A new “Hemp. We’re On It.” website is taking aim at Gov. Kristi Noem’s opposition to legalizing industrial hemp.
The Libertarian Party of South Dakota created the website onhemp.org and “Hemp. We’re On It.” logo in November. Both mirror Noem’s recent anti-meth campaign “Meth. We’re On It,” which included the website onmeth.com, that went viral in November
“Misinformation” about industrial hemp is “everyone’s problem,” and it remains illegal in South Dakota due to Noem’s “misguided stances,” the Libertarian Party states on its website.
“But we can approach this problem from different angles, so one person doesn’t prevent our counties, towns and neighborhoods from benefiting from this versatile crop,” the Libertarian Party stated.
South Dakota is one of three states that haven’t legalized industrial hemp. Legislators have a bill ready to be introduced during the next legislative session to legalize it, but Noem has already said she’ll veto it. She vetoed a bill legalizing hemp in the 2019 session, and the Senate failed to override it.
Noem’s opposition to legalizing industrial hemp hasn’t changed, according to her spokeswoman Kristin Wileman.
“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and this is yet another example that South Dakota’s meth campaign is working,” Wileman said.
Noem’s “On Meth” campaign has resulted in 81 people calling or texting the helpline and 12 people have been referred to treatment, according to Wileman.
“To put that in context, more people have been helped in the last few weeks than previous meth initiatives helped in years,” she said.
The state’s Department of Social Services has paid Minneapolis marketing firm Broadhead Co. a little more than $715,000 so far for the “Meth. We’re On It.” campaign, according to the state’s Open Checkbook website. The state’s contract with Broadhead, effective until May 31, 2020, states that the contract amount shouldn’t exceed $1.4 million.
The state is now going into the second phase of the anti-meth campaign, which includes $730,000 in funding for evidence-based meth prevention programming in more than 40 middle schools. Noem is also proposing $3 million in her 2021 budget for intensive meth treatment, which is a long-term treatment for severe meth addiction provided at six addiction treatment facilities in South Dakota.
The “on hemp” website, which includes contact information for substance abuse resources, isn’t intended to make light of the serious issue of methamphetamine abuse, according to the Libertarian Party. Instead, the hemp website is intended to use the “negative publicity of the poorly constructed and obscenely expensive” anti-meth campaign by Noem to shed light on the industrial hemp issue in South Dakota.