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Narcotics
Photo by Brett Levin Photography/ CC BY 2.0

This article was produced by Drug Reporter, a project of the Independent Media Institute.

Marijuana is on the ballot in South Dakota in November this year. This is a state that has the dubious distinction of being the only one to twice defeat a medical marijuana initiative. And it has another dubious distinction: It's the only state where people get prosecuted for having marijuana show up on a drug test.

That South Dakota has reactionary drug laws is not surprising; it is a pretty reactionary state. It voted overwhelmingly for Trump in 2016—he beat Hillary Clinton by nearly 30 points here—and Republican Governor Kristi Noem has (in)famously discussed engraving Trump's image on Mount Rushmore with him. The state's congressional delegation is all-GOP, including Senate Majority Whip John Thune, and Republicans control both houses of the legislature as well, holding a super-majority in both for nearly a quarter-century.

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Photo credit: Daquella Manera

The Louisville (Kentucky) Metro Police Department has fired Brett Hankison, one of three police officers involved in the egregious death of Breonna Taylor, a 26-year-old emergency medical technician who was shot dead in her home although she was not guilty of any crime. Prosecutors should go further and bring criminal charges against all three. Civilians have been prosecuted for behavior less damning.

But even criminal prosecutions of the three involved in Taylor's death won't change the dynamic that prompted them to break down her door in the middle of the night, claiming they were looking for evidence of illegal drugs. After all, a judge signed off on no-knock warrants that allowed police to barge into her home. (The Louisville Metro Council has since outlawed no-knock warrants.)

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