In The Moment ... August 2, 2017 Show 147 Hour 2

We welcome Dakota Political Junkies Dana Ferguson with the Sioux Falls Argus Leader and Seth Tupper with the Rapid City Journal. This week we discuss the power of a typo to derail a ballot measure and more.

Chynna Lockett

In The Moment ... April 5, 2017 Show 065 Hour 2

Dakota Political Junkies Dana Ferguson and Denise Ross join us to talk about recreational marijuana and its potential as a ballot measure, which lawmakers might deserve a “furniture” rating in Pierre, and other top South Dakota political headlines of the week.


The group backing two marijuana related ballot questions says they’re concerned about the language of the Attorney General’s explanations.
The Attorney General is tasked with crafting ‘an objective, clear, and simple summary’ of a proposed amendment.
A lawyer assisting the group New Approach South Dakota in passing two ballot questions legalizing recreational and medicinal marijuana says the language in Attorney General Marty Jackley’s summary is unnecessarily strong.

Governor Dennis Daugaard says he won’t support either ballot initiative to legalize recreational and medicinal marijuana.
The Republican governor says he’s never really been supportive of liberalizing marijuana laws.
The group New Approach South Dakota says they are circulating petitions to legalize cannabis in the state.
However, Daugaard says practitioners in some states will distribute medical marijuana cards as a way to make money…

Two Cannabis Ballot Measures Could Reach 2018 Ballot

Nov 28, 2016

Marijuana activists in South Dakota say they will have ballot measures up for vote to legalize both medicinal and recreational marijuana during the 2018 election.

The move comes after the group New Direction South Dakota failed to get medical marijuana on the ballot this year.

In Colorado, Proposition 64 was passed in 2012 to regulate marijuana much like alcohol. The group New Approach South Dakota is basing their recreational use ballot measure off of that proposition.

An expert says drug charges against two non-native men who worked with the Flandreau marijuana operation pose a number of legal questions.

A North Dakota attorney says the case involves issues of tribal sovereignty and jurisdiction between state and tribal governments.

Erin Mairose

  On Wednesday, August 3rd,  South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley announced charges against two men for drug offenses. The men were hired as consultants from a Colorado company that worked to help set up a marijuana resort with the Flandreau Santee Sioux tribe. 

Jackley says Eric Hagen is charged with conspiracy to possess more than 10 lbs of marijuana. Co-conspirator Jonathan Hunt is also charged for alleged drug offenses.

Dana Ferguson is a watchdog state government and political reporter with Argus Leader Media. Kevin Woster is a reporter for KELO-TV, Rapid City Bureau.

Together they represent this week's Dakota Political Junkies and talk with Midday host Lori Walsh about the week's political headlines.

Today's topics include accusations about Flandreu's tribal marijuana crop and memories of the plane crash that shook the state 23 years ago this week.

White Plume Hopes To Plant Hemp In 2017

Mar 30, 2016

Oglala Lakota hemp farmer Alex White Plume says he wants to harvest the wild hemp seeds growing on his land and plant a new crop next year.
In the late 1990’s the Oglala Sioux Tribe legalized industrial hemp, but when White Plume tried to grow it, federal agents seized his crop.

White Plume has been under a federal injunction prohibiting him from growing the crop, but that injunction was recently lifted.

Governor Considering Support Of Medical Marijuana Bill

Feb 26, 2016

Governor Dennis Daugaard is considering supporting a bill that allows one type of medical marijuana. Earlier in the session, he said he would not support Senate Bill 171. The measure has since been amended to only allow one marijuana extract.

Tony Harrison is the South Dakota Fraternal Order of Police national trustee. He’s also in charge of narcotics investigations with the Pennington County Sheriff's Department. Tony Harrison  joins Dakota Midday host Lori Walsh to talk about the FRONTLINE special “Chasing Heroin” on SDPB-TV, and whether or not heroin is a challenge for South Dakota law enforcement officers.

Statehouse Podcast: Transgender Bathrooms, Ed Funding, CAFO’s, Marijuana

Feb 16, 2016
Jenifer Jones

The State House podcast for Tuesday February 16th, 2016 includes coverage of legislation on regulations of transgender bathrooms and locker rooms in schools, education funding, feedlot approval regulations, and drug policy.

Jenifer Jones

The Statehouse Podcast for Sunday, February 7th includes coverage of legislation on medical marijuana, Medicaid expansion, education funding, and government accountability. 


Jenifer Jones

The effort to put medical marijuana before voters in November has hit a stumbling block.   The ballot petition submitted to the Secretary of State’s office failed to receive approval.  

Petition organizers submitted over 16-thousand signatures for verification. The Secretary of State’s Office validation process shows only about 9-thousand met requirements.  About 14-thousand valid signatures are needed.  Organizers have 30-days to challenge the ruling if they choose.   

Committee Passes Bill Allowing Industrial Hemp

Feb 2, 2016

Members of a state House committee voted in favor of a bill allowing the production and sale of industrial hemp. Farmers have to go through a permitting process before growing the crop.

Voters May Again Decide On Medical Marijuana

Nov 10, 2015
Google Images

South Dakota voters may have another chance to approve or turn down medical marijuana.
Proponents of a ballot initiative to legalize marijuana for medical use turned in roughly 16-thousand signatures to the Secretary of State’s office.  About 13-thousand are needed to put the issue before voters.  State officials are now working to verify the petitions.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

A 19-year-old Sioux Falls man is dead after a weekend shooting that involved drugs and alcohol. Officers say Mikael Ashame died early Saturday morning from a gunshot wound. The man who shot him is in custody, and authorities arrested another person who owns the gun.

Sioux Falls police officials say they responded to a shooting first as a 911 hang up. Someone said a man shot himself, and another story was a man in a ski mask came in and shot someone. The investigation shows one man is dead following an accidental shooting.

Roger Whittle, managing editor of the Watertown Public Opinion, and Jonathan Ellis, Sioux Falls Argus Leader reporter and columnist, visited about former South Dakota Governor Walter Dale Miller who died Monday at the age of 89.  Other topics included the South Dakota Gear Up Program, the possible expansion of South Dakota's Medicaid program, and the Santee Tribe's announcement of a new marijuana resort.

Efforts Underway To Ban Alcohol And Tobacco In SD

Aug 14, 2015

A group is now working to  make booze and tobacco illegal in South Dakota.
Two separate petitions are circulating to add the criminalization of alcohol and tobacco to the 2016 ballot.  Another petition would ask voters to decriminalize marijuana.

Lakota Hemp Farmer Fights For The Right To Plant

Jul 30, 2015
Charles Michael Ray

A Lakota farmer is fighting for the right to plant a new crop of industrial hemp on Pine Ridge.
Alex White Plume began growing hemp in the late 1990’s after the Oglala Sioux Tribe legalized the crop for industrial use.   
But drug enforcement agents soon seized the White Plume crop.   He spent several years fighting in federal court and is under an injunction restricting his ability to plant again, despite new provisions in the Farm Bill that open the door for the crop.

Google Images

Last week leaders of the Flandreau Santee Sioux tribe moved to legalize marijuana on the reservation. The executive board approved the ordinance after examining how other areas handle legalized marijuana.

Google Images

Leaders of the Flandreau Santee Sioux tribe are legalizing marijuana on the reservation. The executive board has approved the ordinance after examining how other areas handle legalized marijuana. Members are planning for an operation that grows marijuana for medicinal and recreational use.

The Flandreau Santee Sioux executive board is making marijuana a tribal business. President Tony Reider says leaders are working to create a secure environment to cultivate the crop.

Law enforcement officials say the number of arrests for possession of marijuana is not on the rise in South Dakota even though it is now legal to buy and sell just two states away in Colorado.

Major Dana Svendsen is the Assistant Superintendent for the South Dakota Highway Patrol.

He says many of those cited for possession say they did however purchase the marijuana in Colorado.

Penalties Not Reduced For Pot Possession

Feb 12, 2013

By Victoria Wicks

A bill to reduce criminal penalties for small amounts of marijuana failed to pass through the Senate Judiciary Committee Tuesday. Senate Bill 221 sought to make possession of less than two ounces of marijuana a class two misdemeanor, which carries a sentence of up to 30 days in jail. It now is a class one misdemeanor with a one-year jail possibility.

Lawmakers Consider Pot Reform

Jan 31, 2013

The nationwide debate over marijuana laws is finding a home in the South Dakota state legislature this year.  States like Colorado and Washington moved toward legalization of pot in the November elections.  In South Dakota lawmakers are considering a few bills that change the penalties for marijuana use.  SDPB’s Charles Michael Ray has today’s Dakota Digest on the debate over reforming marijuana law.

Marijuana Defense Bill Hits Committee Today

Jan 31, 2013

A bill introduced in the Health and Human Services Committee today (Thursday) would give people charged with marijuana possession the opportunity to defend themselves using a medical defense. As SDPB’s Jilanne Doom reports, the lawmakers behind it fear the bill is misunderstood.

Critic: Crime Bill Misses On Drug Reform

Jan 28, 2013

It’s hard to find anyone in Pierre who isn’t singing praises for Governor Dennis Daugaard’s reforms of the state’s criminal justice system.

But there are some critics who say current legislation needs to go further when it comes to reforming the state’s heavy handed drug laws.

Emmitt Reistroffer is among those who support the bulk of the Governor’s Public Safety Improvement Act.   But, he is also an advocate for the reformation of marijuana laws.  His organization, South Dakota Families First is lobbying to see the act go further in reducing penalties for marijuana use.