State officials concerned about hemp opening up a pathway to legalizing pot

From the Argus Leader, State Law enforcement and Health Department Officials are raising the alarm over how the legalization of hemp in South Dakota is simply a gateway to legalizing marijuana in the state, and that there still isn’t any way to reliably tell the difference when testing for illegal drugs in the state:

In February, Public Safety Secretary Craig Price said industrial hemp would stretch law enforcement resources. Health Secretary Kim Malsam-Rysdon said testing industrial hemp would increase the state’s testing lab’s workload.

Many of those concerns were echoed Monday, with both Price and Malsam-Rysdon showing resistance in legalizing hemp. Price said legalizing hemp would open a pathway to legalizing marijuana and said it would put strain on field officers who wouldn’t be able to field test material to determine if it was hemp or marijuana. He said other states have stopped all prosecution of marijuana cases pending a lab test result.

“I certainly don’t want to do anything that would further increase the threat to our next generation of kids,” Price said. “If you’re so strongly against legalization of marijuana, please consider the impact of legalization of industrial hemp would have on that very issue.”

Read the entire story here.

It’s pretty simple. Until such time that officers on our front lines of the war against drugs can tell the difference between what proponents might call benign hemp and illegal street drugs, the state should proceed cautiously.

28 Replies to “State officials concerned about hemp opening up a pathway to legalizing pot”

  1. Truth

    They are spot on– what baffles me is how so many Republican legislators are believing this BS that it is about agriculture when all it is really about is getting recreational marijuana legalized.

    1. Anonymous

      Do you have any evidence to support this premise? Of the states that use industrial hemp as an agricultural commodity, which of those have legalized recreational?

    2. Anonymous

      The problem is Noem isn’t operating in good faith with legislators. She should just say no rather than being fake.

  2. Anonymous

    Empowering the reservations to lead hemp industry growth makes sense for relations with the tribes.

  3. Fred Deutsch

    I downloaded the lengthy list of questions. I plan to seek my own independent answers.I will also listen to public testimony provided the summer study committee. I’m not an advocate of legalizing pot; if law enforcement believes hemp legalization will cause problems with enforcement of state and federal pot laws, than this is a priority for me. I’ll review all the data and decide accordingly when it comes time to vote.

    1. Anonymous

      Go find out why ND law enforcement are so much brighter than not only SD law enforcement, but our governor as well. This state needs to retire the dinosaurs who are still trying to parade around their reefer madness propaganda.

      1. tara volesky

        Hey, when you got to take your trip to Kentucky to talk to the Hempsters, did they serve you any moonshine? Hope you had a great time, thanks to the taxpayers of SD.

    2. tara volesky

      Fred. you Legislators need to hear testimony from cops that have wasted their time with the war on drugs. Their organization is called Law Enforcement Against Prohibition. They are the real experts.

  4. Michael L. Wyland

    What industrial hemp advocates need is a spokesperson and a platform that is simultaneously anti-marijuana. Otherwise, hemp retains the appearance of a gateway crop to a “gateway drug” (Pot).

    More specifically, what safeguards and guarantees would industrial hemp advocates support that would solidify the separation from marijuana in terms of legality, production, and use/consumption? If any have been articulated, I must have missed them.

    1. Anonymous

      So hemp advocates need to disprove your slippery slope fallacy and fear driven position supported by false information? Your statements make you look really….well, let’s just say that alone should disqualify you to ever lead in any capacity.

    2. Anonymous

      Good point! The potheads and those looking to profit off them ruin it for everyone. Potheads are pushing this bigtime.

    3. tara volesky

      Michael, you are talking to us like we are little babies. Better do some studies on corn and barley…..that is a gateway to alcoholism. Oh, don’t forget grapes too, they could turn you into a wino. Hemp vodka is the best.

  5. Jupiter Base Lander

    Planning Student is very astute. There’s middle ground to be considered. Because cops can’t tell the difference, they can arrest anyone with either weed or hemp. If it’s hemp the owner can pay to prove it to a judge. If it’s pot, nothing changed.

  6. Anonymous

    Hehehe Tara I was just thinking about that. Corn is used to make ethanol which can kill you if you drink too much. Hemp, even marijuana, cannot be overdosed on. We must be cautious about corn!

  7. tara volesky

    I don’t drink ethanol but I love smelling that ethanol gasoline…… that will knock you out. lol. See how crazy this is.

    1. Anonymous

      Tara you are not a huffer are you? Ethanol gasoline fumes? Oh dear. That would explain a lot.

  8. Anonymous

    Now instead of taxes coming in they’ll be going out to pay for this ridiculous arrest. Good job Noem and your ultra-paranoid cops and AG.

  9. Anonymous

    “Forty-seven states have legalized hemp so far”

    Bottom 3 in the nation again. Are 47 states really that much smarter than the apparent idiots we have in Pierre? Cops in 47 states are smarter than ours?

  10. tara volesky

    Close the SD Boarders to any truckers hauling agricultural hemp. So ridiculous. SD is losing millions of dollars every year from hemp prohibition. The Legislators that voted against farmers need to be prohibited from serving in the Legislature.