Five questions with John Dale, Cannabis Consumers for Liberty

It might not come as a surprise that I’m not a supporter of any of the three measures attempting to gather signatures to get on the ballot to legalize marijuana in the state.

So, when John Dale of Cannabis Consumers for Liberty, the group that submitted the first measure reached out and wanted to make his case for his “conservative motivations” behind bringing what might be the broadest legalization effort of the three, I thought it might be interesting reading to allow him to plead his case.

And for your reading, that brings us to Five questions with John Dale, Cannabis Consumers for Liberty:

1. Can you give us a little background on what your measure proposes to do?

The Cannabis Consumers for Liberty initiative aims to legalize cannabis, its flower (marijuana), and its fibers (hemp) and oils (CBD, CBG, THC).  Our group seeks to undo the prohibition created on the heels of the passage of the 21st Amendment to the US Constitution (de-prohibition of alcohol).  In years prior, the invention of the decorticator torpedoed the costs of producing hemp pulp for paper production and after the passage of the 21st Amendment, Harry J. Anslinger had lost a significant portion of his enforcement budget. This convergence of factors gave rise to the anti-cannabis lobby consisting of the US timber lobby and rent-taking T-men seeking expanded federal government power.  Cannabis was subsequently prohibited with the effect of creating a government sponsored advantage for the timber industry, and to give t-men operating money to continue the persecution of cannabis and alcohol black marketeers. The 21st Amendment was ratified by the requisite number of states on December 5, 1933.  The first serious regulation of cannabis came with The Marihuana Tax Act, enacted August 2, 1937 on the heels of the 1936 propaganda film Reefer Madness, an intellectually dishonest portrayal of the effects of cannabis use on teenagers.  For the record, evidence of cannabis use in human culture was first discovered to be in the archeological record some 8000 years ago.

2. You’ve noted to me that there are ‘conservative motivations’ behind bringing the ballot measure. Can you explain why you believe it to be in line with conservative values?

Prohibition of a plant put on Earth by God for human use is a violation of an eons-old moral order.  The destruction of the long-standing custom of using cannabis for social, industrial, and food is an affront to conservative sensibilities.  We stand on the shoulders of those who came before us who used cannabis to cross the seas, clothe themselves, and draft The US Constitution.  The US Constitution is written on Hemp parchment.  Betsy Ross is thought to have made the first US flag out of cannabis fiber.  That an unelected bureaucracy (FDA) bans the substance upon which The US Constitution is written is a direct offense to conservative principles.  Allowing cannabis production and use in a free and fair market without government sponsored monopolies is prudent.  Government sponsored monopolies through prohibition and regulation degrade variety and dynamism in the marketplace.  Monopolistic black market forces dishonestly flagged cannabis as a poison to empower black market forces to control means of production and artificially inflate prices. Prohibition of things posing no present danger to society is a failed and sordid attempt to create social utopia through totalitarian mandate to usurp human agency, create mindless followers, and harden an unmeritorious social hierarchy.  Prohibition of things like cannabis undermines the notion that people own their bodies. A person’s own body is her property, and property rights are fundamental to conservatism.  Cannabis legalization is a matter for localities to decide through their patronage of markets, yet an unelected bureaucracy has imposed prohibition on the entire country through the mis-scheduling of cannabis – a raw material input for textiles and manufacturing, medicine, and mild intoxicant – the same as heroine, an addictive and dangerous poison.  Conservatives believe in the restraint of power of our government.  Allowing the FDA to prohibit cannabis use within domestic free and fair markets is an egregious affront to the conservative’s desire for prudent restraints on the power of government and top-down communalization of our municipalities.  The fact that meth can be legally prescribed by a doctor while cannabis remains illegal even for textiles and medicine is a great example of why we should limit government and rely more on the wisdom of markets.  With the stroke of a pen, the government of The United States has regulated out of the economy a valuable source of raw materials for textiles, a viable and attainable source of medicine, and a viable alternative to alcohol as an intoxicant;
cannabis.  The prohibition of cannabis is ergo orthogonal to conservative principles.

3. There are now three initiated measures/constitutional amendments being proposed for the 2020 ballot which involve the legalization of marijuana. Why is your proposal better than the other two?

Of the three proposals on the table right now, ours is the only proposal that significantly reduces government bureaucracy and takes-out the black market.  Our proposal is functional, meaning it defines the spirit and intent of the legal ideology while empowering the legislature to do the job of backing-out the litany of spaghetti-like codified cannabis law. At the same time, the functional nature of our proposal gives courts the ability to cogently interpret the plethora of possible legal challenges to the law without consuming more space in the state’s legal codebook. Most important, the CC4L initiative is the only one of four options that disempowers the black market.  I say four because all indications are that the black market will thrive  if 1) we do nothing, 2) we pass and enact the other two initiatives.  In the medicinal initiative under consideration right now, the “legal defense” clause will be used as a sales tool to sell legions of non-medicinal users.  In the non-CC4L legalization initiative, police will lose probable cause to investigate users, who will obtain from black marketeers to avoid dispensary based surveillance.  The CC4L initiative was designed to take-out the black market, bringing all those criminals into the light, and encouraging them to obtain competitive advantage through customer service, product development, and intellectual property.  Those businesses not able to achieve competitive advantage through these and other legitimate and legal means will be banished from the market via customer choice.

4. The Attorney General’s opinion for your ballot measure gives the appearance that your ballot measure sets up marijuana to be treated like alcohol in terms of possession for those over 21. Yet it notes that localities can’t tax marijuana or paraphernalia, despite being on the front line for dealing with those that would abuse it. Counties argue with the state for a bigger portion of taxation on alcohol for this reason. Why would this be different?

Not allowing persecution through taxation and localized municipal controls is direct adherence to conservative principles.  In a free and fair market, if there is no demand for cannabis, a business will not subsist.  If the culture of an area is such that cannabis is not used or demanded, there will be no market, no cannabis production, no cannabis consumption, and no cannabis businesses or business license applications.  For those who wish to create their own personal economies by growing their own cannabis, a municipality should not be allowed to impose totalitarian controls on that person’s right to produce cannabis for personal consumption.  Section 15 of our proposal is meant to protect conservative cannabis free marketeers from a coordinated totalitarian assault from the reefer madness propagandized opposition who would seek to abort the restoration of a fundamentally conservative human right to produce and consume one of God’s most amazing gifts to mankind; cannabis.

5. There are only about 7 weeks left until initiated measure petitions are due. Where are you on petition signature collection? Do you anticipate you will have sufficient signatures to turn in?

Regretfully, I must decline to publish specifics regarding our support since if we have a lot of support, attrition might take-hold.  If we have dwindling support, apathy might take-hold.  That said, I will say a word about our process.  We have created a database that we use to allow supporters to opt-in. When cannabis advocates text keyword REEFER to 605 309 7007, it initiates a process of voter registration verification.   When we have enough verified voters in our database, we need around 18 days to collect all of our signatures using software routines that optimize our efforts using the geographic information contained in voter registration data, along with our ability to communicate directly with our supporters in real-time.  Our referral network is growing quickly, and support for our cause increases exponentially as word spreads about our authentic, conservative minded civic engagement.


And there you go.

Petitions are due in at the Secretary of State’s office before end of business at 5pm on November 4th.  We’ll know then how John does with his collection.

17 thoughts on “Five questions with John Dale, Cannabis Consumers for Liberty”

  1. Greetings – there is a typo in the piece.

    The number to text in for participation in our cannabis vision is 605 309 7007

    Thanks much for allowing me to voice my ideas.


    John Dale
    Spearfish, SD 57783

  2. don’t sign any petitions – castor oil plant is also a plant. Can we agree that they are not the same plant, however? Also plants: cucumber, corn, Bermuda grass.

    Curious, if there was a petition to ban petitions, would you sign it?

  3. If marijuana becomes legal, will people be allowed to “hunt” it they way they are allowed to “hunt” asparagus on private property without the owners’ permission?
    On township roads the property lines run down the middle of the road and the right of way is 33’ on either side. This results in people “hunting” asparagus in our ditches, on our property.
    Currently the property owners own all the trees, shrubs, noxious weeds (leafy spurge) and marijuana which might grow in the right of way, but not the asparagus.
    I want to see some discussion of the status of ditch weed once it’s legal. Will it belong to the property owners or the public?
    The asparagus “hunters” are bad enough. I don’t want stoners stumbling around in my ditch, falling down, drowning in high water, breaking their legs and suing me for damages.
    And if it is decided that the property owners do not own the ditch weed, be prepared for a whole lot of us to tell our county weed supervisors to pound sand.

    1. I wholeheartedly disagree with your understanding of Public Right Of Way. The 33 feet is on either side of the original section line used for laying out the grid system but not the original property line. You do not ‘own’ the Public ROW, the public does. Different units of government have authority over the administration of the ROW, such as townships, cities, counties, and the state of sd. Property owners are responsible for a level of maintenance in the ROW. In the city you maintain from the back of the sidewalk to the back of the curb. That might mean mowing, it might mean tree trimming, or sidewalk replacement. On rural road that would mean mowing the ditch between the fence and the edge of the road. I say this as someone who manages public row’s, who owns urban property, and rural property. Road hunting is one place to look for guidance on public row. I can shoot any bird that pops up out of the ROW. I can even retrieve that bird beyond the ROW on private property if i leave my gun behind. The birds in the row are eligible for the public to take the same way your asparagus is, or morel mushrooms, or horseradish.. Its interesting to travel the state and learn about the unique things that people ‘hunt’ for.

      Speaking of hemp on public property. Growing up in the Pierre there was always a ton of hemp growing on the north side of town, especially on the site where the DCI building was eventually built. I would venture to guess there still is wild hemp within a stones throw of that building.

  4. Grudznick are you going to financially sponsor John Dale’s petition efforts so this poor fella with no money can get out of Spearfish so he could travel to other cities in the state and bring his petition to the people?

    He would have to avoid areas where 5G network has been installed and is now operational. Surveillance cameras are to be avoided also.

    1. Anonymous – As stated in the above article, I will not need donations until I have reasonable assurance there are enough registered voters out there who will sign the petition. Otherwise, I would have to spend an unreasonable amount of money to bring out-of-state ringers to force something on the people of SD that the people of SD really do not want or for which the people of SD are not yet ready. Of course, the other alternative is to exploit the sick to create my own government sponsored monopoly on the means of cannabis production and sales. Regarding 5G – when growing cannabis, I would not advise putting 5G emitters next to plants. It has proven harmful to their DNA, and to the DNA of the people tending the crops; a totalitarian violation of liberty and human rights and crop quality. Regarding surveillance cameras, I have no problem with them .. it’s the AI fronted connection to facial recognition databases used to arbitrarily assign a social credit score that I’m worried about. That said, I’m fine with closed circuit surveillance systems used to identify and prosecute crimes against property owners. Is that conservatively prudent enough for you?

      Thanks for the comment and have a GREAT DAY! 😀

  5. Anne Beal – My thought is that the quality of volunteer cannabis plants will be very poor in comparison to that which can be grown and harvested on a windowsill or greenhouse. If tobacco were able to grow here, I think people would still go to the corner store to get their cigarettes rather than risking the recourse from exploring others’ property for ditch tobacco. Interesting thought .. I remember hearing my elders talk about the 70’s in SD when cannabis was literally growing in ditches and all around. I’m thinking a few wily hippies were casting seeds or something.

    1. John, you can buy lovely asparagus in the Supermarket but that does not prevent people from sloshing around in watery ditches, tripping over old barbed wire fences to “hunt”
      Right now, because it’s illegal, the marijuana belongs to the property owners, just like the leafy spurge. We own it because it’s illegal. If it becomes legal, then people will want it, just like the asparagus.

      1. I can see some sporadic issues along these lines occurring, but likely there would be more folks jumping fences to steal cannabis grown with love and containing THC.

        But I like your vision of cannabis users as industrious and motivated. It helps break the stereotype. 😉

  6. John Dale is a carpetbagger selling snake oil out of a Spearfish rental.

    All cannabis industry growth in South Dakota should be the exclusive domain of the tribes both on the reservations and on their off-reservation properties.

      1. If more tribal members had access to cannabis, it would encourage industry, self sufficiency, and discourage alcoholism and meth abuse (the cannabis flower, Marijuana, has proven an effective and safer alternative).

        But I disagree that a cannabis monopoly should be provided to anyone, tribes included.

    1. Instead of signing these silly waste of time petitions we should send the pot smokers down to little grow operation on Red Rock road by Santa Fe New Mexico. Food, shelter and the demon weed provided.

  7. Anonymous – “carpetbagger”

    I had to refresh my memory regarding carpetbaggers. So, you’re claiming that I came to South Dakota for personal enrichment? South Dakota – a *ahem* fertile market for information technology sales and services?

    As my Norwegian Grandmother (Belle Fourche) used to say, I have as much clout around here as a fart in a whirlwind. Maybe she was just hedging.

    I think my grandma would call you a chicken-shit for having the moral compass of a rabbit and the Internet courage of a trout.

    Have a nice day, Anonymous.



    John “Not An Anonymous Internet Troll” Dale

  8. One does have to appreciate Mr. Dale’s quixotica in a state where imagination is historically repressed.

  9. CANNABIS TRADE FEDERATION HIRES MERCURY: The Cannabis Trade Federation, one of several trade groups representing the cannabis industry, has added Mercury to its stable of outside lobbying firms, including two lobbyists with Trump administration connections. Bryan Lanza, who worked on President Donald Trump’s campaign and transition; Al Simpson, a former chief of staff to Mick Mulvaney , the acting White House chief of staff, while Mulvaney was a congressman; and Rodney Emery, a former Democratic congressional aide, will lobby for the trade group, according to a disclosure filing.

    — The cannabis industry is increasingly turning to K Street as more states have legalized recreational cannabis use and support for legalization rises among voters. The Cannabis Trade Federation also retains Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, the Raben Group and VS Strategies. Another trade group, the National Cannabis Roundtable, retains the Liaison Group and Squire Patton Boggs. And a third group, the Global Alliance for Cannabis Commerce, retains K&L Gates. From Politico. Lee S is right, there is BIG money behind the push to legalize pot.

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