In an op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal on Monday evening, Republican Gov. Kristi Noem said that until law enforcement has a reliable and efficient method to differentiate marijuana from industrial hemp, South Dakota would not be joining the other states that have legalized hemp following the passage of the federal 2018 Farm Bill in December.
“Every experiment needs a control,” she wrote. “I believe the social experiment our nation is conducting with highly potent legal weed will end poorly. But to create evidence for a comparison, we need leaders willing to stand up and say, ‘No.’”
Noem said that if a bill to legalize hemp in South Dakota reaches her desk in 2020, she will veto it, just as she did with a similar measure earlier this year.
Noting that she comes from a farming and ranching family, Noem said that she understands the desire for a new cash crop for the state. But without a way for law enforcement to tell the difference between hemp and marijuana, legalizing hemp effectively legalizes both forms of cannabis.
Similar Bill Nixed Earlier This Year
Following the legalization of hemp at the federal level, South Dakota legislators, like those in many other