Entries Tagged 'Medical Mary Jane' ↓

Still the carnage continues. For what?

Guest post by Bob Newland

With gratitude to South DaCola for the opportunity…

South Dakota law enforcement have arrested a person for possession of “marijuana” every 90 minutes since at least July 1, 1998. The total number of arrests is 82,402. The average number of possession arrests per year is equal to about .05% of the population of South Dakota.

Even though only 24,637 of the charges led to convictions, that’s still somebody convicted of possession every 5.5 hours. For 14 years. For what?

Even the 57,765 not convicted were punished. For what?

Cannabis is more available, better (in most folks’ minds), and cheaper (counting inflation) than it was 14 years ago. And more folks are using it. W? T? F?

Take a look at the numbers.

We don’t know how much it costs to arrest someone for possession or distribution. We don’t know how much is recovered in the form of fines and property forfeitures to offset that cost. If it costs more to arrest someone for doing something that doesn’t hurt someone else than we, as taxpayers, get back, we should stop doing it. If we, as taxpayers, make money arresting people for doing something that doesn’t hurt someone else, we should stop doing it.


Why We Should Not Legalize Marijuana?

Guest post by Bob Newland

Since my blog, Decorum Forum gets a steady 79 hits a day, why, you ask would I want to pander to the audience of the likes of that which reads South DaCola?

First, because its moderator allows me to do so from time to time. Second, South DaCola recognizes the significance of a campaign of a series of short letters to the folks whom are shortly going to be adding to the panoply of rules, enforced by people with uniforms and guns, that govern every aspect of your being.

People who use cannabis are quite conscious of the “uniforms and guns” part of the deal. Since cannabis poses absolutely no threat to public safety, it must be the presence of the insane Prohibition on its existence within the borders of the USA (and a few other barbaric countries) that is the threat to public safety.

I was checking out current arguments for Prohibition the other day. I asked on Google: “why keep pot illegal?”

Its author proposes, among other equally coherent groupings of words:

Legalized gambling has not reduced illegal gambling in the United States; rather, it has increased it. This is particularly evident in sports gambling, most of which is illegal. Legal gambling is taxed and regulated and illegal gambling is not. Legal gambling sets the stage for illegal gambling just the way legal marijuana would set the stage for illegal marijuana trafficking.

The gambling precedent suggests strongly that illegal drug suppliers would thrive by selling more potent marijuana products outside of the legal channels that would be taxed and otherwise restricted. If marijuana were legalized, the only way to eliminate its illegal trade, which is modest in comparison to that of cocaine, would be to sell marijuana untaxed and unregulated to any willing buyer.

Let me get this straight. That is supposed to be an argument against legalization of cannabis?

Thinking that the preceding words might not clearly state the “mainstream” of arguments in favor of continuing to jail people for cannabis “offenses,” I browsed a few other Prohibitionist sites. I swear, the essay at is the best they have.

So, Why IS cannabis Prohibited?

That’s a question SoDakNORML is asking of current and aspirant South Dakota legislators in a weekly postal letter that asks for their positions on cannabis Prohibition and for their reasoning on the issue. The letters also each present one or two facts about the destruction caused by jailing people for trying to feel better by means of a vehicle not approved by The State.

If you’re interested in liberty and justice and stuff like that, take a look.

It’s also possible that Dakota War College will see this post and get heartburn. That’s the best reason to pander to the audience of South DaCola.


Legislative letter sent by SD NORML (Bob Newland)

Best regards, Rep. Concise Thinker;

We believe you want what is best for the majority of South Dakotans. We do, too.

That said, we see no benefit in punishing people with criminal laws and prosecution for using cannabis (“marijuana” is the legal term, a slang term chosen from the vernacular for its sinister sound). Further, we see a great deal of harm being done –to the majority of South Dakotans as well as to those directly affected by arrest and prosecution– to no apparent purpose.

Current laws regarding cannabis achieve several effects, none of them beneficial.

1. The prices users pay for cannabis is inflated roughly 1700 per cent by the “risk” factor involved in producing, transporting and marketing the product. This benefits the most vicious people on Earth, while making the distribution of the product completely ungovernable.

2. Distribution of cannabis to minors is therefore inevitable. A legal market in cannabis among adults could allow regulations making it more difficult for children to obtain it. The current system guarantees the opposite.

3. The benefit of cannabis to a wide age of people with a wide range of adverse medical conditions is apparent. While cannabis is easily obtained by healthy, active people, it is much harder for a person in a wheelchair to make the contacts necessary to obtain what might be life-sustaining aid from cannabis. One intense irony of current policy is that it denies access to cannabis most efficiently to those whom are most in need of its benefits.

We believe, for these and other reasons, that it goes counter to any interpretation of sound public policy to maintain criminal punishments for anyone for ingestion of cannabis. We believe that adults have the inherent right to ingest cannabis (or anything else they want to ingest). We believe that those accused of possession of “marijuana” should have the right to present evidence of medical use in court and to have juries determine justice from the evidence. We believe that any steps in the direction of improving South Dakota law along these lines is a step in the right direction and we will vigorously support legislators who undertake those steps.

“We” are SoDakNORML, the South Dakota Affiliate of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws. We are comprised of thousands of South Dakotans arrested, prosecuted, imprisoned, frightened, amused, angered, or marginalized as a result of cannabis Prohibition, a policy so absurd in its derivation and results that it defies characterization.

On behalf of any of the folks described above who want to endorse these sentiments, I am

Bob Newland
President, SoDakNORML

P.S. Please read the essay on the politics of cannabis at the following website:http://hemphasis.net/Politics/politics.htm (the capital P is important).

Co-signed by:
Jesse Grimm, combat veteran, Hot Springs


Transcript of Kermit’s speech at the IM 13 rally last Monday (H/T – DC)

Photo; Derek Cecil

“There are a number of things I want you to be aware of in my presentation. I want you to be aware that I do not smoke, and I do not have the desire to smoke. I do not drink alcoholic beverages, and I do not desire to drink alcoholic beverages. I’ve never smoked marijuana, and I have no desire to smoke marijuana. I’ve never taken illegal drugs, and I have no desire to take illegal drugs. The reason I am at this rally for Initiative 13 is for very personal reasons. I’m not here for abstract reasons. I’m not here for theoretical reasons. I’m here for very personal reasons, and that very personal reason is I have somebody who is very close to me who suffers from constant pain. This has been going on for six years. Each day, this person is in pain. Each hour, this person is in pain. Each minute, this person is in pain. And, of course, each second of every day, this person is in pain. Now, for those of you who have other people here you’re aware of that’s in pain, you probably realize that pain can really wear a person down. Really wear a person down. In fact, this person is probably (sic) disabled. Now, I should also mention too that this person takes prescription drugs and that one of the drugs is a narcotic. A prescribed, legal drug. And also many other drugs to try and recover from the pain. So, the question has to arise; If this person is already taking heavy duty, heavy duty, heavy duty prescription drugs, what is wrong with this person being allowed to try marijuana to see if it can provide some relief? Now, as a matter of fact today I was talking to an opponent of Initiative 13 and I told this individual this very personal story of mine and this individual responded kind of interestingly. This person said “Well, if I was in the shoes of that person and suffering all this pain, you know what I would do? I’d just go ahead and smoke marijuana illegally anyway.” Well, this person I know that is suffering in pain is not about to break the law. No way. But this person hopes the law can be changed with Initiative 13. And so, in conclusion, I would like to thank all of you for being here today to possibly make this happen. Thank you, again.” – Dr. Kermit Staggers

Opponents of IM13 display their ignorance

I’m no expert on Medicinal Marijuana, but I would think a couple of doctors would know better then to spread blatant lies about the plant. But hey, if I had to pick my opponents, these two clowns would top my list;

The rally also came on the same day that Allen Unruh, an organizer for a local tea party group, denounced the measure as a back-door effort to legalize pot, which he complained would lead to widespread laziness among users.

So what?! The legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes would be one of the best things for this country. We could grow it, tax it and stop the billions of dollars we waste on incarceration and law enforcement. We could also stop funneling money to Mexico in which people die everyday supplying us the product now. There are also other benefits. We could use hemp for clothing and burn it for energy instead of coal.

As for the laziness comment. LMAO! Some of these people can’t work anyway do to their chronic pain, it might actually help them to be more productive instead of less.

Unruh’s tea party group was host to a luncheon featuring Minnehaha County Sheriff Mike Milstead and state Rep. Blake Curd, a Sioux Falls surgeon, who spoke against medical marijuana. Experience in other states, Milstead said, shows that the number of so-called “patients” quickly mushrooms while the number of physicians prescribing marijuana stays the same.

Well, Mike, guess why that is? Because pot is affordable unlike chemically based prescription drugs that have extreme side effects. And guess what else. IT WORKS!

Curd noted that marijuana is not a regulated drug, unlike other drugs that doctors prescribe.

And that is what scares the shit out of big pharma. They can’t patent it, so they can’t make money from it.

Potency varies widely, and users don’t know how the drug was grown – whether a grower used pesticides or fertilizers. “I think you’re looking at something that doesn’t have a useful place right now,” he said.

Curd displays his obvious ignorance on this one. Cannabis has no natural enemies, in other words you don’t have to use pesticides and fertilizers to grow it. Unlike the food we eat. Where is his concern over all the widespread cancer that is probably due to processed foods and bioengineering of food plants? Maybe he should be fighting Monsanto instead of Marijuana?

Another good reason to vote YES on Measure 13 (H/T – Costner)

The silly war on drugs is another good reason to legalize marijuana;

In November, California voters will have their say on Proposition 19, which would make it legal to grow, possess and use up to an ounce of marijuana for personal use. And as that decision day draws near, a group of law enforcement insiders has come out in support of the proposition, saying it would free up the police to focus its efforts on more serious crimes.

At a press conference on Monday, members of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition explained their reasons for getting behind Proposition 19.

“I was a drug warrior until I saw what was happening in my own courtroom,” said former Orange County Superior Court Judge James Gray. He claims that passing Prop 19 would cut down the number of drug arrests made in California by around 60,000 each year.

To LEAP, all that time spent arresting Californians for pot possession could be better spent investigating murders, burglaries and the like.

Along with Gray was former San Jose Police Chief Joseph McNamara, who said that legalizing and taxing marijuana would be a huge blow to the massive drug cartels, which are are estimated to get around 60% of their money from illegal pot sales.

In addition to taking money from the cartels, taxes levied on legalized pot could bring in over $1 billion/year in tax revenue.

As for other law enforcement groups like the California Police Chiefs Assn., which opposes the measure, Gray theorizes that many of those involved are just putting on a good show because they have to.

“They have a political job, so they can’t tell the truth,” he said. “People are free to speak out honestly only after they are retired.”

Legalizing pot would free up police to fight violent crime, law enforcement group says [L.A. Times]

Vote Yes on Measure 13

Emmett Reistroffer talks about a ballot issue that would make medical marijuana legal in South Dakota as he mans a booth Wednesday at Dakotafest in Mitchell. Reistroffer says the issue is not one of politics but rather one of compassion for those suffering from illness. (Image; Chris Huber/Republic Photo)

There is a great story in the Mitchell Daily Republic about Medicinal Marijuana and Measure 13’s organizer, Emmett Reistroffer

“I think the compassion aspect of this is what’s driving our campaign, and that’s what South Dakotans relate to,” Reistroffer said. “South Dakotans are generally compassionate for the sick and dying. They just need to understand the logistics of the issue, so that’s what we’re working hard to do.”

Emmett will get this done. Guaranteed. Nice banner BTW 🙂

Back in the Saddle

Hello everyone:
Well, I made it through probation and now I can again say publicly that the Earth revolves around the sun. You can catch up on the medical cannabis proposition at http://decorumforum.blogspot.com/.
Emmett Reistroffer will be in Rapid City Thursday afternoon at the Summer Nights concert at 7th and St. Joe downtown. Emmett, of course, is the guy who, more than any other single person, is responsible for the fact that South Dakotans will be voting in November whether to allow sick, disabled and dying patients to use cannabis to alleviate their conditions.
South Dakotans for Compassion, the organization which includes Emmett as its principal officer, has a website you should visit.
Look for the SDCompassion.org table in art alley or in front of the Staging Grounds at 7th & St Joe.
Emmett has asked me to invite you to participate in the parade in Deadwood on Friday and/or Saturday as a member of So. Dakotans for Compassion. Please reply if you would like to do this. We’d like to present a group of people of all ages. We may be costumed by the Deadwood parade committee.
And stop by the SoDak Compassion table Thursday night at Summer Nights. Emmett has some suggestions on how you can help promote Initiated Measure 13, the South Dakota Safe Access Act.
Best regards,
Bob Newland

South DaCola art auction

‘Drug Policy’ (30 x 40″) Canvas wrap

BEST OFFER (I will donate 50% of the proceeds to SD Compassion)


Emmett invited you to “PICNIC 4 PATIENTS!” on Tuesday, May 18 at 6:00pm.

Emmett says, “Join the Coalition for Compassion for our campaign kick-off in Sioux Falls on Tuesday May 18th 6pm at Sherman Park!

This will be a pot-luck style picnic and multiple speakers are lined up to inform YOU about our exciting volunteer opportunities! “.

Start Time: Tuesday, May 18 at 6:00pm
End Time: Tuesday, May 18 at 7:00pm
Where: Sherman Park, upper Picnic Shelter