December 20, 2019
A proposed measure legalizing medical cannabis access in South Dakota has qualified for the 2020 ballot.
The South Dakota Secretary of State’s Office acknowledged Thursday that petitioners had gathered a sufficient number of signatures to place Measure 26 on the ballot. The initiative permits qualified patients to possess and home-cultivate cannabis for medical purposes, and establishes a state-regulated retail system for medical marijuana sales.
“For many years, we have asked the legislature to address the issue of medical marijuana,” said Melissa Mentele, director of New Approach South Dakota and sponsor of the medical marijuana ballot initiative. “Despite the fact that a strong majority of South Dakotans support allowing legal, regulated, and safe access to medical marijuana for patients with debilitating conditions, elected officials have failed to take action. Patients cannot afford to wait any longer, and this ballot initiative is our only recourse.”
South Dakota is one of only three states that has not enacted any legislation providing some form of medical cannabis or CBD access.
A separate ballot measure that seeks to regulate the use and sale of marijuana for all adults still awaits certification from the South Dakota Secretary of State. Earlier this week, New Jersey lawmakers decided to place an adult-use legalization question on the 2020 ballot.
Additional information about the South Dakota initiatives is available from the website South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws.