Some of the marijuana legislation advances

This turned out to be the week for marijuana-related bills to be heard for the first time in the 2017 legislative session. Two out of three remain active.

The Senate Judiciary Committee approved a cannabidiol exception (SB 95) sought by Senate Republican leader Blake Curd of Sioux Falls for medical purposes and killed a medical marijuana exemption (SB 157) brought by Sen. Reynold Nesiba, D-Sioux Falls, that would have recognized valid medical exceptions granted by other states.

The House Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee endorsed legalization of industrial hemp HB 1204; the committee sponsored the measure.

The hemp bill is now on the House calendar and could be debated any day but it is at the bottom. The cannabidiol bill is at the top of the Senate calendar for debate Tuesday.

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About Bob Mercer

I am a newspaper reporter in Pierre where I cover state government, issues and politics for the Aberdeen American News, the Black Hills Pioneer, the Mitchell Daily Republic, the Pierre Capital Journal, the Rapid City Journal, the Watertown Public Opinion and the Yankton Press & Dakotan. I began covering the Legislature in 1985 and have lived in Pierre since December 1986. I grew up in Wisconsin, worked my way through college, took my first full-time newspapers jobs in Wyoming, and have lived in South Dakota since the summer of 1984 when I moved to Aberdeen to join the American News. I worked for the Rapid City Journal as its state government reporter in Pierre from late 1992 through late 1998. I spent four years as press secretary and a senior aide to Gov. Bill Janklow during his fourth and final term from late 1998 through 2002. I returned to journalism in January 2003 as a self-employed reporter, providing state government coverage to the Mitchell, Watertown, Spearfish, Pierre and, depending on the year, Aberdeen newspapers. In 2008, the Aberdeen American News offered to hire me as full-time member of the AAN staff, with my reports continuing to be available to the Mitchell, Watertown, Spearfish, Pierre, Yankton and Rapid City papers. The new arrangement has been in effect since January 2009 as the seven papers continue their remarkable dedication to their readers and the general public, as the only South Dakota news outlets with a full-time reporter covering state government in Pierre throughout the year. In addition to focusing on the Legislature during the annual winter session and its various activities during the interim periods between sessions, I spend many days throughout the year -- traveling as often necessary -- to cover state government boards and commissions which oversee the state universities, technical institutes, outdoors, water, environment, business, public schools, banking, agriculture, utilities, health care and various other areas of public interest. I purposely don't register to vote because of my profession; the last time I recall voting in a presidential election was the first time, 1976, when I had just turned 18. I think I voted for Jimmy Carter over Gerald Ford. Make of that what you want, just don't make much of it.

One thought on “Some of the marijuana legislation advances

  1. interested party

    For the record, I do not support widespread growing of hemp, especially on tribal lands: it is an invasive species capable of overgrowing native grasses. Hemp is a perennial and easily migrates into adjacent lands. Why anyone would want to buy genetically engineered seed from Monsanto or some other earth hater every year remains a mystery. Let’s ensure that cannabis cultivation and distribution stay out of the hands of Big Dope. It’s time to enter compacts with the tribes, let them distribute on the rez, on off-reservation properties and in Deadwood.

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