UPDATE: There was some more debunking last night of what the mayor said;
TenHaken isn’t sold on the idea that revenues from marijuana legalization are a tremendous boon to a community.
“Any revenue that is realized is used to deal with the unintended consequences, treatment issues, crime issues, that result as a result of legalization,” TenHaken said.
Shweich argues against that.
“If it were the case that in any of these legalization states that the cost of the policy was greater than the revenue then why haven’t we seen any state repeal this policy?” Schweich said.
In fact, both Lincoln and Minnehaha County along with the City of Sioux Falls and neighboring towns could see millions in tax revenue that could be directed at education, roads and criminal justice.
There was a lot of bull being thrown at the public safety presser yesterday.
Besides Sheriff Milstead rants about the Southern border and immigrants they started attacking IM 27 claiming that cannabis legalization would lead to more violence, hurt children and families. Alcohol, Meth, Opioids, Poverty (low wage jobs) and Video Lottery do a pretty good job of that already.
But none of that was mentioned – only the evil weed.
“Individuals go to purchase marijuana, and they get drug-ripped,” Milstead said. “And, so, that’s why some of the people buying marijuana are carrying guns, and that’s why some people are selling marijuana are carrying guns. And, so, there’s a lot of black market marijuana dealings that go on in our community, and some of them result in violence. Some of them result with individuals joining gangs, and, so, I certainly would keep marijuana in that top three of what drugs we’re encountering and dealing with on a regular basis, sometimes with people that are armed and posing a danger to our community.”
They claimed the black market would thrive if Rec MJ became legal. Sure. Just like it is now. It would only be legal to purchase by those who are 21 and older, so yes, teenagers are going to have to find an illegal way to use, just like they have been doing for decades with alcohol and tobacco. The crimes committed because of the illegal trade of MJ are already here, they won’t suddenly disappear if Rec passes.
And whose job is it to stop the black market drug sales? The very people who want to blame a boogey man from Mexico with a truckload of pot and illegal guns, our Police and Sheriff Departments.
It was disappointing that they offered NO solutions to the current illicit drug problems we already have.
The reporter, John Gaskins, who wrote the DNN article asked Milstead at the press conference that he mentioned drug dealers and criminals stealing guns out of unlocked cars and wondered if Milstead would support fining people whose guns are stolen and used in crimes. Milstead said that was up to the legislature (passing the buck once again) and said he would not be inclined to punish LEGAL gun owners. But when a legal vehicle owner does something irresponsible with their vehicle they get a fine.
In fact, since our Legislature and Governor signed an open carry law in our state, gun violence has skyrocketed in Sioux Falls. Not sure if there is a correlation, but it is hardly a coincidence.
When it comes to the black market drug trade and the violence associated with it in our state, our police and deputies could take a multi-faceted approach to prevention, but instead they decided to focus on a country that doesn’t border our state and a drug that no one has ever overdosed on. They also failed to mention that legal MJ sales could be taxed very heavily and assist law enforcement with funding to prevent violence and illegal drug trade. Milstead made a claim that taxation would not offset the legal issues with Rec MJ, that claim, about Colorado Springs was debunked by DNN;
In July 2022, Suthers told a Colorado TV station that he’s “vehemently opposed” to recreational marijuana sales in Colorado Springs. Suthers’ office did not immediately respond to requests seeking comment.
“When we legalized recreational marijuana in the state, I remember the promises,” Suthers told the station. “Number one: there’ll be all kinds of money for schools, roads, all that kind of stuff. But all the money we’ve taken in barely pays for the regulation of marijuana and it doesn’t pay for the social problems.”
In response to this, Anthony Carlson, a campaign manager for Your Choice Colorado Springs, told The Center Square — an American conservative news website that features reporting on state and local government — that Suthers “is sticking his head in the sand and talking as if adult-use recreational cannabis isn’t already 100% legal to possess and consume in Colorado Springs. Right now, people are traveling to nearby communities, purchasing their cannabis, and bringing it right back home to use.”
“Recreational cannabis is already here, we just don’t reap the benefits of the tax revenue that comes with it,” he added.
Our illegal drug trade problems won’t be solved after Rec MJ is legalized in the state, but who is solving them now?