Two pot legalization ballot measures being contemplated for 2018 ballot.

South Dakota Public Radio reported yesterday that the leader of a medical marijuana measure which failed to reach the ballot for this past election is going to try again. And she’s planning on adding on recreational pot use in addition to promoting medical marijuana:

Melissa Mentele is the director of New Approach South Dakota. She says marijuana use is already wide spread in South Dakota and enforcement is costing the state $800,000 dollars a year.

Mentele says the group hoped to pass medicinal use first, but consistently ran into the problem of enforcing the law.

“They had issues with regulating it and being able to do their jobs effectively,” Mentele says. “So, what we have done in our new recreational bill is, we have designated the money made by taxes for recreational cannabis sales in South Dakota to go into our general education fund for teacher pay and for pay for law enforcement. The rest of it would go to the state as it needs”

Mentele says that could be projects like infrastructure, taxpayer refunds or giving back to native communities. Mentele says she wants recreational use passed for the right reasons.

Read it all here.

64 Replies to “Two pot legalization ballot measures being contemplated for 2018 ballot.”

  1. Anonymous

    It’s only a matter of time. You can get off your high horse and enact sensible provisions, or you can be steamrolled by the growing momentum. Not a fan myself, but the writing is on the wall.

      1. Anonymous

        Former Party of Pot legislative candidate Mentele will have a hard time again finding enough motivated volunteers and then there is the always high error rate with anything to do with pot. Lastly the voters will soundly reject it again once they see the problems associated with states that legalized.

        1. Anonymous

          I don’t think you’ve got a lot of inertia when you’re high, so getting sigs may be tough. I think people have enough ways to escape reality already.

      2. Anonymous

        …temporarily, perhaps. Trump’s views so far have been fairly pro states’ rights. Depends on who’s going to captain this particular ship – Sessions or Trump. Even still, the political blow-back from cracking down on California, Colorado, Oregon, et. al., will test how much AG Sessions is willing to spend on a fight that a clear majority of Americans won’t support. I’m of the opinion that any rollback in federal drug policy will be short-lived, and that the political winds are blowing the other direction. Like same-sex marriage, this argument is already settled. Which side of the fence will SD find itself on?

      3. Tara Volesky

        No he won’t. 23 states have already legalized it in one form or another. Trump already stated he’s going to leave it up to the states.

  2. Just askin

    What are the chances the legislature will get something going quickly so it is not so easy to get all these ballot measures on the election cycle for 2018 and beyond. So out of state people do not dictate SD laws?

  3. MC


    I have to admire their tendency.
    The measure keeps getting voted down, and they go back re work it and try again.

    1. Anonymous

      MC, Chemical dependency and for a few most likely from out of state the opportunity to financially score big

    2. Anonymous

      Keeps getting voted down? When was last time we voted? This is yet one more issue of some outdated conservatives once again ignoring the will of the people. Citizens are getting pretty sick of ignorant legislators on this issue, and the polling proves it.

  4. Jaa Dee

    “Along with nausea, patients undergoing chemotherapy often find it hard to maintain normal weight. Thankfully, marijuana has been shown to not only relieve nausea, but stimulate appetite as well. For patients with cancer, marijuana can help improve food intake and prevent unhealthy loss of weight.Oct 23, 2013

    Fortunately most folks never need to even think about a pediatric oncology / marrow transplant unit……Maybe some should visit one…. Look at the kids, they smile a lot……….when they are not puking… That is what chemo does with other side effects…with drugs so potent and some times deadly they make the ingredients in pot seem like an aspirin, maybe “you people” could demand they be banned from use….. “you people” could tell their parents their kids should be denied the only hope for life…… How about morphine when the pain gets intolerable?.That is a seriously addictive drug——-why the hell are “you people” not demanding it be banned from medical use? Why don’t “you people” tell the parents of those jaundiced, bald, sunken eyed smiling little kids that might or might or might live another year or day what and what not they should be allowed to use to make their suffering even a little less painful?

    I met a couple, their 4 year old was close to death, in agonizing pain, the mom refused to allow a morphine drip to ease the pain because it is addictive……………………. That was inhumane ignorance………….just like the inhumane ignorance of “you people”.

  5. Spencer

    Doesn’t the suicide petition make medical pot redundant? Why are we worrying about medicating people who should be committing suicide according to the same people?

    1. Anonymous

      Those are some bizarre questions. What is the logic? Are you trying to say that pot leads to suicide? What evidence do you cite? Or are you trying to say it is better terminal patients use morphine instead of pot? I guess the bottom line is we should consult with you regarding our medical decisions because we don’t know any better and the Doc is a liberal hippie? Why can’t we trust citizens to make their own decisions?

      1. anon

        Legalize pot and the libbies never find their way into the voting booth.

        Legalize suicide and the libbies again don’t make it into the voting booth – ever.

        Sounds like a reasonable plan to me.

  6. Anonymous

    20+ years of medical marijuana across over half the states and not a single state has re-prohibited it.

    And not one state that legalizes it for recreational purposes will go back either.

    That tells you all you need to know.

    1. Anonymous

      It tells us nothing other than those states have had issues with what was sold as medical pot which was essentially rec pot. Many things are at play right now with President elect Trump administration getting ready and not so great reports coming from states that legalized. Give it another 20 years to see what the long term effects, stats in other states and non biased research reports are before we consider any changes here in South Dakota.

    2. Anonymous

      Just reading the police reports and finding marijuana on those charged does not help the argument for legalization.

      Whenever there is a ballot measure article in the Argus there is usually the same out of state most likely industry paid social media posters in support of legalization. Those financial interests see a new market yet it’s ironic you do not see them posting in favor of legalization with all the crime reports where marijuana was found.

      We have enough issues with chemical dependency and certainly do not need another intoxicant legalized.

  7. Anonymous

    You lost this one, fellas. You’ve always been on the wrong side of history but now you’re on the wrong side of the American majority. Suck it.

    1. anon

      Irrelevant. The only things that matters is the South Dakota majority. What happens in Washington state or any other state doesn’t matter. Time will tell how South Dakotans will vote.

  8. Anonymous

    South Dakota is now nearly surrounded by medical marijuana states. The writing is on the wall. It will pass comfortably the next time it’s voted on.

              1. Anonymous

                I’m not the one claiming to be able to convince a clear majority of people to change their minds.

    1. Anonymous

      Thankfully Team Trump will be for LAW and ORDER with Sessions and Price on the team. In order to make America Great Again heads will need to be cracked once in a while both domestically and abroad. 🙂

      1. Anonymous

        You mean by honoring the law and order in states that have passed it, right? Or is the states rights thing all talk for you?

      2. Anonymous

        Donald Trump adds another marijuana opponent to his Cabinet
        The potheads are gonna freak since it is illegal under federal law in 50 states and either crack down and close the pot businesses or make it very difficult for them.

        Might be some potheads getting cracked in order to Make America Great Again.

        1. Anonymous

          Good luck with that. The genie is out of the bottle, and the Feds didn’t prosecute for marijuana possession 20 years ago, let alone now. Way too much tax money flowing to state coffers in legal states. There’s no going back, no matter who Trump has helping him.

          1. Anonymous

            “Way too much tax money flowing to state coffers in legal states.” That increase in tax revenue is going to pay for increase in social costs

            1. Anonymous

              The data suggests that social costs decrease in legal states. People can stop using opiates, for example, and the social harm that comes from opiate abuse far exceeds any harm from marijuana.

              Most of the tax revenues are used for schools and roads and other things we all need but don’t want to pay for. That’s why something like 70% of Colorado residents support legalization there.

              If the sky was really falling, wouldn’t at least one of the legal states try to return to prohibition?

              1. Anonymous

                There are efforts in those states to repeal legalization but they are heavily outspent by Big Marijuana.

                60 Minutes had a segment about babies being born in legal states with mothers who smoked pot during pregnancy figuring it was good for them like eating veggies because of all the misinformation pushed on our culture. Those babies have high levels of THC and can negatively affect brain development. The social costs will be high for them.

                An increase in school age kids going thru treatment because they thought smoking weed was harmless and actually good for them. So now we have kids that with smoking pot negatively brain development at a critical growth stage but now makes them highly at risk for addiction later in their lives.

                1. Anonymous

                  There’s no such thing as “Big Marijuana.” The only big money in this debate is on the other side (alcohol, tobacco, gambling, private prisons, etc.).

                  Every bit of success this issue has had across the country is from the grass roots. Americans have figured this issue out (8 wins, 1 loss in the last election).

                  Well, most Americans at least.

    2. Franklin

      Nearly surrounded? Not really. Pot is illegal for any reason in surrounding states of WY, NE and IA. It remains completed illegal in 21 states. Potheads and other criminals can simply opt to move to one of the states that offer sanctuary.

      1. Anonymous

        All the other states are wrong on this issue, Franklin? The vast majority of Americans are wrong? Have you considered that you might be the one who’s wrong?

        1. Franklin

          It has nothing to do with wrong or right and everything to do with values. Differing people live in differing states for a reason. South Dakota traditionally been against legalization. The legislature voted against medical legalization last session.

          1. Anonymous

            I can respect that.

            What I can’t understand is the purported “conservatives” who want the Feds to meddle in a state’s rights issue. What a joke.

            1. Franklin

              But you’re okay with the federal gov’t controlling health-care choices and mandating the people pay for it?

              You’re okay with the federal gov’t taking over state educational policy through Common Core?

              You’re okay with the EPA controlling our state waterways, right down to the little streams and creeks?

              You’re okay with the federal gov’t regulating sweeping gun bans and regulation?

              And you’re okay with the federal govt’ regulating who uses which toilet seat in our public schools?

              You must be a typical Dem.

              1. Anonymous

                Nope, I’m not ok with any of that, and your unfounded accusation makes me question whether or not you’re having this conversation in good faith.

                I’m a conservative Republican who actually understands what that means. A rarity I suppose.

        2. duggersd

          A majority does not necessarily make things right. If a majority of people believe it is OK to abuse one class of people, does that make it right?

          1. Anonymous

            There are constitutional protections to prevent that.

            There’s no provision in the constitution that overrides the will of the majority on this issue.

  9. Anonymous

    Pat it seems you can always count on blog traffic to increase whenever there is a posting that is pot related. Good for ad revenue 🙂

    1. Anonymous

      Like I said above, good luck pushing back in legal states. I actually hope they do try. Nothing will galvanize the end of prohibition like that would. It won’t go over well for your side.

      But they know that. Without any sort of mandate on this issue, they have no chance.

  10. Mel

    Oh how the tides have turned since we started this journey 2.5 years ago. The legalization movement has grown nationally, Physicians are on board, Cannabis is saving children with intractable seizure disorders lives, giving comfort to cancer patients & providing pain relief for many of our Vets. It’s a beautiful journey and it feels wonderful to be on the right side of history. The side of history that believes in saving lives, ending suffering & allowing a safer alternative for residents of SD.

    I have seen the article you posted Fred. Cannabis advocates are a small tight knit community nationwide and while we are concerned we also know the law. There was a law passed that bars the federal government from enforcing cannabis laws in states. Many think Trumps new cabinet will stop or overturn this. I disagree. Mr Trump is a businessman and cannabis is a billion dollar business in just half of the US. I foresee him protecting the states rights and possibly decriminalization nationwide. Either way my Momma raised a fighter and I am not stopping until every SD child with seizures, every cancer patient, every US Vet with PTSD & every qualified patient in this state has access. You can take that to the bank.

    Someone said these initiatives are run by out of state people. That is not true. Every board member & staff member of New Approach is a SD resident.

    Also there is no such thing as “Big Marijuana” there is no organization that spends thousands of dollars on cannabis legalization. It doesn’t exist….great story though. Maybe in 20-30 years.

    1. Anonymous

      Mel there are those of us that see the BS claims from those who are pushing this. Yes there are huge financial interests that have to gain from legalization. Ironically in Colorado a state that fully legalized weed it was denied 3 times as a treatment for PTSD since they did not see that it benefited vets.

      That 60 minutes segment on Colorado after legalization was disturbing with the physician stating it is very common now to have babies born with high levels of THC and was especially concerned with the negative impact on fetal brain development. The mothers commonly thought smoking weed was no big deal and was good for them based on what is put out by the drug culture. Do you realize what the social costs will be if that child is developmentally disabled? Does it really matter to you or the others pushing pot? I have been a mentor to a high school student that was born with fetal alcohol syndrome. There will be very limited opportunities for that student and will need some level of care for the rest of their lives.

      That physician$ addicting treatment centers noted that it is also affecting school aged kids whose brains are not fully developed till the mid to late 20s. Lets give these kids every chance to succeed rather than dumb them down plus leave them more at risk for chemical dependency later in life due to brain rewiring after being exposed to this intoxicant.

  11. Mel

    By keeping cannabis illegal we are basically giving our kids the green light to consume it. If you work with teens (I’m the mother of 3) ask them what is easier to obtain alcohol or cannabis. They will tell you it is cannabis because alcohol requires someone of age to purchase it for them. Remove cannabis from the hands of drug dealers who use it as an opportunity to corrupt children with harder drugs.

    I have an assignment for you. Find me one child whose mother smoked cannabis ONLY during her pregnancy that is developmentally delayed. I will give you 100’s of kids under 5 who consume cannabis for seizures who are making cognitive leaps and bounds. Children who are walking & talking all because of cannabis.

    I may be local (I live in Emery am a homeowner/business owner & mother) but I have connected with hundreds of families & patients nationwide to gather the info to move forward. I have 20+ years in healthcare and if I felt this wasn’t safe or was some thing that’s social cost outweighed the medical benefits I would stop. I would not give up time with my children & husband to speak all over this state. I would stop giving interviews to national publications and I would shut down NASD.

    I ask you all to do your research. If you have questions or want to have an in depth coffee conversation please reach out to me. I am always willing to spend the time to educate people. is how you can reach me.

    1. Anonymous

      kids can get meth and other drugs too but does that mean we should legalize them too?

      “Find me one child whose mother smoked cannabis ONLY during her pregnancy that is developmentally delayed.” We will know in a few years since it is now being documented and studied in Colorado and other states.

      Let the other states roll the dice on the risk and deal with the negative consequences from legalization. The data is coming in and even SD is feeling the negative effects from it too. Give it another 20-25 years with hard long term data as to the pros and cons before we consider it. Provided that the new Trump administration repeals legalization in those states anyways which is a real possibility.

  12. Anonymous

    Argus article titled Marijuana advocates hope to BLAZE a trail.

    Blaze as in toke. That is sure the truth and is why no one takes them seriously.