On November 1, just before the elections, the Secretary of State’s website posted LRC Comments for a new ballot measure designed to effectively legalize pot in South Dakota:
And what a measure it is. It may be doomed to failure quicker than the last one which failed to make the ballot.
The measure starts out by barring South Dakota Law Enforcement from enforcing any federal laws regarding pot. And it just gets worse from there, as it allows people under 21 years of age to be pot industry workers, and sets a fairly low bar for penalizing underage drug use of 10 hours community service. Drug dealers get off almost as easily, topping out at 100 hours of community service and a $1000 fine.
In one of the points that probably going to kill it, it notes that “No locality may pass any ordinance that provides for the location of operation of a cannabis-related business.” This portion of the measure would literally bar cities from restricting the location of pot shops opening across the street from churches and elementary schools.
What potential benefit does all this decriminalization act offer South Dakota? Why, the measure also expressly dedicates any tax/fee revenue from pot sales not to the general fund but explicitly dedicates them to “early-stage, high-risk local agriculture new venture, research, and development.”
So.. not only would South Dakota have to allow dispensaries next to the Boys & Girls Club, any revenues in the state are by law tied up into high-risk projects, and can’t be used for things such as law enforcement or addiction treatment.
It may be a measure South Dakotans get behind. Far, far behind as they run the proponents out of town, tarred and feathered on a rail.