Thursday, September 10, 2015

With political will South Dakota's education crisis easy to reverse

Republican Governor Dennis Daugaard's Blue Ribbon Task Force found need of $75 million to implement its findings. The GOP-heavy task force is leaning toward a regressive sales tax increase to nudge teachers' salaries out of 51st place.

Initiated law is a blunt instrument: cannabis statutes need to be hammered out in committee then ground into sausage.

South Dakota's legislature can write a bill that would adopt legislation similar to Minnesota's medical cannabis law but worthy of Federal Drug Administration scrutiny where real medicine could be sold by pharmacies. Legalize for adults then allow Deadwood and the tribes to grow under California organic standards then distribute on reservation and off-reservation properties under a compact putting the gaming commission as the administrative body to tax and regulate.

Because cannabis is illegal under federal law, and use of the term "organic" is regulated by the US Department of Agriculture, a licensed cannabis business cannot be certified as USDA organic.

In my view edibles should only be available to patients suffering from debilitating diseases, disorders or conditions and be dispensed by pharmacists and taxed like other prescriptions.

Home growing for personal enjoyment should look like South Dakota's beer home brewing and wine making laws.

For the record, I do not support widespread growing of hemp: it is an invasive species and capable of overgrowing native grasses.

Tribes can do this by themselves and the South Dakota Legislature should be kept out of the cannabis loop completely unless Deadwood chooses to be the non-Native test bed off-reservation. Nations trapped in South Dakota and in other states with off-reservation properties are already testing cannabis law.

Washington State's Liquor Cannabis Board has entered a compact with the Suquamish Tribe.

Gannett's Jonathan Ellis believes the South Dakota Republican Party is on the losing side of cannabis prohibition.

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.

But, a red moocher state like South Dakota is powered by sin: video lootery, a loan shark industry that preys on the least fortunate, a massive gambling addiction and a too-big-to-jail banking racket fill in the gaps created by lobbyists who enjoy the protection of single-party tyranny.

Tribal nations are taking steps to bank cannabis proceeds. “The Indian casinos are basically small little banks,” according to Bloomberg News.

Wyoming is actually weighing cannabis as a revenue source. Led by Democrats, Wyoming's legislature is slated to tackle numerous cannabis bills.

Pass a corporate income tax, end video lootery, reduce the number of South Dakota counties to 25, turn Dakota State University into a community college, and adopt my cannabis template: the kurtz solution painted on a thumbnail.

Larry Kurtz is a mostly-retired builder with a background in marketing who grew up in Elkton, attended South Dakota State University and South Dakota School of Mines, lived in the Black Hills for thirty five years, in Montana for ten and now resides off the grid in western Santa Fe County, New Mexico. He blogs at interested party and at The Dakota Progressive

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