Gov Noem on Hemp; Dumber than a box of Rocks

We used to have this Chocolate Lab Mutt on the farm called Duke, but mostly we would refer to him as ‘Dumber than a box of rocks’ to our neighbors, besides wagging his big goofy tail and trying to kill our farm animals he wasn’t much good for anything.

I kind of wonder if Noem’s stance on industrial hemp isn’t the same? Just read her incredibly ignorant statement on the issue;

Dear Mr. Speaker and Members of the House of Representatives,

I respectfully return to you House Bill 1191, with my VETO. House Bill 1191 is an Act to legalize the growth, production, and processing of industrial hemp and derivative products in the state.

South Dakota must stand as an example for the rest of the country, not simply go along with others. Our focus must be on leading for South Dakota’s next generation. Our state is not yet ready for industrial hemp.

You only ‘lead the way’ when you are the first one to try something new, not last. Forty-one states are already ‘Leading the Way’. Besides that, it is a crop that has been used thousands of years across the world. Apparently Noem wants South Dakota to be dead last on Hemp production, and why not, we are last in every other category except government corruption where we are first place.

Foremost among the many defects of this bill are the challenges it creates for law enforcement. HB 1191 complicates law enforcement searches and provides a ready-made defense for those breaking our drug laws. This poorly drafted bill changes the definition of marijuana with little regard for the implications elsewhere in our Code. It would create uncertainty for prosecution under our ingestion statute because the source of THC is placed in doubt when industrial hemp products that contain small amounts of THC, such as cannabidiol or CBD, are legalized. As Governor, I will not leave it to our courts to interpret how this bill impacts our prohibition on the active ingredient in marijuana, and I do not believe the Legislature intended to complicate enforcement of our ingestion statute in this way.

Actually leaving it up to the ‘courts’ would be the right way to go, because I believe there isn’t a judge in the state that would prosecute a hemp farmer for producing a plant that contains only a trace of THC. And since Hemp isn’t Marijuana (that’s why the definition was changed) why would law enforcement be involved with harvesting it? They wouldn’t be.

Although proponents claim hemp has a wide variety of uses, the legislative debate makes it clear that this bill is less about helping farmers and more about commercial interest in one product: CBD. No other type of hemp producer or processor retained paid lobbyists this Session. HB 1191 rejected critical parts of the amendment my Administration discussed with the bill’s sponsors. It would instead allow the immediate, widespread production and use of CBD, as well as other hemp derivatives, even though the Food and Drug Administration (“FDA”) has yet to approve them as safe for therapeutic use or for interstate commerce. In fact, the FDA has not yet begun its regulatory process on hemp derivatives, including CBD. South Dakota should be guided by the FDA on these issues, not special interests.

Well, she is right about one thing, without hemp you can’t make CBD and you can’t make CBD without growing hemp. The makers of CBD will just buy from other states and continue to make the product whether hemp is legal in SD or not. Noem seems to be under the impression that if SD doesn’t grow hemp, CBD won’t be available here. WOW! Makes you wonder where the grocery stores are getting salmon and halibut?

As I first stated many weeks ago, HB 1191 is premature. There is no urgent problem requiring an immediate solution this session. Until the U.S. Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) issues its own rules, the regular growth and interstate transport of hemp cannot begin. No industrial hemp will cross into South Dakota without those rules, which USDA has announced it will not issue until late 2019. We have no way of knowing today what those rules will require. What limited structure HB 1191 does create to regulate industrial hemp in our state could very well be in conflict.

It is anything BUT premature. The law would not have gone into affect until July 1st, missing the 2019 growing period all together. Even if the legislature was able to pass this law, the first hemp crops wouldn’t be harvested until the fall of 2020. Plenty of time to review the rules and make adjustments.

Finally, I am concerned that this bill supports a national effort to legalize marijuana for recreational use. I do not doubt the motives of this bill’s legislative champions. However, an overwhelming number of contacts I have received in favor of this bill come from pro-marijuana activists. There is no question in my mind that normalizing hemp, like legalizing medical marijuana, is part of a larger strategy to undermine enforcement of the drug laws and make legalized marijuana inevitable.

Even if that BS statement is true (from her anonymous contacts), so what? Recreational marijuana is becoming more legal across the United States and eventually the Federal Government will give the green light to legalize it Nationally. It’s coming (I expect it to be legal nationwide by 2025) and a veto on industrial hemp isn’t going to stop that freight train.

This issue was never ripe for discussion during this legislative session, and our state government’s efforts and resources should be focused elsewhere until the federal government’s approach on this issue is clear.

For these reasons, I oppose this bill and ask that you sustain my veto.

Respectfully submitted,

Kristi Noem

It not only was a ‘ripe’ discussion, it was thoroughly vetted by farmers, constituents and farm agencies who see hemp as an incredible opportunity not only in farming but in manufacturing for our state. Like my dog Duke, Noem is ‘Dumber than a box of rocks’ when it comes to legalizing industrial hemp. It was truly a sad day in Pierre, especially in the Governor’s office. I guess not only hemp is illegal to grow in SD but so are brain cells.


#1 D@ily Spin on 03.12.19 at 10:22 pm

It seems South Dakota is immature relative to national and international business. Noem represents federal subsidies for unviable ethanol and overproduced crops China isn’t buying. Grain and soybeans are a welfare check she’ll fight for given her federal experience. Meanwhile, states like Kentucky prosper from new markets for hemp. Colorado satisfied debt and is booming from legal marijuana. An obsolete mentality will leave this state desolate. Noem stopped in SD from DC but other congressmen are smart enough to fly over wondering why there are one mile squares with a few ghost towns.

#2 l3wis on 03.13.19 at 9:02 am

Noem’s immense and staggering stupidity on this issue should scare the Hell out of ALL South Dakotans. Dakotafreepress pointed out even more reasons while either Noem is lying, in denial, or just incredibly naïve and stupid, or all of the above.

#3 matt johnson on 03.13.19 at 1:17 pm

People who live in glass houses should not throw stones. A pot should not call a kettle black. Only some one dumber than a box of rocks would think that any judge in this state (or any state I know of) prosecutes anyone- that would be the job of a states attorney or the attorney general. I am sure you will argue that you were right as there isn’t a judge that would prosecute someone but don’t try to convince me that was the intent of your choice of words.

#4 l3wis on 03.13.19 at 1:30 pm

MJ, once again changing the subject to make the thread about my poor choice of words, spelling or grammar, instead the topic at hand. And while you are right and I am wrong, it doesn’t change the true basis of the post, Noem is an idiot.

#5 matt johnson on 03.13.19 at 2:10 pm

Wis this was not spelling or grammar- it was a clearly ignorant statement; at least you admitted you were wrong; I was not “changing the subject” on recent comments but stating a real reason for taking a position other than yours- you are the one that called me a dummy,

#6 Erica on 03.13.19 at 3:28 pm

She isnt dumb, she knows exactly what she is doing which is playing a part FOR the dumb, hoping they will take her word on what she says about hemo. Considering her husband’s job in insurance and providing coverage to farmers and hemp not being profitable yet to cover in SD, huge conflict of interest and this is not an issue Noem should be hanging her hat on. She should have passed it, decriminalized a CBD oil, and focus on bigger issues like the amount of pedophiles and human trafficking going on in the state.

#7 "Very Stable Genius" on 03.13.19 at 3:29 pm

Noem is a graduate of the Frank Farrar School of Government.

The lesson to be learned from Farrar’s one term is that a Republican does not want to upset the farmers, especially when many of those farmers are Republicans. Farrar upset many back in the day over a REA issue, which resulted in his loss to Kneip.

Most farmers are conservative, whether they be Republicans or Democrats, but more importantly they are populist and one thing a politician does not want to do is upset a bunch of populist farmers.

McGovern began his congressional career with the help of an Eisenhower Administration, whose farm policies were not popular, and then thirty years later Daschle beat Abdnor for pretty much the same reasons.

South Dakota history does not bode well for politicians who find themselves at odds with American Gothic politics, because that iconic picture has a pitch fork in it for a reason. 😉


#8 Lemming on 03.13.19 at 8:33 pm

I usually lean her way, but on this issue I disagree. Hemp is a product in my shampoo, and several other household ingrediants. Sad to see the South Dakota Farmers can’t reap the benefits like everywhere else in the country. We will also be one of the last 5 states to embrace medical marijuana

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