After a bill to legalize adult-use cannabis failed in the South Dakota legislature, it is now up to voters to approve the policy in November if South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws (SDML) can collect the 33,922 valid voter signatures required to put a constitutional amendment on 2022 ballots, the Kiowa County Press reports.
Matthew Schweich, SDML campaign director, told the Press that the group is “closing in on 20,000 signatures” and he has “no doubts” that organizers will collect enough signatures before the May 3 deadline. Schweich added that the group is looking forward to “running a strong campaign and passing cannabis legalization at the ballot box for the second election in a row, though we wish it was not necessary.”
Schweich is referring to the adult-use initiative that passed in 2020 but was eventually overturned by the South Dakota Supreme Court on the grounds that the vote had covered more than one issue.
The proposed SDML-sponsored amendment would allow adults over 21 to possess cannabis and grow up to three plants in a locked space out of public view. The amendment does not allow for cannabis sales or for a tax on adult-use cannabis, a fiscal note by the Legislative Research Council (LRC) says.
“There would be decreased expenses for the state due to decreased incarceration from the nullification of some marijuana-related laws, but the decrease in expenses is projected to be negligible at this time due to the de minimis number of individuals in prison due to crimes related to an ounce or less of marijuana and the unknown but likely minimal effect on marijuana laws related to the cultivation and possession of marijuana directly from plants,” the note said. “The decreased expenses for jails would be more significant.”
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