In 2001 we instituted a petition drive to put the option of farming industrial hemp on the South Dakota Ballot in 2002. We needed around 15000 signatures of So. Dak. voters to put the issue to a vote. We got 'em. The vote in the 2002 election was 38% in favor; 62% opposed. But then, So. Dak. voted about 60% in favor of Dubya in 2000, so....
In May, 2002, when we turned in the signatures to the Secretary of State at Pierre, we also planted about 300 hemp seeds in the flowerbeds at the state capitol. We had sent out news releases to So. Dak. newspapers, some of which carried the announcement of our intent to plant seeds. No one showed up to view our activity in front of the So. Dak. state captiol building, although we saw people watching us from the windows.
Bob Newland prepares to plant the first hemp seed
in the South Dakota state capitol flowerbed. Uncle
Sam (Ron Holton) patrols the perimeter.
Rear: Sean, Willie, James Christen, Bob Newland, Uncle Sam, Sara Wolfe
Front: Andrew Kneip, Jeremy Briggs, Sarah Childs
All obtained signatures in the petition drive.