Sioux Falls Mayor TenHaken’s Medical MJ ignorance

While I won’t give Greg Belfrage much credit for normally asking soft-ball questions to local politicians, he threw a real toddler lob at Paul this morning and we finally got to hear what he thinks of Med MJ. Greg’s question was pretty vague, he simply asked Paul to comment on zoning of dispensaries in Sioux Falls. I was thoroughly expecting a non-answer, but he suddenly became fired up, and his true colors showed, or should we say ignorance.

He says that Med MJ doesn’t belong in pharmacies because it is not medicine. Technically, he is correct, it is medicinal which means ‘(of a substance or plant) having healing properties.’ Think Flintstone vitamin that makes you feel funny. He could have left it at that, but then he proceeds to say, ‘It’s NOT medicine because the FDA has not approved it.’ The FDA cannot approve a plant as a drug. Drugs can be patented because they are made of chemical compounds, in labs by chemists and scientists. You cannot patent a plant because it is made by nature.

His second funny, that he actually said first was the real kick in the pants. He said that Med MJ dispensaries are being pushed by ‘Special Interests’. Apparently in Paul’s dark little authoritarian mind 70% of the voters in SD and even a larger percent in Sioux Falls are considered ‘Special Interests’. Special interests are the developers and banksters who funded your campaign so you continue to hand out tax incentives to them. The people who approved this law, in which it states the only zoning restrictions are 1,000 feet from schools were a majority of the voters, a very LARGE majority. Authoritarians hate it when there is direct democracy and the state legislature has been trying to fiddle and f’ck with it for years. Until those rules change, that’s how things are done in South Dakota, and if Mayor TenHaken doesn’t like it, maybe he should resign and go back to being a special interest partisan hack like he was before he took office.

He also says he will be ‘bullish’ about controlling dispensaries in Sioux Falls because he doesn’t want to turn us into San Francisco. Really?! So you will choose to ignore a law that was passed by 70% of the voters because you have a misguided view about cities that have dispensaries? I have never seen so many closed minds surrounding this issue, even the legislature is so scared of the constituents finding out how they are gutting the law, they are meeting in private, which is highly unethical and questionably legal.

The ultimate irony of Mayor Stoneless’ comments today is that he is NOT part of the policy making body of city government per charter. Sure, he is in charge of planning staff, but the City Council and Planning Commission make the final decisions and write the policies when it comes to zoning. The only duty the Mayor has when it comes to policy is breaking ties. I’m still wondering when a councilor, any councilor will get up the courage to file charges against Paul for violating his charter duties. He is NOT supposed to be sponsoring policy legislation. Now he has every right under the 1st Amendment to give his opinion about policy to the council or on a radio interview, he just can’t be writing and sponsoring it. My point is he shouldn’t even be involved with the Med MJ zoning ordinances especially since he doesn’t know the difference between Viagra and a Joint.

As I have mentioned to the Mayor and City Council during public input. Your opinion about a law passed by the voters is NOT your concern, your job as elected officials is to uphold that law to it’s fullest extent.

And BTW, I’m still curious who these mysterious people are that you are trying to protect?


#1 Very Stable Genius on 08.06.21 at 8:14 pm

I see a strong similarity between civil unions versus marriages for gay couples and medical versus recreational marijuana. Regardless of the SD Supreme Court’s soon decision on recreational marijuana, its legalization is inevitable and most likely within the next five years if not days from now, and when that happens any concern or support for medical marijuana will be academic at best.

A course then the debate will be as to where you can purchase recreational marijuana, but we have a lot of bars in town and everywhere, don’t we? #GasStationsSellBeer

#2 Mike Lee Zitterich on 08.06.21 at 10:47 pm

If the Mayor cannot be a policy maker, or write, or sponsor legislation – then why can I lobby the Mayor to place an ordinance on the “Agenda? Yes – If I want to draft an ordinance, I either need to get 2 Councilors to sponsor it, or I need to get the Mayor to sponsor it.

Are you sure the MAYOR is not an active participant in our City Council? Cause I can find in our City Ordinance I am correct.

#3 l3wis on 08.07.21 at 8:41 am

Really, read section 3.0 of our city charter, NO WHERE in his duties does it say he can write policy. His job as a councilor is to run a meeting and break ties and his only job concerning policy is his power of the VETO. This is why we have separate branches of government. His defined job by charter is running the city, something I think a lot of people have been waiting for him to do.

#4 l3wis on 08.07.21 at 8:45 am

Section 2.01 General powers and duties.
All powers of the city shall be vested in the city council, except as otherwise provided by law or this charter, and the council shall provide for the exercise thereof and for the performance of all duties and obligations imposed on the city by law. The council shall act as a part-time, policy making and legislative body, avoiding management and administrative issues.

Section 3.01 Executive power.
The executive and administrative power of the city shall be vested in a mayor.

As I have been trying to pound into your head, according to charter the council is the policy body, the mayor is the administrative. They are both in the first chapter of each section. It doesn’t get more black and white then that.

#5 D@ily Spin on 08.07.21 at 1:22 pm

Once dispensaries finally open we’ll still buy off the street where it’s cheaper, better, no sales tax, without cameras, and 3 forms of picture ID. Fundamentally, medical pot is now legal. Get a card for minimal possession and buy on the street or out of state. When the city must give on dispensary locations, start them working on 5G green boxes. What’s important here is to preoccupy the mayor and council so they won’t approve foolish spending and TIF’s.

#6 D@ily Spin on 08.07.21 at 1:31 pm

Formally or informally citizens decide these matters. It’ll happen without one someone’s archaic perspective. The mayor has dictatorial power but should remember we’re adults with inalienable rights.

#7 Mike Lee Zitterich on 08.08.21 at 1:06 pm

So your saying the “Mayor” cannot participate in the drafting, writing, and presentation of an “ordinance”.

Well, then the “Code of Ordinances” would definitely contradict everything you said. Now I am trying to be respectful, and will stop short in attacking you or anyone opinions, but Ordinance 30.022 seems to contradict what you claim to be false:


A) All proposed ordinances, resolutions and other documents requiring city council approval shall, before presentation to the council, have been
approved as to form and legality by the city attorney’s office. All proposed ordinances and resolutions involving substantive matters of administration
shall also be reviewed by the head of the department under whose jurisdiction the administration of the subject matter of the ordinance, resolution or
other document would devolve. The sponsor(s) of any proposed ordinance, resolution or other document shall provide a written background and
objective of the proposed item to the city clerk’s office with a completed agenda approval form. The background and objective shall be posted to the
city’s website by the city clerk’s office. All proposed ordinances may be assigned or referred to a council committee for consideration and

B) Ordinances, resolutions and other matters or subjects requiring action by the city council must be introduced and sponsored by two members of
the city council or the mayor. The mayor may present ordinances, resolutions, and other matters or subjects to the city council. Any city council member may move that these ordinances, resolutions, matters or subjects be adopted; otherwise, they shall not be considered. The city council members who
sponsor any regular agenda item that requires action by the city council shall be identified by name as sponsors on the regular agenda item. Any regular
agenda item requiring action by the city council that is sponsored by the mayor shall identify the mayor on the agenda item unless the item is being
presented on behalf of a private applicant. Private applicant shall mean those individuals or businesses that make application to the Planning
Commission or Public Works Department. Any regular agenda item presented by the mayor on behalf of a private applicant shall identify the applicant by
name on the regular agenda item.

C) No ordinance shall relate to more than one subject. The subject shall be clearly expressed in the title.

It would appear, that a “private resident” whether a Land Owner, Property Holder, Business Owner, or simply a Resident could very effectively sit down, draft a concept, meet with the Mayor and/or Department Heads, to discuss the concept, prepare an ordinance, while seeking a Legal Opinion from the City Attorney, while gaining additionally a professional “opinion” by one of the Department Head’s of the Administration, and upon the support of the Mayor – “present” the Concept/Ordinance to the City Clerk to be placed on the “Regular Agenda”.

So yes, the MAYOR can play a huge instrumental role in drafting, shaping, and writing future ordinances.

I am not sure why you are so hard up on attacking the Mayor so much, I mean, you make it sound as if he is acting ‘outside’ his jurisdictional responsibilities all the time.

The FACT is – The Mayor can at anytime meet with private residents, businessmen, land owners, property holders, other governmental leaders to help shape future policy.

There is NO Argument here, that all “future concepts” let alone ordinances must come before the CITY COUNCIL where “WE THE PEOPLE” are to discuss publically that concept, the pros, the cons, making reservation of rights, to vote YES or NO, then of course, the PEOPLE have the right to ‘refer’ such ordinance back to the people to support or not support the ordinance.

Relax, Enjoy Life, Have Fun.

#8 l3wis on 08.08.21 at 2:13 pm

“The mayor may present ordinances, resolutions, and other matters or subjects to the city council. Any city council member may move that these ordinances, resolutions, matters or subjects be adopted; otherwise, they shall not be considered.”

I stand partially corrected. Notice that the city council still has the power whether to allow the mayor to present policy in the form of an ordinance or resolution. My opinion is that they should not. If it is a good suggestion I think the council should take it, re-write it and present themselves. If it is bad they should not allow it. It goes back to my previous point about the duties of the mayor and the council as laid out in charter. So while you are correct he can present an ordinance, it MUST get approval from at least one member of the council or it does NOT proceed. My point is the mayor doesn’t have the sole power to put ordinances on the agenda himself and he shouldn’t.

#9 Mike Lee Zitterich on 08.08.21 at 6:14 pm

Now you understand my point of reference in this discussion, while we have to understand, while 5 of the Council Chairs only represent 5 districts, the MAYOR whom represents ALL PEOPLE can sit down and meet with Land Owners, Property Holders, Developers, Business People, the Common Residents to discuss concepts, drafting an ordinance, to getting legal opinions.

This has always been my key argument – while the PEOPLE are represented by Districts (5 Councilors); we have 3 At Large Reps who like the mayor represent the same group of people as the Mayor does.

While “YOU” can sit down one and one with the Mayor to bring forth your proposal, and if the Mayor accepts and likes your idea, he then goes out and meets with one of, or all 3 At-Large Reps, of whom those At-Large Reps then go out and obtain the support of the 5 District Reps, of whom then go out and meet with the Common Residents within their District.

For a Big Land Owner wishing to ‘annex’ his territory into the City Limits, with the goal to develop his land, it may be easier for him/her to meet with the Mayor, whom then sits down and discuss with his Administratin, while he then encourages/recommends the Other “AT LARGE REPS” to go out and gain support of the 5 District Chairs.

The Opposite would be true for the Common Resident – who works the opposite manner, by first sitting down with his/her District Rep, while working thru the At Large Reps to get to the Mayor.

The two – Mayor and City Council ‘work together’ to draft, write, and create city policy.

#10 anominous on 08.09.21 at 10:36 am

their used to be that coal gasafication plant at fawick park u know they could make something like that again with pneumotic tubes only it would be a big downtown bong system u wount have to by ur own that way