Thursday, December 27, 2018

New Mexico Legislature will drive progressive session

My elected officials here in the Land of Enchantment are preparing a session that is the virtual inverse of the extremist and xenophobic dreck being concocted by the earth haters in the capital of my home state of South Dakota.

Just for instance, New Mexico's Democratic governor and unpaid legislators will not just legalize cannabis they are expected to pass legislation making a death with dignity legal for people with terminal illnesses.
Medical Aid In Dying (MAID) is currently legal in seven states and Washington, D.C., covering about 18 percent of the U.S. population. Oregon has 20 years of data that clearly show MAID is safe, effective, used infrequently, and has never led to a case of abuse or misuse. Perhaps most importantly, MAID seems to contribute to more people having their advance directives in place, greater access to palliative care and earlier use of hospice. [Know the facts before opposing an end-of-life options law]
New Mexico's flag has been named the coolest in America. The above image was captured at Mount Rushmore National Monument in the occupied Black Hills.

Voted the best dispensary in town Fruit of the Earth Organics, "the only cannabis dispensary in Santa Fe that grows all its plants for patients outdoors under the big hot sun, using butterflies and ladybugs as helpers," also offers a CBD store despite a Federal Drug Administration ruling calling it illegal. Big Dope, Ultra Health has announced its intention to grow hemp at two of their New Mexico locations.

In a related story the University of New Mexico will offer a Spring course in cannabis communication.

The South Dakota Republican Party isn't about growth; it's about keeping Social Security recipients alive long enough to pay the property taxes that sustain red state failure. My advice to the people forced to cover predator-plagued Pierre? Everybody with business in Hughes and Stanley Counties should wear a body cam for their own protection.

Saturday, December 22, 2018

The Clinton campaign threw the 2016 presidential election



Had former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton been elected in 2016 Paul Ryan would be president today.

Her campaign knew that if Hillary won the rabid Republican House would have impeached her by now, the Senate would be debating her removal and Trump would be on the sidelines egging them on. Somebody (probably Robert Mercer and Cambridge Analytica) promised Paul Ryan the presidency had Clinton been removed and Tim Kaine met an unfortunate end but that all crashed when Trump was installed. There’s no way in Hell the GOP would have given a President Kaine the time to choose a Veep.

Clinton sat in with the most sophisticated intelligence community on the planet, ferfucksake! She and her campaign knew the Russians, the Trump campaign, Mike Pence and the Republican Party were hacking the election and the battle over her private emails proves it. The tarmac meeting between Bill Clinton and Attorney General Loretta Lynch was to deliver a thumb drive containing the Steele Dossier to the Justice Department. It was likely an open secret Trump was already under the microscope. Hillary's campaign was phoned in at best so they gave Trump and the GOP all the rope they're using right now to hang themselves.

It’s becoming likelier all the time the outcome of the 2016 presidential election was engineered by the Obama White House, the Clinton campaign and the FBI to throw the election and destroy the GOP by destroying Trump.

It's the only explanation that makes any sense.

Now Lindsey Graham wants to be President pro tempore of the Senate and will become US President if Nancy Pelosi meets an unfortunate end after she succeeds in removing Trump and Pence. Remaining a mystery is how Trump and Pence will go away. Trump could fire Pence and appoint Clinton Vice-president then step down himself. That would be a model of the transition of power in American democracy that seems the most peaceful....

It's going to get ugly, isn't it?



Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Mentele: Ravnsborg supports cannabis legalization

64% of women incarcerated in South Dakota jails are drug offenders. The SDGOP's solution? Build more prisons.

Frustrated with the inability of activists and advocates to herd the booze-soaked, ecocidal South Dakota Legislature and the Republican Party apparatchiks in Pierre into the corral of cannabis common sense an interested party reached out to Matt Kinney, a Spearditch-based attorney who specializes in the defense of clients caught up in the morass of cannabis law in my home state.

Kinney told ip during a phone interview that the bills based on this template seeking the reversal of South Dakota's draconian statutes would be voluminous, would require changing the red moocher state's constitution and are beyond his expertise to draft.

Kinney, a member of the legal committee for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML), represented former Butte County State's Attorney Heather Plunkett after she was railroaded into dismissal by Attorney General Marty Jackley, the compromised Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI), Wendel and Jessica Hilland and one of Plunkett's co-workers, Cassie Wendt. Wendt was later rewarded and appointed to the State's Attorney post by South Dakota's outgoing governor, Denny Daugaard.

After posting news of the Kinney interview to the Facebook page of New Approach South Dakota, Executive Director Melissa Mentele responded.
Melissa Mentele: You obviously missed the news. The tribes are already growing in SD and have contracts with huge hemp companies & grocery stores. I'm sorry we don't post everything that is happening in SD on FB. We are doing just fine. 3 legislative bills & a ballot initiative. I'm not sure why you keep trying to stir the pot and say there isn't any advocacy being done here. SD Hemp is being sold all over the US.

interested party: That was under Randy Seiler. After Ravnsborg assumes office he will sue US Attorney Ron Parsons if the Feds don’t raid it. My guy told me that today.

MM: Sorry you are wrong. Ravnsborg supports legalization.

ip: Big, if true.

MM: It's huge. I 100% expect Hemp farming to be legal along with a CBD fix & a small cannabis access bill coming out of session. We already have farmers doing the USDA paperwork & providing the state with plans/surveys. Sorry I don't live on FB I am actually working with numerous state and national groups on SD law. I also took a seat on a national Hemp board & have been traveling speaking & networking for state help.

ip: Unless you adopt my template you’d be farther ahead buying some land in Minnesota and giving up on southern Dakota.

MM: We have 10,000 acres in SD so no thanks. I'm pretty confident it's covered.

ip: Hope you’re raking in the dough, girl. All the best to you and yours this solstice season.

MM: Ha I wish I was making enough to cover a tank of gas. I haven't made a dime. I have a rule until everyone has access I refuse to make money off of any of this.
Mentele's claim that Attorney General-elect and suspected incel Jason Ravnsborg has a road map to legal cannabis has not been corroborated.

Heather Plunkett had been a Republican who once served as county vice-chair elected by the central committee of Butte County GOP per the bylaws. She is the daughter of Mike Messmer, a principal in Meade County Republican politics and was appointed State's Attorney in 2010 by scandal-ridden Governor Mike Rounds. She had previously pleaded guilty to one count of possession of cannabis less than 2 ounces, possession of paraphernalia and ingesting a substance other than alcohol. She received a suspended jail sentence, underwent periodic substance evaluations, was on probation for a year and was ordered to pay $861 in fees and fines for exercising her cannabis rights in defiance of South Dakota law. Her husband Ryan pleaded guilty to possession of cannabis and received a suspended jail sentence.

Wendel Hiland is a Newell-area handyman and musician who faced 300 years in prison after he was arrested and charged in 2013 by Plunkett with 30 counts of abuse of a minor over the age of seven. He raped a minor then forced Jessica Hiland, who is twenty years younger than Wendel and only possesses an eighth grade education, into a child marriage. Wendel Hiland is only semiliterate himself and presents with dissociative identity disorder comorbid to persecutory delusions typical of so-called "sovereign citizens." That the Hilands or the Division of Criminal Investigation planted cannabis and paraphernalia on the Plunketts is not impossible.

During an interview last year Plunkett told ip cannabis helped to curb her alcohol use after learning the number of problem drinkers in the legal profession is more than double that of the general population. She has not renewed her law license but now she and her family live in Colorado.

Butte County is a hotbed of anti-government foment where a pipe bomb was found on a highway east of Belle Fourche in 2012. Attorney General Marty Jackley owns property near Vale, just down SD79 from Newell.

CBD products being sold in South Dakota and other states are little different from raw milk, preserves, pies or juices that are often tainted with hormones, pesticides and worse but sold at farmers markets anyway. Giving the products as gifts is one thing but selling untested product especially through interstate commerce is completely different.

The tribal nations trapped in South Dakota should be the primary beneficiaries of cannabis industry growth in my home state and if i was a cannabis lobbyist in South Dakota I would draft a resolution acknowledging there is a segment of the population who believes some medical procedures are offensive to some voters as a compromise to principled conservatives. My elected officials here in New Mexico are preparing a session that is the virtual inverse of the extremist and xenophobic dreck being concocted by the earth haters in Pierre. My advice? Everybody with business in Hughes and Stanley Counties should wear a body cam.

If anyone has additional information about the Plunkett case and wishes to remain anonymous please contact lawrence dot kurtz at yahoo dot com.

Monday, December 17, 2018

New Mexico NORML urges civil libertarians to know your rights

Published in its entirety:
Know Your Rights
Posted on November 26, 2018 by nmnorml_qybk6x

Your Rights

The following information is intended as a brief summation of your constitutional rights and is meant to offer helpful hints at how to effectively assert and protect those rights within the context of a police encounter. Of course, this information is no substitute for consultation with an experienced attorney.

The Fourth Amendment to the Bill of Rights of the United States Constitution states:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

The Fifth Amendment reads, in part, “No person shall be… compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law….” These amendments provide the foundation for the rights that protect all U.S. Citizens from intrusive law enforcement practices. If an officer violates your rights then any evidence discovered as a result of that violation must be suppressed from the evidence at trial. This is accomplished by filing a motion to suppress with the trial judge. Even if an officer obtained a warrant prior to searching, if that warrant is defective or not supported by probable cause, then the evidence must be suppressed. Often times, after the fruits of an illegal detention, interrogation or search are suppressed, the government is left with very little evidence and the charges are dismissed.

1. Don’t Leave Contraband in Plain View

Although law enforcement officers must obtain a warrant before they can conduct a privacy-invading search, any illicit material that can be plainly seen by any person from a non-intrusive vantage point is subject to confiscation. An arrest and a valid warrant to search the rest of the area are likely to ensue. A “roach” in the ashtray, a pipe or baggie on the coffee table, or a joint being smoked in public are common mistakes which all-too-frequently lead to arrests.

2. Never Consent

Many individuals arrested on marijuana charges could have avoided that arrest by exercising their Fourth Amendment rights. If a law enforcement officer asks for your permission to search, it is usually because: (1) there is not enough evidence to obtain a search warrant; or (2) the officer does not feel like going through the hassle of obtaining a warrant. Law enforcement officers are trained to intimidate people into consenting to searches. If you do consent, you waive your constitutional protection and the officers may search and seize items without further authorization. If officers find contraband, they will arrest you.

If you do not consent to a search, the officer must either release you or detain you and attempt to get a warrant. The fact that you refuse to consent does not give the officer grounds to obtain a warrant or further detain you.

An officer can obtain a search warrant only from a judge or magistrate and only upon a showing of “probable cause.” Probable cause requires an officer to articulate information that would cause a reasonable person to believe that a crime has been or is being committed and that evidence of that involvement can be found within the object of the search.

There are exceptions to the search warrant requirement which permit an officer to search an area without a warrant or consent under certain circumstances. The important thing for you to remember is never to consent to a search or talk with an officer if you want to preserve your rights.

If an officer asks to search you or an area belonging to you or over which you are authorized to control, you should respond:

“I do not consent to a search of my [person, baggage, purse, luggage, vehicle, house, blood, etc.] I do not consent to this contact and do not want to answer any questions. If I am not under arrest, I would like to go now (or be left alone).”

3. Don’t Answer Questions Without Your Attorney Present

Whether arrested or not, you should always exercise the right to remain silent. Anything you say to law enforcement officers, reporters, cell mates, or even your friends can be used as evidence against you. You have the right to have an attorney present during questioning. Your right to remain silent should always be exercised.

4. Determining if You Can Leave

You may terminate an encounter with officers unless you are being detained under police custody or have been arrested. If you cannot tell whether you may leave, you can ask officers, “Am I under arrest or otherwise detained?” If the answer is, “No,” you may leave.

An officer can temporarily detain you without arresting you if he has “reasonable suspicion” that you are involved in criminal activity. An officer must be able at a later time to articulate to a judge objective facts that would have caused a reasonable person to suspect that you were involved in criminal activity at the point that you were detained. Also, the officer may perform a “pat down” or “frisk” on you during the detention if he has reasonable suspicion that you are armed. However, an officer may only reach into your pockets if he pats something that feels like a weapon.

When an officer attempts to contact or question you, you should politely say:

“I do not consent to this contact and I do not want to answer any questions. If I am not under arrest I would like to go now (or be left alone).”

If arrested, you should again refuse a search of any kind and refuse to answer any questions. At this point you should insist on speaking to an attorney as soon as possible.

5. Do Not Be Hostile; Do Not Physically Resist

There are times when individuals politely assert their rights and refuse to consent to a search but the officers nonetheless proceed to detain, search, or arrest them. In such cases, it is important not to physically resist. Rather, you should reassert your rights as outlined above in section 2.

6. Informing on Others

The police and prosecutors often try to pressure individuals into providing information that would lead to the arrest and conviction of others. Threats and promises by police and prosecutors should be viewed with caution and skepticism. Decisions should only be made after consulting with an experienced criminal defense attorney and examining one’s own conscience.

Finally, consider downloading and carrying NORML’s Freedom Card — a quick reference guide to your rights and obligations when you are stopped by the police.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Nebraska could put therapeutic cannabis on the ballot

Only Idaho, South Dakota, and Nebraska ban all forms of cannabis despite a 2018 poll showing 77 percent of Nebraska voters support a constitutional amendment that would legalize for some patients.
Senators Anna Wishart and Adam Morfeld, both of Lincoln, announced the formation Thursday of Nebraskans for Sensible Marijuana Laws. They say the campaign will seek a constitutional amendment to give Nebraskans the right to use marijuana for medical purposes. The group has received backing from the Marijuana Policy Project, a leading national group that has helped lead five successful marijuana-related ballot measures in Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada and Utah. [KCSR radio]
Wishart would rather the Unicameral approve therapeutic cannabis so lawmakers can determine the requirements for its use.

The ditches along the I-29 of my youth were adorned with feral cannabis from Sioux Falls to Omaha: descendants of an agribusiness destroyed by a racist and xenophobic law enforcement industry now dealing with bulging prisons. Omaha: where they don't rubbah. You know, rubber...listen in on a party line: that's the lasting image of the town where my Union Pacific brakeman and conductor grandfather moved four girls in the 1930s.

Minnesota towns like Pipestone and Lake Benton near the South Dakota border could reap the coming cannabis whirlwind as the St. Paul City Council urges legalization.


Friday, December 14, 2018

Blogger urges Klobuchar to run for POTUS

Senator Amy Klobuchar supports the therapeutic cannabis laws in Minnesota and opposes federal interference with the state's authority to regulate the industry.
Klobuchar said Friday that any Democrat who hopes to win the nomination should be aware of and be prepared to address the concerns of that voting bloc. “There were too many people who got left behind, and when I look at this, I am someone who goes not just where it is comfortable, but where it is uncomfortable,” she said. [Klobuchar: Dem nominee in 2020 needs understanding of 'left behind' voters]
If she chooses to run she has my early primary endorsement to be my party's nominee for President of the United States.

It's hard to imagine either Trump or Pence running in 2020 so she'd have to be able to beat the GOP nominee. Other than Kasich and Flake who will the earth haters run?


Sunday, December 9, 2018

States are closing in on Holy Roman Kiddie Diddlers


Although nothing untoward ever happened to me as an altar boy for Fr. Louis J. Miller at Our Lady of Good Counsel a high school girlfriend told me their family attended Mass in Aurora because Miller had done something bad in Alaska then was transferred in the late 1950s to the Elkton parish under Sioux Falls cleric, Lambert Hoch. Hoch was born in Elkton. Marlboro-smoking, scotch-drinking Louis Miller was elevated to monsignor, built a gorgeous church and grade school, coached St. Mary's basketball then was decapitated in an automobile accident near Pierre in 1968.

Fr. Leonard Fox, the bean-counter who succeeded him and assigned to pay the bills was a greasy sleazeball who drove me from catholicism.
A new report outlining abuse accusations against Jesuit priests includes dozens of priests who worked in Montana churches, missions and schools — and shows that at least 11 priests were accused while working in the state. For priests who were accused of sexual abuse that were identified only by the Diocese of Great Falls/Billings as part of a bankruptcy agreement, the Jesuit report did not independently verify the claims or list the years of alleged abuse. [Dozens of Montana priests accused of sex abuse were moved to new posts, report shows]
Catholicism is hope like gonorrhea is charity.
The ramifications of that alleged secret pact – and decades of child sexual abuse inflicted by Catholic priests in New Mexico – are unraveling in the newest chapter of public reckoning for the Archdiocese of Santa Fe. The archdiocese, New Mexico’s largest Catholic district, encompassing 92 parishes, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization last week, opening the books into its finances. Liabilities, including payouts to current and future abuse claimants, were an estimated $10 million to $50 million. With more than a dozen state attorneys general and federal law enforcement launching investigations into clergy sex abuse this year, New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas’ office has ramped up its own inquiry, including targeting at least two former Catholic priests. [New legal troubles for the Archdiocese of Santa Fe]
Pennsylvania used a grand jury for the statewide investigation of predator priests and the Philadelphia Diocese is the bishopric of former Rapid City primate Charlie Chaput but don't expect suspected incel Jason Ravnsborg, Attorney General-elect, former altar boy and member of the Church of the Holy Roman Kiddie Diddlers to take on both South Dakota Dioceses.


Thursday, December 6, 2018

Anti-Native bias hitting Rapid City hockey team, taxpayers hard

I was in Philip the day of the Challenger explosion in 1986 because I drove out there from Deadwood twice a week for two years and got to know the town all too well.

Recently, the hamlet has been home to Trace O'Connell who spilled beer on a group of American Horse School students during a Rapid City Rush hockey game.
Matthew Reedy testified that he was part of a large group of 14 or 15 friends from Philip that traveled to Rapid City on January 24 to attend the hockey game in a luxury box leased by Eagle Sales of Rapid City and given over for the game to Don Carley who owns the steakhouse in Philip and is an Eagle Sales customer. When asked by defense counsel Michael Butler if O'Connell had been drinking he replied, "Yeah. He was. Everybody was drinking up there." He said he saw O'Connell raise his arms and wave them over his head like he was roping, demonstrating from the stand a rodeo cowboy's motion. It was this waving that caused beer to spill from his can of Bud Light, according to Reedy. [KCCR]
I called on Don Carley at his grocery and on the couple who were leasing his dad's steakhouse in the late 80s. He's an arrogant asshole just like the rest of those stupid yachos from Philip are.
While Carley isn't sure what to expect from the pipeline construction, he has his sights set on making some extra money at The Steakhouse, a sit-down restaurant and full bar he runs in downtown Philip. Carley doesn't open the restaurant on Sundays, but he may reconsider that approach once the pipeline crews move in. "You'll always have people who want to go have some drinks and a good meal," he said. "Or if they want to watch a football game or baseball game, where else are they going to do that?" [Big hopes, big worries surround Keystone XL pipeline plan]
Wall Drug was part of my territory in those days, too. I sold them a thousand cases of french fries one year and a hundred cases of beef roasts in another. Longtime donors to the state's Republican Party Wall Drug's Hustead family brought catholic clergy to the Wall area who then abused and exploited American Indian children.

Remember Rapid City businesses shat all over themselves trying to extinguish the wildfire of anger over entrenched racism as organizers of the Lakota Nation Invitational sought alternative locations for the annual event. Sioux Falls, Bismarck and Spearfish were considered.
This terrible incident angered the Lakota people so badly that this anger has never registered with the owners of the Rush or with the City Council of Rapid City. It angered them so badly that nearly all of them ceased coming to the Rush hockey games. “Sagging attendance?” Come on Rapid City wake up. The attendance sagged because the good people of the Indian reservations were completely turned off by the rude and racist treatment their children had received at a Rush hockey game. There has never been a public apology issued to them by either the Rush owners or the City. [Tim Giago: Apology owed for racist treatment of Native youth]
During testimony a teacher from the school said she felt beer hit her, too.
Team management told Rushmore Plaza Civic Center officials Tuesday that the Rapid City Rush will not need any cash assistance for November after leaning on the Civic Center for help in October. Civic Center Officials say the money they are paying to the team is money the center makes off the team and that keeping the Rush in town makes good business sense. They say that helping the team through some lean times will pay off for the taxpayers in the long run. [KEVN teevee]
The Bad River country in Haakon County is pretty awesome and home to several millennia of non-European humans with bison habitat expanding into the horizon.

Attorneys for the Trump Organization will stop at nothing to erase Barack Obama's legacy including accelerating the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline, a warming climate and an eventual American Indian rebellion to protect treaty lands.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

New Democratic governors chugging toward Front Range passenger rail

Two congressional neighbors now newly elected Democratic governors in Colorado and New Mexico have been pledging to develop passenger rail along the Front Range and southern Rockies.
In 2017, the Colorado General Assembly created the Southwest Chief and Front Range Passenger Rail Commission to pursue building a high-speed commuter rail line that serves the Front Range of Colorado. A comfortable, wi-fi connected, mass-transit option that is accessible and affordable may be the solution that makes this vision a reality. [Jared Polis for Governor]
After helping to bring $30 million for rail improvements to the state Representative-now-Governor-elect Michelle Lujan Grisham will have a portion of a $2 billion surplus to develop Positive Train Control for the New Mexico Rail Runner.
This critical infrastructure grant will support NMRX ‘s efforts to continue providing safe and reliable service to New Mexicans and tourists who depend on it every single day. I remain committed to revitalizing our transportation and infrastructure systems, securing funding for our state’s long-term needs, and helping our economy grow. [press release, Rep. Lujan Grisham]
Now, growth on the Front Range is driving planners to pick up the pace on passenger rail.
According to the Colorado Department of Transportation, there have been many ideas to connect Cheyenne all the way down to Albuquerque, New Mexico with a commuter rail line. But getting the public, local and state governments all on the same page with the details has proved difficult. In December, the commission also requested nearly $9 million dollars from the state to conduct a 2-year public engagement campaign on the premise of a Front Range passenger rail along I-25. It was granted that money in this year’s Senate Bill 1, a large transportation funding measure. [KUNC]
The State of New Mexico bought the track bed that Amtrak's Southwest Chief uses from just north of Lamy to Behlen south of Albuquerque from the Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway when the Rail Runner was built. BNSF owns virtually all the rail rights of way in New Mexico.
Amtrak is the sole user of the BNSF track between Jansen, Colo., near Trinidad, and the junction with the Rail Runner Express commuter train’s rail line south of Santa Fe, and is entirely responsible for capital and maintenance costs for that stretch of track. The National Association of Railroad Passengers is also concerned. A spokesman for the group that advocates for train and rail transit passengers said discontinuing the middle portion of the Southwest Chief route could be a “canary in the coal mine” for other routes. [Albuquerque Journal]
BNSF Railway and Amtrak both bear the costs of maintaining and improving the half mile long rail tunnel at almost 7600 feet near the top of Raton Pass. Why not sell the remaining portion north of Lamy to the border to the State of New Mexico and the remaining right of way to Jansen to the State of Colorado in a deal letting Amtrak reroute the Southwest Chief through Amarillo, Texas to Behlen like it wants to?

Equip the Rail Runner to connect with Amtrak farther south in New Mexico and to El Paso, create routes over the Santa Fe Southern Railway line from Santa Fe through Lamy and from Albuquerque serving other northern New Mexico communities. Connect with a Front Range carrier at Trinidad or go into downtown Denver, meet the California Zephyr, maybe even into Cheyenne, Wyoming. Legal cannabis for New Mexico's adults could help foot the bill for Positive Train Control.

Meanwhile the Trump Organization and the Koch Brothers are pledging to kill passenger rail service while vehicle traffic between the Black Hills, Cheyenne and Denver continues to increase just like it is between Denver, Albuquerque and Santa Fe.

I get the idea of a future I-25E but now is the time to connect the Southwest Chief to the Empire Builder at Shelby, Montana through Denver, too.

Montana cannabis industry still blunted by federal law

Despite Republican entrenchment Democrats in Montana's legislature worked to bring better testing for contaminants to better serve that state's therapeutic cannabis patients and providers.
Though medical marijuana is legal in Montana, the city of Helena cannot issue a business license to a marijuana dispensary or grow operation as marijuana is illegal under federal law. Helena city commissioners gave first passage Monday to a resolution that would suspend enforcement of a portion of city code forbidding the city to license marijuana-related businesses. A hearing for final passage will be held Dec. 17 at the commission’s final meeting of the year. If the resolution passes, licenses could be issued 30 days later. [Helena Independent Record]
Democrats are keenly aware that to energize millennials and a jaded base radical times call for sensible approaches to reforms of civil liberties for all adults.
There are rumblings of getting a measure on the 2020 Montana ballot, but marijuana advocates want to see new rules implemented on the existing medical marijuana law before focusing on recreational use. Stillwater Labs tests marijuana for contaminants, mold byproducts, potency and more. New rules include implementing mandatory licensing and inspections and allowing post-traumatic stress disorder as an eligible ailment. To see a full list of the new medical marijuana rules click here. [NBC Montana]
Montana's legislature meets every other year and in 2019 the body could revisit legal cannabis for all adults then Rob and Diane will pioneer Alzada's Stoneville Saloon as western South Dakota's and northeastern Wyoming's closest cannabis dispensary.


Sunday, December 2, 2018

Colorado county will dismiss thousands of cannabis convictions

About 4000 people convicted in Boulder County, Colorado of various cannabis offenses before that state legalized for all adults in 2012 will have their cases dismissed and sealed.
Shawn Coleman, a Boulder-based consultant to the marijuana industry, said the state legislature passed a law last year that allows people to apply to have marijuana cases sealed, but applauded Boulder County DA Michael Dougherty for taking a proactive approach. Coleman said he hopes other Colorado offices follow suit, and said he imagines the state legislature will also look at making the process easier and making sure people know about their options. [Boulder Daily Camera]
North Dakota's failed poorly-written Amendment 3 that would have legalized for all adults also included language that would have forced the expungement of the records for some cannabis convictions yet in its repressive, nanny state neighbor to the south if you're even suspected of ingesting cannabis police will force a catheter into your urethra.

In South Dakota where it's more likely the macho, booze-soaked legislature will legalize prostitution before it will reform cannabis laws Policing for Profit has allowed the Division of Criminal Investigation (DCI) to provide military armaments for the law enforcement industry throughout the state even as lame duck Attorney General Marty Jackley pleads for more resources for his minions.

States with the most alcohol-impaired driving deaths are Montana, South Carolina, North Dakota, Alabama, South Dakota, Texas and Wyoming. Republican-glutted states are the drunkest, kill the most kids, are the most obese and most addicted to opioids.
South Dakota Supreme Court Justice David Gilbertson, speaking at the Mitchell Rotary Club's meeting at the Ramada Inn, said the cost savings and reduced recidivism rates among targeted offenders has allowed the the state's system to continue working. Gilbertson noted there are 450 individuals in the state's drug and alcohol court programs, and 1,244 children under their parents' care. Instead of the state Department of Social Services providing for those children because their parents are in jail — at the estimated cost of $10,000 per year — those children are cared for by their working parents, who are also working to address their drug or alcohol addictions. [Mitchell Daily Republic]
Gilbertson is South Dakota's ranking Democrat.

At their state convention the SDGOP adopted a platform that punishes people seeking relief from intractable pain and suffering so Attorney General-elect, suspected incel Jason Ravnsborg, wants to build more prisons to warehouse meth addicts and the mentally ill because Corrections Department Secretary Denny Kaemingk says South Dakota's jails and prisons are full, the numbers continue to rise, the population "hit a new benchmark" and are especially evident in the women’s prison.

That South Dakota Republicans prop up illegal drug use and project an ethics black hole while ignoring a potential revenue source is just more evidence of red state collapse.


Thursday, November 29, 2018

New Minnesota governor, legislature blazing toward legal cannabis

Democrats in blue states already understand the added value of talking legal cannabis during their campaigns and Minnesota's Governor-elect Tim Walz is preparing to make good on his promise to legalize after that state's therapeutic cannabis program has shown to be effective in treating opioid use.
“I just think the time is here and we’re seeing it across the country. Minnesota has always been able to implement these things right,” said Walz, who as a congressman pushed the Department of Veterans Affairs to study medical marijuana for military veterans. If Minnesota legalized it, Walz said, nonviolent users should have their crimes expunged. Noah Johnson, who ran for attorney general as a candidate of the Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis Party, said DFL lawmakers should push for legalization if they want to win back a wing of progressive voters. [Pioneer Press]
Democrats are keenly aware that to energize millennials and a jaded base radical times call for sensible approaches to reforms of civil liberties in a responsible new green economy that seeks to keep energy-sucking Big Dope at bay.
Just like a Bordeaux wine comes exclusively from that region of France or Parmigiano-Reggiano is named after the areas of Italy where it originates, Humboldt marijuana may become a prestigious and legally protected designation of origin for marijuana products grown or produced in Humboldt County, California. It is probably inevitable that Big Marijuana will take hold in some form, but that doesn’t mean the market can’t support the small businesses that have enabled marijuana to become a uniquely local and artisanal industry. [Can artisanal weed compete with ‘Big Marijuana’? Boise law prof sees niche for farmers]
New Mexico is also poised to legalize for all adults.

Minnesota-based Xcel Energy has already tapped into Colorado's burgeoning industry selling many megawatts to grow operations but the future of value-added cannabis is grown outdoors, organic, geothermally heated indoors and powered by off-grid sources of electricity.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Howdy Doody Dusty took cannabis money

Rapid City-based Black Hills Corp is cutting a fat hog in Colorado's cannabis industry selling many megawatts of electricity to grow/ops.
Industrial Agriculture is a growing customer segment comprised primarily of cannabis-related farming activities. In contrast to the trends characterizing Black Hills’ aforementioned industrial customer class, growth in both the number and overall energy demand associated with the industrial agriculture loads has been trending upwards since early 2013. [Black Hills Energy, 2016 Electric Resource Plan]
Recall that in 2014 nerdling Howdy Doody Dusty Johnson accompanied South Dakota's lackluster-now-lame duck executive to a taxpayer-funded Western Governors Conference soiree in Colorado Springs where the pair met with industry mucky-mucks. Guess what: it paid off. Dusty hauled in at least $14,150 from those dudes last cycle. Xcel Energy is another utility reaping the green whirlwind so they gave Dusty $2500.

Pee in a cup, Dusty.



Monday, November 26, 2018

South Dakotans resisting (another) wind farm eyesore


A phallus competes for the skyline with ubiquitous wind turbines on Buffalo Ridge

Utilities are not your friends.
The South Dakota Public Utilities Commission approved a construction permit last week for the Prevailing Wind project in the southeast part of the state. The application was opposed every step of the way by people concerned about set backs, property values and health impacts. [Wind Projects Becoming More Complicated & Contentious]
$100 million spent on subsidizing, manufacturing, transporting, erecting and maintaining this wind farm bat and bird killer would take at least 200,000 Basin Power subscribers off the grid. That's right: primary power purchaser Bismarck, North Dakota-based Basin Electric Power Cooperative is an oligopoly paying Prevailing Winds, LLC to rip up land and disturb cultural resources sacred to numerous indigenous peoples for a grid that has never been more vulnerable to attack and to climate disruptions.

Last year's Legion Lake Fire in the state park named for a war criminal was caused by Black Hills Energy and Cal Fire has pinned the blame for at least 16 of last year's deadly blazes in Northern California on Pacific Gas and Electric.

South Dakota suffers the highest breast cancer rates in America due in large part to emissions from coal-fired electricity generating plants in Montana and Wyoming but the South Dakota Public Utilities Cartel (SDPUC) is staffed by Republicans so they're pushovers for rate increases by companies who bankroll the elections to the posts they hold. Xcel Energy enjoyed a 4 percent rate hike from SDPUC but reduced its request in Colorado. Commissioner Kristie Fiegen herself is circling the drain wracked with cancer caused by Attorney General Marty Jackley's partisanship and conflicts of interest. If South Dakota had a Democratic attorney general he might be compelled to sue Montana and Wyoming for the toxic legacy created by Colstrip, Basin Electric and Black Hills Energy.

No corporate taxes, a compliant regulator and cheap labor make South Dakota the perfect dumping ground for earth killers like coal and industrial wind power. Jackley got campaign cash from NorthWestern Energy last cycle; so did a bunch of other South Dakota Republicans. In 2014, Xcel gave $10,000 to Mike Rounds, $2,500 to John Thune and $4,250 to Kristi Noem. In 2016 Black Hills Corp. gave Thune and Noem wads of cash, too. Basin Electric doled out $270,000 in 2016 alone. Oil and gas found Mike Rounds' zerk, too. Noem received at least $5,500 from electric utilities during the 2018 election cycle.

Ice storms routinely knock out electric power on American Indian reservations often resulting in lost lives and the inevitable cyber attacks on the US will take down the grid for days, even months causing food shortages and mayhem. Microgrid technologies are destined to enhance tribal sovereignty, free communities from electric monopolies and net-metering only gives control back to utilities enabled by moral hazard.

Leaving the grid has never been easier so anyone who can afford to it should do it now and with Donald Trump still in the White House it's never been more urgent.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Nurses continue to flee South Dakota


The South Dakota Republican Party isn't about growth; it's about keeping Social Security recipients alive long enough to pay the property taxes that sustain red state failure.

The crony capitalism that keeps South Dakota the 8th worst state for the working class is destroying lands promised to native peoples by treaty and my home town of Elkton is struggling to find enough housing for migrant workers often living in squalor.

South Dakota is graying fast and nursing beds represent economic development but even the Janklow-owned Riverside Manor in Flandreau is overwhelmingly staffed by Filipinos and Filipinas as are most facilities for the elderly in South Dakota.

According to a 2017 Georgetown University study a good job is one that pays at least $35,000 annually for those under 45 and at least $45,000 annually for workers 45 and older.
According to the American Nurses Association, South Dakota’s registered nurses have the lowest annual salary of any state and the District of Columbia, ranking 51st behind Mississippi, Alabama and Iowa. The association reports that South Dakota’s 12,530 registered nurses received an average annual salary of $57,010, or $27.41 per hour in 2017. California’s RNs posted the highest compensation at $102,700, $49.37 per hour. [Low pay complicates efforts to attract, retain nurses in South Dakota]
The mother of my daughters, the Odd Goddess of Basin and Our Lady of the Arroyo are all registered nurses.

Mobridge Care and Rehabilitation Center and Madison Care and Rehabilitation Center are expected to close early next year because they can't keep staff. It's just going to get worse under another Republican governor and an even more extremist legislature.

Any RN with half a brain will leave for Minnesota, Colorado or the Southwest the instant they graduate so the work force in South Dakota will just get older, stupider and more Republican.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Fine, flashy fuels not forest policy driving late season wildfires




Monday, November 19, 2018

South Dakota Democrats have nothing to lose by being revolutionary


The trip to Yankton for the 2014 South Dakota Democratic Party State Convention to take photos for Northern Plains News was a personal opportunity to learn directly from the delegates, legislators and candidates while lobbying them about what one interested party still believes is the future of the party.

It was gratifying to be received as a credible voice at an event were everybody knew a blogger living in Santa Fe who cared enough about his home state to drive a couple thousand miles and shoot a few pictures. Jeff Barth and the Minnehaha County people took a straggler into their ranks and pressed the caucus on strict adherence to the rules with vigorous confidence.

There were some disappointments like no representation from Lawrence County and a watered-down therapeutic cannabis plank, for instance; but, the experience of knowing these people are dedicated Democrats who are sick and tired of being bullied by the state's dominant party while tirelessly fighting for a land they love was worth every driven mile.

2016's platform was better.
in Support of Marijuana Legalization

Whereas: South Dakota law prohibits the possession and usage of marijuana, and
Whereas: The existing South Dakota marijuana laws violate the commitment to meeting every individual's basic human rights to promote respect for diverse lifestyles and viewpoints and to live in a community without fear of discrimination, and
Whereas: The medical benefits of marijuana would help countless South Dakotans who suffer from Glaucoma, Parkinson’s Disease, seizure disorders, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, various psycho-physiological disorders, and many other conditions, and
Whereas: The existing marijuana laws inhibit economic growth and opportunity, and now therefore be it
Resolved: That the South Dakota Democratic Party supports regulation and taxation of marijuana in a manner similar to that of alcohol, and be it
Further Resolved: That the South Dakota Democratic Party urges state and federal governments to implement a plan to provide for the safe and affordable distribution of marijuana to all medical marijuana patients, and be it
Further Resolved: That the South Dakota Democratic Party supports the legalization of industrial hemp which can be grown and used to produce renewable food, oil, wax, resin, rope, cloth, paper, and fuel in support of a sustainable full-employment society. [SDDP]
But, the 2018 convention platform and resolutions don't even mention cannabis embracing Roundup-ready hemp instead!

Democrats lost in South Dakota because the party abandoned legal cannabis as a campaign strategy and nominated an anti-reproductive rights candidate for governor failing to attract American Indian and younger voters.

The only reason Billie Sutton got any SDGOP crossover votes whatsoever is because Kristi Noem is hated by almost half her caucus. Vote margins in the other statewide races proved that. Stephanie Sandlin or Bernie Hunhoff would have done at least as well. After bombarding the Facebook pages of every single South Dakota media outlet that has one, blocking over 1000 bots and helping to draw out some 91,000 new Democratic voters in my home state I have unfollowed all media outlets in South Dakota on FB and Twitter.

Democrats in blue states already understand the added value of talking legal cannabis during their campaigns and some red state Democrats get it, too; but during the 2018 election cycle the US House candidate believed the state party is just too fragile for cannabis rights.

Yes, North Dakota just defeated a flawed and poorly-written constitutional amendment legalizing cannabis for all adults. Black market cannabis not tested or subject to regulation makes America and South Dakota less safe. Legalizing and regulating a product that so many people enjoy is reasonable public policy aligned with life safety concerns.

No South Dakota Democrat will get a dime from me until the county chairs are filled and unless Democrats weave cannabis into their platform at their state convention and arch-conservatives run for offices outside the Greedy Old Party it's curtains for SDDP in 2020, too.

The South Dakota Democratic Party should advocate for paying the tribes and settling the Black Hills Claim, dissolving the Black Hills National Forest, moving management of the land from the US Department of Agriculture into the Department of Interior in cooperation with Bureau of Indian Affairs Division of Forestry and Wildfire Management. Mato Paha (Bear Butte), the associated national grasslands and the Sioux Ranger District of the Custer/Gallatin National Forest should be included in the move.

Rewild it and rename it Okawita Paha National Monument eventually becoming part of the Greater Missouri Basin National Wildlife Refuge connecting the CM Russell Wildlife Refuge in Montana along the Missouri River to Oacoma, South Dakota combined with corridors from Yellowstone National Park to the Yukon in the north and south to the Canadian River through Nebraska, eastern Colorado, western Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico and Texas.

Hey, South Dakota Democrats: run on passing a corporate income tax, reducing the number of SD counties to 25, turning Dakota State or Northern State University into community colleges, ending video lootery and adopting my cannabis template.

Hoka Hey!

Sunday, November 18, 2018

South Dakota makes bank on sex trafficking


Sexual predators in Pierre have been a feature of South Dakota during the legislative session for its entire history but to Sioux Falls-area legislator, Deb Peters it's no big deal.

The Aberdeen American's editorial board is pointing fingers at other South Dakota media for lousy coverage of the Republican rape culture in Pierre. "Unsafe. Unacceptable. Hyper-masculine. Sexualized. Dirty." That's how the board and how women have described earth haters in Pierre. The South Dakota Newspaper Association, teevee stations and local media have known about Pierre's rape culture and culture of corruption for decades and simply demurred to the twenty earth hater donors who run the state.

Hells Angels, Bandidos and other gangs own property in the Black Hills area to serve as bases of operation for sex and meth trafficking much of it through what appear to be legitimate businesses.

Those motorcycle clubs and the South Dakota law enforcement industry use the Sturgis Rally as a sort of pyramid scheme clearinghouse. During pre-Rally meetings they exchange the names of individuals who will ultimately be targeted for arrest to place moles into the state's jails and prisons and to provide cops with an appearance of relevance. The Sturgis bacchanal is really all about male white privilege at any cost. Thanks to selective enforcement white thugs have carte blanche to commit flagrant criminal acts during the Rally. A long history of lawlessness can make the event highly virulent attracting common parasites who breed in the cesspools of human existence.

Gangs of armed men with mental illnesses and addictions to meth power their way into western South Dakota every year; and, an accepted outlaw biker culture routinely traffics illicit behaviors that would otherwise be subject to legal interdiction.

Polygamy and pedophilia are apparently protected religious freedoms in South Dakota as far as Republicans are concerned. Recall the mother of earth hater state legislator and former candidate for South Dakota Attorney General, Lance Russell sold property to the Fundamentalist Church of Latter-Day Saints (FLDS) Church where minor girls are trafficked and raped.
For about three months of the year, from September to November, the bar and restaurant transform into a completely different establishment. But increasingly it is a commercial enterprise, one that comes with a dark side: sex trafficking and pop-up strip clubs that cater to hunters here for a good time. Asked about a rumored prostitution sting at Frank Day’s last year, a representative for the state Department of Criminal Investigation issued this statement: “The DCI does a number of operations, but we do not confirm any details. The only time operation details are released is if there are arrests.” For trafficking survivor advocates like Heth, of the Pathfinder Center, pheasant season isn’t the tradition-tinged seasonal activity that harms only birds. Trafficking ensnares South Dakota women as well. Native American women are heavily targeted. Nothing to see here. [Hunting season’s underbelly: Stripping, sex trafficking and small towns looking the other way]
But, a red moocher state like South Dakota is powered by sin: video lootery, a loan shark industry that preys on the least fortunate and a too-big-to-jail banking racket fill in the gaps created by lobbyists who enjoy the protection of single-party tyranny. Desperate to pay off those who benefit the entrenched Republican establishment criminals always have a champion sitting as attorney general. Now, the red moocher state has elected a governor who not only slept her way to the top she has never supported the Violence Against Women Act.

Despite lies from the South Dakota Republican Party video lootery, payday loan sharks, domestic violence and homelessness are inextricably linked putting children at risk to more catastrophic consequences far more often than has happened in states that have legalized or lessened penalties for casual use of cannabis. Fact is: South Dakota is far closer to legalizing prostitution than it is to cannabis reform.

The reasoning is hardly mysterious: it's all about the money policing for profit, sex trafficking, hunting and subsidized grazing bring to the South Dakota Republican Party destroying lives, depleting watersheds and smothering habitat under single-party rule.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Study fingers industrial agriculture and conifers for roles in warming climate.


Is Earth fucked?

Global warming has been accelerating since humans began setting fires to clear habitat, as a weapon or just for amusement. Evidence that we humans have eaten or burned ourselves out of habitats creating catastrophes behind us is strewn throughout the North American continent. European settlement and the Industrial Revolution in the New World took hardwoods for charcoal then humans allowed fast-growing conifers to replace lost forests. Desertification driven by agricultural practices, overgrazing, concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) and urban sprawl have turned much of the United States into scorched earth.

The Anthropocene is now.

Have we reached Peak Human? Should Liberals and Progressives just say: "to Hell with biodiversity" and join the earth haters in a final orgy of death, consumption and/or prayer? Coexist or kill them all and let Gaia sort 'em out?

Actually, some humans know how to slow planet warming, flatten the Keeling Curve and erase the carbon equivalent of every motor vehicle running in America today.
A new study published on Wednesday, however, found that better management of forests, grasslands and soils in the United States could offset as much as 21 percent of the country’s annual greenhouse gas emissions. The paper, published in the journal Science Advances, identified a number of promising strategies, like replanting trees on degraded lands, changing logging practices to better protect existing forests and sequestering more carbon in farmland soils through new agricultural techniques. “So much of this is tied to the way we grow food.” [Part of the Answer to Climate Change May Be America’s Trees and Dirt, Scientists Say]
The leaves of aspen and other native hardwoods reflect sunlight during spring and summer and after losing them in the fall hold winter snow packs while pine needles continue to absorb heat and accelerate snow melt warming the planet. Ponderosa pine and other conifers suck billions of gallons from aquifer recharges and are rich in volatile organic compounds that are explosive during wildfires while aspen slows crown fires. New Mexico and the Rocky Mountain West have been home to much larger aspen communities in the fairly recent past.

Not talking about fuel treatments during wildfires is akin to not talking about background checks during a mass shooting. Fact is: it’s far, far cheaper to bill the feds after a wildfire than it is to conduct prescribed burns. That’s because it's less litigious to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission. The solutions are simple. We must talk more about how stakeholders and policy makers interact with voters instead of reacting to an industry-driven executive branch being forged by a Zinke-powered bellows.

Clear the second growth conifers, conduct fuel treatments, restore aspen and other native hardwoods, build wildlife corridors and approximate Pleistocene rewilding using bison and cervids. We'll adapt or die.

It's that or legalize automatic weapons, end restrictions on the sale and possession of rocket propelled grenade launchers, let the carnage begin and get it over with.




Wednesday, November 14, 2018

New Mexico legislature poised to legalize, grow Big Dope

Speaker of the New Mexico House Brian Egolf not only supports legalization for all adults he serves as legal counsel for the state's therapeutic cannabis leader, Ultra Health.
Sen. Peter Wirth (D-Santa Fe), the Senate's majority floor leader, says his chamber is more likely to vote in favor now because Democrats picked up two seats in the 2016 election. Like Egolf, he is also a personal supporter of recreational cannabis. Current purchasers of cannabis in New Mexico's medical program pay just gross receipts tax. Whether and how the state levies additional excise tax could get complicated in a hurry. [Here Comes the Nug]
Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber said he will lobby the New Mexico Legislature to propel legalization and with Michelle Lujan Grisham elected as governor it’s looking likelier.
In an interview, Webber said there are numerous reasons for New Mexico to join the other states that have legalized marijuana for recreational use. “It is broadly supported, it is a new source of revenue and by making it legal, we will stop wasting our law enforcement resources on something that is really a victimless crime,” he said, adding that the state should still be concerned about youth using marijuana, as well as people who “overindulge.” “I think it’s an intelligent step, and the state, I think, would be well served to get in line for legalizing and regulating cannabis,” the mayor added. [Santa Fe New Mexican]
Black market cannabis not tested or subject to regulation makes America and New Mexico less safe.

Governor-elect Lujan Grisham worked with former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson to legalize cannabis for some patients but Gov. Bill Richardson, a Democrat, signed it into law.
Lujan Grisham said if she is elected governor she would sign a recreational cannabis bill into law if it included certain conditions. One of the conditions she would require is that the bill provides protection for medical cannabis, which often has lower levels of THC than recreational cannabis. She said the bill would need to include regulation of edibles. [Farmington Daily Times]
Legalizing and regulating a product that so many people enjoy is reasonable public policy aligned with life safety concerns but giving a monopoly to Ultra Health only feeds Big Dope.

Calling itself "New Mexico's No. 1 cannabis company" Ultra Health has broken ground in Clayton near the borders with Texas and Oklahoma. Big Dope Ultra has nine dispensaries in New Mexico and plans to at least double that next year.

Last year Israel-based Panaxia Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. and Ultra Health opened a facility in Bernalillo to manufacture cannabis oil, oral tablets, suppositories, pastilles, transdermal patches and topical creams. The collaboration came on the heels of a University of New Mexico resolution demanding the school divest from corporations that profit from human rights violations both in Palestine and at the US-Mexico border. It was later rescinded.

New Mexico is struggling with its own colonial past.
When it comes to Native American history, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz is out to squash every superstition, lie, and rumor. Remember, it was a papal bull that gave permission for the Portuguese to colonize Africa, for the Spanish to colonize the Americas. It was taken up by British Protestants, too — it essentially became international law — the right to colonize non-Christian peoples. Thomas Jefferson supported this doctrine, and under Andrew Jackson, it was codified into law as the U.S. sought the subjugation of Indians west of the Mississippi River. That follows us to this day,” Dunbar-Ortiz said. [Pasatiempo]
Arizona-based Ultra Health CEO Duke Rodriguez has praised the state for blooming sales and showered Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Lujan Grisham with campaign dollars.

How condoning the loss of local control and colonial brutality both in Palestine and in New Mexico looks good to Democratic voters remains a mystery.

My preference is craft growers would also be marketers like vineyards and brewers subject to state inspections. Revenue debate needs to be done in committee in concert with tribal officials interested in forging compacts.