Why do politicians oppose cannabis?
If people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny. --Thomas Jefferson
National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws Washington, D.C. Know someone who has a need for medical cannabis?
SoDakNORML recommends Reefer Madness A CD drama about the history of cannabis prohibition It's the best short history of prohibition we've seen. In addition, it's a highly entertaining presentation. Get it!
A History of Drugs and Prohibition Quick overview of man's desire for, discovery of, and use of intoxicants and euphorics, and of some mens' desire to punish them for it.
Been busted? Start here.
We get about two calls a week from folks who got busted in South Dakota for violations of South Dakota's unconscionable "drug" laws. Most have been stopped for having west-coast license plates (apparently an uncodified violation in SoDak). Most have already said way too much to the arresting officer. Most call for legal advice.
Our experience leaves us aghast at the lack of outrage among defense lawyers at the injustice perpetrated by the courts' acceptance of lies and illegal actions performed by arresting officers, as well as the barbaric nature of South Dakota law.
That said, we know that most people charged with a violation of drug laws are not capable of navigating the system by themselves. We are only personally acquainted with one lawyer that we recommend: Matt Kinney, Spearfish. Spearfish is on the western border of South Dakota. Matt recommended the other lawyers listed below. Provided he has the time in his schedule, Kinney can, as a practical matter, accept cases in the western half of the state. He's not adverse to taking cases farther away, but it gets pretty pricey. If I were busted in western SoDak, I'd call Matt. If he couldn't accept my case, I'd call whomever he suggested.
Keep in mind that good lawyers are often busy. That means they often will not be able to talk to you at the time you call. Be prepared to wait hours, even a day or two, for a return call. Try to get the secretary/receptionist who answers the phone to give you an approximate time for a return call.
In the meantime, please feel free to call (605-255-4032) and talk to us. We need to hear these stories, so we can gather ammunition to fight the..., uh..., severely misinformed people who make and enforce these laws.
NEW!! "Medical Necessity Act" MIGHT be introduced in 2013 SD Legislative Sesssion. Melanie Dreher "Cannabis users performed significantly better than non-users on the psychiatric and physiological tests." Judge Posner on YouTube Judge Posner article “I don’t think we should have a fraction of the drug laws that we have. I think it’s really absurd to be criminalizing possession or use or distribution of marijuana.” Should Grandma smoke Pot? This is 28 minutes that gives a very good overview of cannabis and cannabis policy. SoDakNORML sends letters to legislators. SoDakNORML issues postage stamp
It's hard to imagine how a system could be better designed to corrupt youth, enrich vicious people, and create a general cynicism about the law -- and law enforcement personnel -- than current "drug" prohibition policies. It's perfect. An arbitrary enemy which only advances in response to the apparent defense barricades thrown up in fear of its approach. A war that never ends, an appetite never sated.
The most critical thing we do at SoDakNORML is help people accused of violation of stupid laws to get on with their lives with the least possible amount of damage done.
The most important thing we do at SoDakNORML is attempt to change the laws so they conform more closely to the ideals of a free society.
Most of the people who call us after they have been busted have never contributed to a drug law reform organization. If they had, perhaps the laws would have already been changed and they would not have been busted.
Our work costs money. Keeping this website up costs money. We will do what we can to help you, because you should never have been busted, but you really should send us some money. After all, this website WAS here when you needed it. Maybe you can help us prevent it from happening again.
Intervention Support helps SoDakNORML with its work.
Prohibition was introduced as a fraud; it has been nursed as a fraud. It is wrapped in the livery of Heaven, but it comes to serve the devil. It comes to regulate by law our appetites and our daily lives. It comes to tear down liberty and build up fanaticism, hypocrisy, and intolerance. It comes to confiscate by legislative decree the property of many of our fellow citizens. It comes to send spies, detectives, and informers into our homes; to have us arrested and carried before courts and condemned to fines and imprisonments. It comes to dissipate the sunlight of happiness, peace, and prosperity in which we are now living and to fill our land with alienations, estrangements, and bitterness.
It comes to bring us evil -- only evil -- and that continually. Let us rise in our might as one and overwhelm it with such indignation that we shall never hear of it again as long as grass grows and water runs.
(From an 1887 speech by Roger Q. Mills of Texas; quoted more than once during the alcohol prohibition debates in Congress. He proved to be a prophet, as the years 1918-1933 taught us. We're learning the truth of this prophecy again in the so-called "war on drugs".)
Read a true story of how a South Dakota prosecutor punishes people for not fessin' up to crimes they did not commit.
A South Dakota AIDS sufferer gets busted for growing cannabis when his own daughter turns him in.
A story from a South Dakotan who experienced the endemic corruption of ethics among cops and lawyers.
Rapid City Journal columnist/blogger exchanges words with So. Dak. Attorney General over the War on (Some) Drugs
Have you been busted for "drugs" in South Dakota? Was there something bogus about the bust (aside from the fact that the law itself is bogus)?
Did someone lie to get you convicted? Did a prosecutor act like a jerk (see Eric Sage's story)? Did you end up having to take a "deal" that did not reflect justice (even under the justice system's own definition)?
Let us hear from you. We might be able to help, especially if the deal is not done yet. We assure whatever level of anonymity you want. We want your story; we don't want to get you in trouble.
Our aim is to try to decrease the number of people who get reamed the same way in the future.
If you feel more comfortable on the phone, call Bob Newland at 605-255-4032.
"Marijuana doesn't kick down your door in the middle of the night." -- Richard Cowan, former director of NORML
"I don't have many moral convictions. I don't. But I do know what drugs do to young girls." -- SD Governor Bill Janklow, to SD House of Representatives State Affairs Committee, Mar. 1999
Send us an email, and we'll send you regular info about events we may not have time to post on our website.
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"Reefer makes darkies think they're as good as white men."Federal Bureau of Narcotics Chief Harry J. Anslinger, 1929
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