Are the Medical Marijuana people to make SD their primary battlefield this fall?

The financial filing from the Medical Marijuana people this month was quite deceptive. Not in a sinister way, mind you. But I think it's catching people off guard. Because as everyone looked at the first one and said "eh, just as expected" they've completely ignored the second one. And that's where the big money is pouring into South Dakota through.

The South Dakotans for Medical Cannabis group submitted the first filing from treasurer S. Jeremy Briggs on 7/5 which showed that they had no income other than $1000 raised from the "hemp hoe down," with expenditures.

I think most people glanced at that report and dismissed it (as I did) with a thought that it was as expected in South Dakota - that this measure does not enjoy much support. But as I perused the reports more recently as of 7/10, another pro-medical marijuana group filed a report. And this one is where the big bucks are coming in.

And this PAC report submitted by Karen O'Keefe shows receipts that rival the money being brought into South Dakota by this people that everyone expects will be the heavy hitters this fall election - the pro-life and pro-choice groups!

The South Dakotans for Medical Marijuana, a separate committee from the first, reports receipts of over $113,000 - with more than $91, 000 from the Marijuana Policy Project out of Washington DC.

If you click on the image above, you can see everything in more detail. Including the fact that the group only records one South Dakota Donor of $100 or more. A Curtis Masterson of Ft. Pierre plunked down $250 for the effort.

But just like some other measures being brought forth in South Dakota this year, the out of state money dominates. The list of the states where the money is coming in from reads like a travelogue - California, Florida, Virginia, Vermont, Iowa.

And there are some big donors as well - Robert Field of the Manor Group, a Hotel and Apartment company apparently kicked in $10,000 towards the legalization of Medical Marijuana in South Dakota. And so did John Gilmore of San Francisco, a retired millionaire computer programmer who is fighting against the government with regards to showing a photo ID to fly.

But moreso important than the identities of the large donors is the amount of money pouring in. As mentioned, it's equal to, or in many cases, exceeds the amounts raised by other ballot measures garnering more attention in South Dakota.

As you'll see below, most of the money has been spent at the moment - about half on paid petitioners. But keep in mind, this is what they were able to garner just to get it on the ballot, when there were no guarantees it would happen.

At this point, there's nothing that would lead me to believe that they aren't going to go to the well this fall for more. And it may be in a greater amount than the $113,000 they raised to date.

Unless those who oppose legalized marijuana are vigilant and organize, they may find that this heavily bankrolled measure might just get a free ride in this fall's campaign season.


Bob Newland said…
"Physicians who provide written certifications may be subject to losing their federal license to dispense prescription drugs." --Attorney General Larry long, telling a flat-assed lie.

Long includes this gratuitous and errant statement in his ballot "explanation" of Initiated Measure 4 (the Safe Access Act). The "explanation" is a boorish attempt to frighten South Dakota voters who have not educated themselves on the truth of medical cannabis advocates' arguments.

You can do that at

Like all twisted-conscience drug warriors, Long equates a proposal to allow doctors and patients to apply proven therapies to giving joints to 9-year-olds.
Anonymous said…
I may be all for legalized marijuana if I have to put up with these idiots (legislators) in Pierre. Where do they want me to send the money?
Anonymous said…
Don't let Brock have any it or it will give him the munchies! So much for his "supersize me" diet.
Anonymous said…
If you and your family own the convenience store, I guess you have unfettered access to the Twinkies and Ding Dongs!
Eddie said…
This will be a well-organized and well-funded campaign, Powers!

Despite the establishment's attempt to distort the truth of the medicinal properties of marijuana, South Dakota voters can decide for themselves whether they believe persons with certain medical conditions ought to have availability to the medicine that works best for them.

After learning from your blog about "A Conversation with Governor Rounds" on KCCR, I rasked Governor Rounds about his position on the matter. Not surprisingly, he waffled at the ultimate issue. To find out more visit
Anonymous said…
I don't understand why there are two commitees on the same side of the issue at all. It divides their resources, and could confuse voters.

Any explaination?

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