On the South Dakota voter’s ballot for 2020, both legislation for the legalization of medical marijuana and adult-use cannabis will be present. This will make South Dakota the first state to ever have both medical and adult-use marijuana on the ballot.
On Monday afternoon, South Dakota’s Secretary of State made it official that an adult-use legalization will be present on the 2020 ballot. Last month, a separate, yet similar, medical marijuana ballot initiative was also deemed fit to be on the ballot. This makes South Dakota the first state in the history of America to vote on medical and adult-use marijuana legalization proposals on the same ballot.
The adult-use legalization proposal would allow the legalization of marijuana for adults aged 21 and over. This would also establish a regulated system for the sale and distribution of marijuana, and call for the state legislature to provide a hemp cultivation law.
The group leading the adult-use legalization campaign, South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws, brought in over 50,000 signatures for its proposal in November. New Approach South Dakota, the campaign in full support of the medical marijuana effort, gathered over 30,000 signatures for its statutory initiative to execute a medical marijuana law for patients that have critically life-altering medical conditions. 33,921 signatures is the minimum number needed for a constitutional initiative. For a statutory initiative, only 16,961 signatures are requested.
What’s South Dakota’s current stance on marijuana?
Even with overwhelming support among a majority of voters, politicians in South Dakota have lacked in their responsibility to reform the state’s defective marijuana legislature. South Dakota’s current laws consist of some of the harshest in the country. Industrial hemp (and all other possible forms of CBD oil) are illegal. Though, this is with the outlier of the FDA-approved medication Epidiolex. Governor Noem vetoed a bill in the past that proposed the legalization of the cultivation of hemp. This past September, she once again declared her opposition by guaranteeing to veto the issue again in 2020.
A couple of the leading national marijuana policy reform organizations, the Marijuana Policy Project and New Approach PAC, are aiding in the support of South Dakota campaigns.
Eleven states have voted in favor to legalize marijuana for adults. Another 22 states have enacted medical marijuana laws.