Saturday, October 16, 2021


Community college students in California are encouraged to examine their options; plus a Boeing 737 Max test pilot was indicted Thursday by a federal grand jury on charges of deceiving safety regulators.


Environmentalists have high hopes for President Biden at an upcoming climate summit, a bipartisan panel cautions against court packing, and a Trump ally is held in contempt of Congress for ignoring a subpoena.


A rebuttal is leveled over a broad-brush rural-schools story; Black residents in Alabama's Uniontown worry a promised wastewater fix may fizzle; cattle ranchers rally for fairness; and the worms are running in Banner Elk, North Carolina.

Medical Marijuana Era Begins in SD


Thursday, July 1, 2021   

PIERRE, S.D. - Today, medical marijuana technically becomes legal in South Dakota. Supporters say there's still a long way to go for most patients to access the drug, but they feel a sense of positive movement after some wrangling over the process.

Last fall, South Dakota voters endorsed the creation of a medical marijuana program. A legislative effort, spurred by Gov. Kristi Noem, sought to delay implementation.

But the bill failed, allowing legalization of medical cannabis to begin this month. Melissa Mentele, director of New Approach South Dakota, said it's a big relief for patients - suggesting they now have a legal shield with these protections.

"What they do is ensure that South Dakotans that are using for medical purposes cannot be prosecuted," said Mentele.

However, the state health department warns that rules still are being finalized and medical cards won't be issued until later this year. Until then, officials suggest a patient consult a private attorney if they plan to use or grow the drug, even with a written recommendation from a doctor.

State dispensaries aren't likely to open until next year. Independently, the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe already is opening its own dispensary.

While the process has been bumpy at times since last fall's vote, Mentele said she feels the state is now handling implementation of Initiated Measure 26 as well as it can.

"It was so thorough that it covered a lot of the stuff that the state has put out for those rules' drafts," said Mentele. "They did follow quite nicely the guidelines set in IM 26."

Mentele led the campaign behind the initiated measure, which was backed by 70% of voters.

South Dakotans also last fall endorsed recreational marijuana for adults, but that issue still is being decided in the courts.

get more stories like this via email
Rev. Sharon Risher struggled to forgive after her mother was killed in a mass shooting by a white supremacist. (Courtesy of Rev. Risher)

Social Issues

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- Ohioans across religious traditions have come together as one voice this week to speak out against capital punishment. Dozens of …

Social Issues

SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Community college students in California are being encouraged to take a closer look at their education plans, to see if …


SPRINGDALE, Ark. -- New efforts are underway to help small-scale farms in Arkansas expand their business. The Food Conservancy, a northwest Arkansas …

Agency registration is a low form of voter registration in Ohio, but accounts for many of those rejected. (AdobeStock)

Social Issues

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A high percentage of rejected voter registrations in three of Ohio's biggest counties is raising some red flags. According to the …

Social Issues

CORRECTION: The last day to request absentee ballots in Virginia is Fri., Oct. 22. An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Oct…

Racial-justice advocates in Minnesota say standard political practices, such as redistricting, often prevent communities of color from having an equal voice. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- A special court panel is hosting public hearings this month, asking Minnesotans what new political maps should look like, and …

Social Issues

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Texas has some of the weakest gun laws in America, and gun-control advocates say the permissive attitude may be why a student …

Social Issues

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. -- As the pandemic wanes, hunger and food insecurity are also on the decline, but the need is still far above pre-pandemic levels…


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021