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South Dakota to Vote on Cannabis Legalization for 3rd Time

Adult-use cannabis legalization is set to go to the ballot box for the third time in South Dakota this November.

Earlier this week, Monae Johnson, the Secretary of State, waved through a measure that will enable South Dakotan’s vote on the proposal during the general election, the Associated Press reported. 

It comes after a petition to push through the ballot received over 22,000 signatures from registered voters, comfortably surpassing the 17,508 signatures required.

Should South Dakota vote to pass the bill, adult-use cannabis consumption would be made legal for people 21 and older.

While it is understood that the bill will not allow for a commercial framework, it would legalize possession of up to 2 ounces of cannabis flower, 16 grams of concentrates, and the home cultivation of up to six plants.

In 2020, South Dakota made history as the first state where voters approved both recreational and medical marijuana legalization simultaneously. However, the state Supreme Court invalidated the recreational measure after a challenge by Governor Kristi Noem, citing a technicality.

In 2022, voters rejected another initiative that would have allowed adults to possess and use home-grown cannabis but did not establish a recreational cannabis market.

Matthew Schweich, Director of South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws, expressed optimism, saying, “We are very pleased that we’ve qualified for the ballot and are extremely thankful to everyone who signed our petitions, our volunteers, our staff, and our supporters. We look forward to being on the ballot in November and we’re confident we can win again and restore the will of the people of South Dakota.”

Paul Armentano, NORML’s Deputy Director, also highlighted the strong grassroots support for legalization, stating, “It is a testament to the grassroots support that exists in favor of legalization in South Dakota that advocates were successful in their effort to once again place the legalization question before voters.”

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