the Eighth Circuit, so the Fifth Circuit’s ruling doesn’t enjoin enforcement of the drug portion of the 1968 Gun Control Act here, but it is interesting that Rep. Kevin Jensen didn’t catch this significant precedent cutting down the law he’s citing. It would appear that if anyone tried to prosecute a medical marijuana user for buying or owning a gun in South Dakota, that defendant could cite the Fifth Circuit’s ruling and, more importantly, the Clarence Thomas framework on which that ruling was based, the ridiculous but 6-3-SCOTUS-endorsed idea that a gun control law can only stand if lawmakers can identify a clear historical parallel to that law that was in effect when the framers wrote the Second Amendment.

    In other words, according to the Trump Court that Kevin Jensen and his co-sponsors surely celebrate, HB 1024 would warn medical marijuana users of a prosecution that would not happen.

  25. larry kurtz 2023-12-26 16:50

    Jensen, et al. don’t care about the rule of law any more than they care about children after they’re born. Their entire political agenda centers on raising campaign cash no matter who their victims are.

  26. O 2023-12-26 18:23

    Absolute rights are absolute for the GOP until other absolute rights come along — or other situational opportunities arise. Still, nothing trumps profit — not even the Second Amendment/Commandment rises above shoving money into one’s pocket.

  27. DaveFN 2023-12-26 21:34


    The matter is more complicated than merely being an issue of what is more or less addictive.

    A chemical entity can be debilitating and not be at all addictive. I think of those chemicals which directly act upon and destroy the substantia nigra of the brain and thus induce Parkinson’s. No addiction necessary.

  28. DaveFN 2023-12-26 22:26

    …and no addiction incureed. No addictive side effects, but too late. The damage is done.

  29. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-12-27 05:00

    On addiction: since BCB has provided the Fifth Circuit precedent and the Clarence Thomas framework to demonstrate that HB 1042’s warning is obsolete, perhaps Rep. Kevin Jensen will want to hoghouse his bill to warn medical marijuana users of the dangers of addiction. Or perhaps another legislator will take up the cause and hoghouse HB 1042 to provide individuals applying for licenses to sell guns of the apparent addictive nature of guns in American culture. Our addiction to guns (alongside our !) appears to kill a lot more people than anyone’s addiction to marijuana.

    Hmmm… maybe Kevin and his fellow gun-clingers are just worried that more people using marijuana mean more people chilling out and not feeling like they have to carry guns around to feel good.

  30. Cory Allen Heidelberger Post author | 2023-12-27 05:02

    But remember: we’re talking here about medical marijuana. In general, we shouldn’t take marijuana, just like we shouldn’t take morphine or codeine or opioids. But if you’re sick and the doctor says marijuana will ease your pain, use marijuana, professionally prescribed and carefully used, is tolerable.

  31. David Bergan 2023-12-27 09:32

    Does anyone else find it interesting how l.k. thinks that suspected cat ownership is grounds to assume someone is crazy… but daily weed indulgence makes one healthy, wealthy, and wise?

    Replace marijuana with felines on the controlled substance list! Give your 6 year old daughter a bong not a kitty! /sarcasm

    Kind regards,

  32. larry kurtz 2023-12-27 09:44

    Mr. Bergan’s sarcasm belies his prejudices.

  33. leslie 2023-12-27 10:37

    Marijuana, whether medical or not, like nicotine and THC etc methods of delivery, is engineered and “specifically designed to stimulate the [user] and make them spend more.” Science does not know yet how addictive it is and whether it is worse, or not, than heroin, alcohol or cigarettes etc.

    Introducing young consumers, medically or recreationally, to new highs is not likely, in the long run, to turn out well. Guessing Hunter’s “admitted” addiction genuses had something to do with pot, as we used to call “weed” in today’s apologist vernacular.

    I suggest Bear was emphasizing the the ironic foolishness of Republicans never-ending attempts to sic DOJ on Hunter Biden to detract from Democrat’s largely successful national and world leadership ole’ Joe is serving up like chocolate ice cream, as is Cory in this cover article re: HB 1024.

    Guns are the present danger we must pay attention to.

    For example, March 2023, in a Nashville school one morning, “nine-year-old students Evelyn Dieckhaus, Hallie Scruggs, and William Kinney were all killed in the shooting. Substitute teacher Cynthia Peak; custodian Mike Hill [shot first through a plate glass entry door w/one of the two assault rifles carried by the 28 year old perpetrator] and Dr. Katherine Koonce, head of The Covenant School, also died in the rampage.”

    152 bullets were fired from two assault rifles with large capacity magazines, and the perpetrator’s hand gun. Police arrived immediately, and immediately killed the perpetrator while under assault rifle fire from the upstairs school windows.

    Rationalizing drug use in addiction, and assault weapon use in mass shootings is pretty much the same behavior. The Tennessee legislature has ignored pleas for regulation, but “we’re going to keep showing up every January for regular session after, and we’re gonna do that until we get change,” Covenant mother Sarah Shoop Neumann said.

  34. DaveFN 2023-12-27 19:03


    “But if you’re sick and the doctor says marijuana will ease your pain, use marijuana, professionally ***prescribed*** and carefully used, is tolerable.”

    Marijuana and marijuana-derived products are not approved by the FDA and therefore cannot be “prescribed” by a physician.

    To date the FDA has approved ONLY Epidiolex (cannabidiol) for rare forms of epilepsy. It therefore falls under strict quality testing, control, and purity FDA regulations and can therefore be prescribed by physicians. (There are additionally three synthetic cannabis-related drug products–which do not occur naturally in cannabis, unlike cannabidiol. These are Marinol (dronabinol), Syndros (dronabinol), and Cesamet (nabilone) which are FDA approved and therefore may be prescribed by physicians).

    The FDA has not approved any marketing application for cannabis for the treatment of any disease or condition.

    This means that absolutely no “medical products” sold in various “dispensaries” popping up everywhere have been approved by the FDA.

    The most any physician can do is “recommend”–not “prescribe”— medical cannabis products for certain conditions, and this in some states only,

    Marijuana itself may contain numerous contaminants, including heavy metals, aflatoxin and other mycotoxins, pesticide residues, solvent extraction residues, naturally-occurring pyrrolizidine alkaloids (of which some 200 are hepatotoxic and hepatocarcinogenic). Caveat emptor.

    More here on the basics:

    “While the FDA has approved some prescription cannabis medications, it has not approved any of the medical cannabis products found at dispensaries across the country.

    The FDA approves ALL prescription medications in the U.S. This approval process requires extensive testing involving humans. This testing ensures that medications are both effective and safe for human consumption.”

    To reiterate: Only FDA-approved prescription medications in the US may be prescribed. Cannabis products in dispensaries may be physician recommended but not physician prescribed.

  35. Bob Newland 2023-12-27 19:25

    In 1937, Congress passed the “Marijuana Tax Act,” which effectively killed a robust hemp industry in the USA. That law, and every single law passed since then which “regulated” or banned or prescribed punishment for possession, use or sale of cannabis has been insane. That includes the recent spate of “medical use” laws in several states.

    NOTHING about cannabis justifies placing a user in jail. The lives damaged, ruined and lost, and the tens of millions of person-years of prison meted out for violations of these insane laws are a social tragedy of a scale not matched since the abolition of slavery.

  36. DaveFN 2023-12-27 23:05

    Bob Newland

    “NOTHING about cannabis justifies placing a user in jail. The lives damaged, ruined and lost, and the tens of millions of person-years of prison meted out for violations of these insane laws are a social tragedy of a scale not matched since the abolition of slavery.”

    Be that as it may, such totally ignores the issue of quality control and consumer safety when it comes to use of cannabis and its derivatives free from harmful contaminants. Jail may indeed be a lesser price to pay than physical harm.

  37. All Mammal 2023-12-27 23:24

    Except weed never took a life. Incarceration has. Exponentially.

    I’d be more worried about the toxins we eat and drink with the blessings of the FDA and the inspector general.

  38. Bob Newland 2023-12-28 06:43

    Dave: To the extent FDA laws apply to tomatoes, I’d consider endorsing that extent to cannabis.

  39. Bob Newland 2023-12-28 06:46

    I love the way Dave FN tosses off tens of millions of years of incarceration for nothing and thousands of people shot by cops for nothing as a “be that as it may.”

  40. DaveFN 2023-12-29 22:24

    Bob Newland

    Curious that you “love that.”. But thanks anyway.

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