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 2010 South Dakota ballot issues

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PostSubject: 2010 South Dakota ballot issues   Mon Nov 01, 2010 10:33 pm

Constant Conservative


South Dakota Referred Law 12 on 2010 Ballot

Back in 2002, South Dakota implemented a ban on smoking in most public places. Now, Referred Law 12 seeks to expand that ban to all the other public places that didn’t get covered last time.
Some see this as a public health issue–saying that we must pass this law to preserve us from ourselves. I do not see it that way. I do see this a matter of curtailing freedoms more than anything else. As citizens we often engage in behaviors which might be dangerous to ourselves as long as we do not endanger others or other’s property. You might say that we are free to choose.
We ought to be careful to give more power to government in this regard. While many will say that this is something good (banning smoking in more areas) and as such we should not be concerned, we are setting a precedent that allows the government to step further into our lives than was previously the case. Would you be in favor of this law if it outlawed the eating of cheeseburgers in public, or perhaps the drinking of non-diet sodas? After all, some communities are looking at things such as fat and corn syrup as so evil that people must be prevented from having them by government fiat.
I do not smoke. I believe that smoking is a waste of good money and good lungs. Nonetheless, I believe that retail establishments which wish to allow smoking on premises should continue to do so. At the same time I believe that those who would smoke should be individually responsible for covering the additional health care costs which their lifestyles necessitate. Insurance companies would be wise to set premiums for smokers at such a level as to ensure that this is the case–instead of sharing the risk across the entire pool of citizens. I believe that such an action would allow the market to properly price smoking at such a high point that many would forgo it for financial reasons.
That aside, let us not double down on the poor decision made in 2002.
Vote “No” on Referred Law 12.

South Dakota Initiated Measure 13 on 2010 Ballot

As with a number of other states, South Dakota will be voting on the question of whether marijuana should be legalized for the use of those who need it for medical reasons. This is on the ballot as Initiated Measure 13.
And no, for any who are interested, the fact that federal laws would supposedly trump state laws is not part of the basis of my thinking. As someone who believes that the federal government should get out of many areas of our lives in accordance with its enumerated constitutional role, I am fine with the state establishing law on this measure.
Among other things, the measure would allow individuals who need the marijuana for pain relief to designate someone else as their pharmacist, as it were. Limits are set for how much of the drug can be kept on hand, etc. As many have noted, the probabilities for abuse are extremely high (no pun intended). Why not simply have the marijuana available via a regular pharmacist with a prescription? Of course, we can essentially already do that with THC pills.
To my understanding, this is a solution in search of a problem. There really is no such thing as medical marijuana (just as there is no such thing as medical whiskey). Many different products may be used for medical purposes, but that does not change their primary use. The primary use of marijuana in the United States today is for recreation/buzz/relaxation–not medication.
If one wanted to write a measure that would broadly legalize the use of marijuana (much as tobacco is legal, well, somewhat) then one could maker a stronger case for passing it. The present measure, however, would seem to be one thing masquerading as something else.
Vote “No” on Initiated Measure 13.

South Dakota Amendment K on 2010 Ballot

Amendment K (aka “the secret ballot”) came about in part because some were concerned that the ineptly named Employee Free Choice Act (aka “card check”) would become law. In the event that it did (or does, since it is not yet dead) there is hope that the passage of Amendment K would slow or stop the implementation of said law.
In brief, Amendment K positively and explicitly preserves the right of citizens to cast secret ballots for public elections and private elections which pertain to the establishment of employee unions.
In normal times, the need for such an amendment would not exist since the the secret ballot is one of the underpinnings of a modern free society: the right for a citizen to place a vote without being required to answer to anyone other than God as to what was voted for or against.
Here in the United States, we’ve not always seen the use of the secret ballot for political elections or union elections, for that matter. Past abuses of the electoral system, including outright bribery and intimidation which accompanied non-secret balloting, have shown us the benefit of choosing a less-corruptible way.
Whether in public or union elections, all citizens should be permitted to vote their individual consciences. May your conscience agree with mine on this particular matter. If it does not, remember that you might not be so free to choose if you could not do so within the privacy of the voting booth.
Vote “Yes” on Amendment K.

South Dakota Amendment L on 2010 Ballot

Amendment L would appear to be a bit of administrative minutia. It brings up the amount of an annual transfer of funds from the trust fund which was established by the sale of the state-owned cement plant to the general fund for the state.
One indication that this particular item is of little import is that I don’t believe anyone is against it. At least, I’ve not seen any righteous diatribes appearing in the letters section of any South Dakota newspapers, nor have I seen anyone burning up electrons within the South Dakota political blogosphere on the topic.
The adjustment of the disbursement amount (which is the core of the amendment) would seem to be a change which is driven by the downturn in the markets. On the face of it, reducing the annual amount which is transferred from the trust fund to the general fund would seem to be an approach designed to keep the trust fund from disappearing.
Now, I do not know why it was necessary to set up a trust fund to begin with–and why the law pertaining to it must be included in the state constitution–but that is all history.
As a conservative, I see the value in preserving the fund through this particularly difficult economic time.
Vote “Yes” on Amendment L.
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