South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem stated that she will veto a legal hemp bill if it makes it to her desk in 2020.
According to the Argus Leader, Noem also vetoed a hemp legalization bill when it was introduced earlier this year. She is so opposed to legal hemp that she wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed on the issue, which was published on Sept. 9. “When I was sworn in as South Dakota’s governor in January, opposing industrial hemp and marijuana legalization weren’t on my list of key issues,” she wrote. “But during the first legislative session of my tenure, I vetoed a measure to legalize industrial hemp. If the issue comes up this year, I will veto it again.”
However, while Noem is clearly not budging on this issue, all may not be lost. It’s possible that the South Dakota legislature will be able to veto her decision. If they have enough votes, they could end up bypassing her opposition.
The hemp bill’s sponsor, Sen. Jordan Youngberg, is frustrated at Noem’s lack of understanding. Noem sent a list of 315 questions to many legislators, and she received thorough answers to all of those questions. However, she didn’t have any reaction to the answers that were provided, and she did not show that she understood the benefits. “I think the governor has some valid opposition to it; she makes some valid points, but it doesn’t seem to me that she wants to work on finding a solution,” said Youngberg. Many also feel that Noem is out of touch when it comes to this decision. In her op-ed, she compares hemp to legal cannabis and says the “social experiment” of legal cannabis will end badly.
However, it isn’t all bad news coming out of South Dakota. A judge recently ruled that a warrant is required for a urine sample and the state is also working to remove their restrictive “possession-by-ingestion” law. Hopefully, the legislature will be able to move forward with legal cannabis despite the governor’s current agenda.