On Monday, proponents of two marijuana initiatives in South Dakota submitted a combined 80,000 signatures to the Secretary of State.
One measure would amend the constitution to legalize and regulate recreational marijuana and would require the state legislature to pass laws providing for the use of medical marijuana and the sale of hemp by April 1, 2022. The measure was sponsored by former U.S. Attorney for the District of South Dakota Brendan Johnson and is supported by the committee South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws. Proponents reported submitting 50,000 signatures on November 4, 2019. To qualify for the ballot, 33,921 valid signatures are required.
South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws is also supporting a measure that would amend state statute to provide for a medical marijuana program. The measure was sponsored by Melissa Mentele, executive director of New Approach South Dakota. Proponents reported submitting 30,000 signatures on November 4, 2019. To qualify for the ballot, 16,961 valid signatures are required.
As of 2019, 11 states and the District of Columbia had legalized marijuana for recreational purposes; nine through statewide citizen initiatives, and two through bills approved by state legislatures and signed by governors. 33 states and Washington, D.C., had passed laws legalizing or decriminalizing medical marijuana. Additionally, 13 states had legalized the use of cannabis oil, or cannabidiol (CBD)—one of the non-psychoactive ingredients found in marijuana—for medical purposes.