Exciting news! A newly formed political campaign, South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws, has launched an effort to pass two marijuana reform ballot initiatives in South Dakota next year.
Yes, you read that right: South Dakota.
The first ballot initiative, a proposed constitutional amendment, would legalize and regulate marijuana for adults 21 and older and direct the legislature to enact laws regulating the cultivation and sale of hemp. The second ballot initiative, a proposed statutory amendment, would establish a medical marijuana law for qualifying patients.
The 2020 campaign, supported by MPP, must collect 33,921 signatures from voters by November 3 of this year to qualify the constitutional initiative for the 2020 ballot. The statutory initiative will require 16,961 voter signatures to qualify.
Leading politicians in the state have consistently opposed marijuana policy reform, and Gov. Kristi Noem even opposes the legalization of industrial hemp. This campaign will give the voters of South Dakota the opportunity to decide these issues at the ballot box.
We will keep you informed of major developments. You also can follow the campaign and support them by signing up for email alerts on their website.
The South Dakota Legislature begins its legislative session today. Unfortunately, marijuana policy reform isn’t on the docket. In fact, just like in 2018, there are no marijuana policy reform bills filed in 2019.
That’s where you come in — ask your lawmakers today to support the decriminalization of marijuana with our easy-to-use email system.
No adults should face jail time for possessing small amounts of marijuana. Twenty-three other states have stopped jailing marijuana consumers and it’s time for South Dakota to do the same.
So please, reach out to your local representatives and tell them why you support decriminalizing marijuana in South Dakota. After you reach out, share this link with friends and family. Together, we can bring sensible marijuana policy to South Dakota.
New Approach South Dakota submitted nearly 15,000 signatures to the Secretary of State with hopes of adding a medical marijuana measure to the 2018 ballot.
South Dakota Secretary of State Shantel Krebs said the review of the submitted measure would likely be finished within four months. Her office conducts a random sampling of the signatures to determine validity, with at least 5% of the collected signatures being reviewed.
The medical marijuana measure that was submitted for signature validation would allow patients with certain conditions like cancer, HIV/AIDS, chronic debilitating pain, and PTSD to obtain a registration card to possess up to three ounces of marijuana.
To read the full text of New Approach South Dakota’s proposed medial marijuana ballot initiative, check our their website. We are hopeful that the initiative will qualify for the 2018 ballot and that South Dakotans will have the opportunity to adopt a compassionate policy for medical marijuana patients.
In the final weeks of signature collection, New Approach South Dakota is pushing forward to reach their goal. Two petitions are being circulated — one petition seeks to legalize marijuana for medical uses and the other to legalize certain amounts of marijuana for adult use and to regulate and tax marijuana establishments.
These ballot measures are of critical importance since the South Dakota Legislature has only taken a symbolic step toward patient access. A bill passed during the last session would hypothetically allow patients access to CBD oil, but the law includes a requirement that any recommended CBD oil be approved by the Food and Drug Administration, which would indefinitely curtail access to the oil in South Dakota.
Furthermore, South Dakota’s marijuana possession laws may be the nation’s harshest. Specifically, individuals who have consumed marijuana elsewhere are subject to penalty if they test positive for past use — even if they consumed marijuana in a state where it was legal!
November 6 is the date to submit signed petitions, so if you haven’t added your signature, there is still a bit of time left! Check out New Approach South Dakota’s Facebook page for most up-to-date information on signing locations and events!
New Approach South Dakota (NASD) is collecting signatures for a proposal to make medical marijuana legal! This ballot initiative will appear on the 2016 ballot if supporters can collect enough signatures by November 9. That’s only a week away!
To help get the measure past the finish line, contact NASD’s Melissa Mentele at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If the proposal appears on the 2016 ballot and is approved by the voters, it would:
-- Legalize the medical use of marijuana for patients with a medical practitioner’s certification and one of several listed conditions, including cancer, AIDS/HIV, seizure disorders, PTSD, and severe pain;
-- Allow patients and their caregivers to possess up to three ounces of cannabis and grow six plants;
-- Create a licensing system to provide patients with safe access to medical cannabis, allow businesses to process, dispense, and test medical cannabis products; and
-- Prohibit public smoking and driving under the influence of marijuana.
The full measure can be viewed here. Support for compassionate medical marijuana policy is an urgent matter for some South Dakotans. We encourage residents to contact NASD to ask how you can help support the initiative.
Voters all across the country will cast ballots tomorrow in elections that could alter the course of U.S. marijuana policy for years to come. Here are the 9 most important contests to watch for the movement to end marijuana prohibition:
- California: Proposition 19 would make marijuana legal for all adults – it represents the best chance to date for a single state to overturn the failure of marijuana prohibition and offer an alternative for others to follow. It would make it legal for all adults 21 and older to possess up to one ounce of marijuana, as well as grow a 25-square-foot marijuana garden on their property. It would also allow localities to tax and regulate marijuana sales, but it remains unclear how the federal government would react if Prop 19 passes. Website: yeson19.org
- Arizona: Proposition 203, an MPP-backed initiative, would allow patients suffering from cancer, AIDS, and other life-threatening diseases to use marijuana with their doctor’s recommendation. Patients could purchase their medicine from tightly regulated, state-licensed dispensaries or grow their own if they live more than 25 miles from a clinic. Website: stoparrestingpatients.org
- Oregon: Measure 74 would expand the state’s existing medical marijuana law by authorizing regulated, state-licensed nonprofit clinics to provide improved patient access to their medicine. The system would generate an estimated $3 to $20 million a year for the state through taxes and fees. Website: measure74.com
- South Dakota: Measure 13 would allow patients suffering from cancer, AIDS and other serious ailments to use marijuana with a recommendation from their doctor. Patients could grow their own medicine or designate a caregiver to grow it for them. Website: sdcompassion.org
- Vermont: VOTE Peter Shumlin for governor. Shumlin (D), the state Senate pro tempore, played a major role in passing Vermont’s medical marijuana law in 2004, and has been a staunch advocate for marijuana decriminalization. MPP has spent years lobbying for a decriminalization law in Vermont. With Shumlin as governor, Vermont would be well poised to pass decriminalization and expand its medical marijuana law by authorizing licensed dispensaries. Website: www.shumlinforgovernor.com
- California: NOT Steve Cooley for attorney general. Los Angeles County District Attorney Steve Cooley (R) is a rabid anti-marijuana zealot who has falsely claimed that all medical marijuana dispensaries are illegal, and that he would continue to prosecute adults for marijuana crimes even if voters pass Proposition 19. If he wins the election for state attorney general, he will become the state’s top law enforcement official and could reverse years of progress toward saner marijuana laws in California. Website: notcooley.com
- New Mexico: NOT Susana Martinez for governor. Martinez (R), the leading candidate for governor, has said she will work to overturn New Mexico’s medical marijuana law if elected. New Mexico’s law enjoys wide popular support and is often described as the tightest-regulated law in the country. But Martinez believes federal law should trump a popular local law – despite the Obama administration’s promise of non-intervention in state medical marijuana laws. Website: donttakeawaymymedicine.org
- Connecticut: VOTE Dan Malloy for governor. Malloy (D) has said that he “absolutely” supports decriminalizing marijuana, as well as medical marijuana legislation that would protect seriously ill patients from arrest. Outgoing Gov. Jodi M. Rell vetoed medical marijuana legislation in 2007. If Malloy were elected governor, proponents would be given renewed hope for passing a medical marijuana law in Connecticut. Website: danmalloy.com
- Massachusetts: More than 70 local municipalities in Massachusetts will be voting on non-binding resolutions and public policy questions calling on the state government to pass medical marijuana or end marijuana prohibition entirely. These initiatives are a great opportunity for Massachusetts voters to send a strong message to their state lawmakers, as well as give local organizers a better sense of where things stand for future marijuana initiatives in Massachusetts. Website: masscann.org
You can find links to other MPP state voter guides at our state page.
Now -- if you haven't already -- go out and VOTE!
The signature count is in, and it’s official!
In November, Oregon voters will have an opportunity to vote on a measure that would improve access for medical marijuana patients by allowing the creation of nonprofit, state-regulated medical marijuana dispensaries. The official name for the ballot question will be Measure 28.
This positive news expands the number of local elections this year that will have marijuana-related questions on the ballot. To review:
- In California, voters will consider Proposition 19, which would make it legal for adults 21 and over to use and grow marijuana for personal use, as well as allow local governments to tax and regulate the drug.
- In South Dakota and Arizona, voters will have a chance to add their states to the list of those with effective medical marijuana laws, potentially bringing the total number nationwide to 16 (plus the District of Columbia).
- And in Detroit, voters will decide whether to make it legal for adults to possess up to one ounce of marijuana in the city.
Most polling so far has been very encouraging. Be sure to go out and vote if you live in one of these states. Everyone else, tune-in for the results on November 2!