Fwd: Together, let's legalize marijuana in South Dakota

Mar 13, 2020

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See below for the first email from South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws, the campaign working to legalize marijuana for adults and establish a medical marijuana program in the state! Click here to sign up for their campaign email alerts. And please consider donating today. This campaign is crucial to our goal of passing landmark federal marijuana reform through Congress.


Matthew Schweich
Deputy Director
Marijuana Policy Project


---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws <>
Date: Fri, Mar 13, 2020 at 3:21 PM
Subject: Together, let's legalize marijuana in South Dakota

Hello friend,

My name is Drey Samuelson, political director for South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws, and this is our first official campaign email! Although I know a fair amount of the folks on this list, I wanted to take the opportunity to introduce myself as one of the leaders of our historic campaign to pass two marijuana reform ballot initiatives (one for medical marijuana and the other for full legalization) in South Dakota this November.

A little about me: I spent three years as a Sioux Falls field representative for then-Congressman Tom Daschle, and then a few years later, in 1986, I ran the successful congressional campaign for then-South Dakota State Senator Tim Johnson. Following the election, Tim hired me to be his Chief of Staff. In all, I spent 28 great years on Tim’s team as we worked to deliver results for the people of South Dakota.

(Photo: H. Darr Beiser / USA Today)

Following Tim's retirement, I returned to South Dakota to co-found TakeItBack.Org, a nonpartisan nonprofit that used ballot initiatives to advance anti-corruption reforms that advocates could not pass through South Dakota’s conservative state legislature. I had learned the power of ballot initiatives earlier in my life, having served as campaign manager for an anti-corporate farm campaign in Nebraska in 1982. Despite being heavily outspent, we won. 

And that's why I'm here, working on these two initiatives. It is quite clear that getting these two initiatives through the South Dakota legislature would be virtually impossible, so advocates of sensible marijuana policy reform were left only one option: taking our case directly to the people of South Dakota. Thankfully, through a great deal of hard work and generous funding, we were able to qualify both initiatives for the general election ballot, and we're now in position to put together a campaign to pass both of them. I have no illusions that either is a slam dunk, but I have seen the polling and am convinced that if we run smart, well-executed campaigns, we'll win them both. The fact is the people of South Dakota are ready to adopt medical marijuana and full legalization. The purpose of this campaign is to effectuate the will of the people.

And that's where you come in. We are determined to run an energetic and highly-organized grassroots campaign, one that isn't top-down but bottom-up, which relies on many hundreds of volunteers across the state. 

Right now, here are a few quick ways you can help us win!