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Battle of the Ballots: Opposing South Dakota Initiatives Submitted on Cannabis

This week, two opposing South Dakota ballot initiatives have been unveiled. One aims to legalise cannabis, and another aims to repeal the state’s medical cannabis programme and prohibit all activities related to the plant.

South Dakota’s Attorney General Marty Jackley has revealed a draft summary of a legalisation initiative that would see medical cannabis dispensaries able sell adult-use cannabis. The measure, proposed by Matthew Schweich of Sioux Falls, has been submitted for public review.

The initiative was driven by the work of the South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws campaign, originally submitted in December.

The AG’s office has stated: “Attorney General Marty Jackley takes no position on any such proposal for purposes of the ballot explanation. He has provided a fair and neutral explanation on the proposed constitutional amendment to help assist the voters.”

The public now has until Monday, 21 August 2023 to provide written feedback on the measure, with the draft amendment requiring 17,509 signatures to qualify for the 2024 general election ballot.

READ MORE: Cannabis ETF Collapse: Poseidon Dynamic Cannabis Fund to Cease Trading by Month-end

As State law requires the Attorney General to draft a title and explanation for each initiated measure, Jackley has also unveiled an explanation for an initiated measure proposed by Travis Ismay of Newell, which seeks to repeal the state’s medical cannabis programme.

The measure to repeal the programme, initially approved in the 2020 general election, aims to make all possession, use, cultivation, sale, manufacture, sale of cannabis and cannabis products a crime.

The petition needs 17,509 valid signatures to be placed on the 2024 general ballot and a majority of the votes cast in the general election will be needed to pass the measure.

The Attorney General’s explanation was drafted after a review of all 48 comments received during the proposed amendment’s 10-day comment period.

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