South Dakota Activists Can Begin Collecting Petition Signatures to Legalize Cannabis



South Dakota has been seeing a fantastic deal of momentum with petitions to legalize some type of cannabis as of late. Final month, a healthcare marijuana legalization petition was authorized and given that then, New Method South Dakota has been functioning difficult to gather the required signatures ahead of their deadline. Now, a second group – South Dakotans for Improved Marijuana Laws – has had their initiative authorized for signature gathering as effectively. Their purpose is legalizing cannabis for adult use, rather than focusing on healthcare only. 

Interestingly, the individual who filed the initiative was Brendan Johnson, a former U.S. lawyer, who is now functioning with the activist group to draft an amendment that does not leave substantially out. 

“We are excited to move forward with these ballot initiative campaigns,” Johnson told Marijuana Moment. “South Dakota voters are prepared to approve each healthcare marijuana and legalization at the ballot box subsequent year.”

The South Dakotans for Improved Marijuana Laws initiative would enable adults 21 and older to possess and distribute up to an ounce of cannabis and give adults the proper to cultivate up to 3 plants in their household. It also suggests a 15 % tax, which would be utilised to fund the program’s implementation (and any excess funds would go to public education and the state’s common fund). It would leave licensing challenges regarding suppliers, testing facilities and retailers to the South Dakota Division of Income. 

In addition to legalizing cannabis for adult customers, the amendment also instructs state lawmakers to make legislation to legalize hemp and healthcare cannabis as effectively. Even with recreational cannabis legal for adults, given that South Dakota does not however have healthcare marijuana laws on the books, this inclusion is significant to assure individuals below 21 years of age are in a position to legally access the medicine they will need. Even with a separate initiative on the matter circulating, it is fantastic to know that the author of this initiative desires to make certain all elements are covered if the amendment passes. 

“The Marijuana Policy Project strongly supports the South Dakota campaign,” MPP Deputy Director Matthew Schweich, who led the organization’s efforts in help of preceding legalization campaigns in Maine, Massachusetts and Michigan, told Marijuana Moment. “Across the nation, and even in conservative states, voters are demanding marijuana policy reform. Our purpose is basic: to effectuate the will of the folks when elected officials opt for to ignore it.”

Activists look to think that South Dakota voters are ready to legalize marijuana, no matter whether it be for medicinal or recreational purposes – and they have till October 31st to gather 33,921 valid signatures from certified voters. Each campaigns are going to have to perform diligently to meet this purpose, but if they are thriving, then South Dakota voters will have a likelihood to make cannabis legal for their state in the 2020 election.


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