Recreational Cannabis Petitions to Begin Circulating Again

After waiting for what seems like a lifetime to get an announcement from the SD Supreme Court about the fate of Amendement A (the 2020 Constitutional Amendment that went before voters and passed with 54% of the vote) it looks like voters may get the chance to make their voices heard again in 2022. Sponsors of a Recreational Cannabis petition Melissa Mentele of Emery SD and Brendan Johnson of Sioux Falls, with the backing of South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws have been approved to collect signatures to put Recreational Cannabis back on the ballot. Time is almost over even though it has just begun for the ballot measure however, as the deadline for the petitions is November 8th.

In a press release dated October 12th 2021 by South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws they had this to say,


Today, the South Dakota Secretary of State approved a proposed 2022 cannabis legalization ballot initiative for signature gathering. The proposed ballot initiative, backed by South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws (SDBML), is a statutory cannabis legalization initiative that would make
personal cannabis possession and cultivation legal for adults aged 21 and over.
To qualify for the 2022 ballot, SDBML must collect just under 17,000 valid signatures from South
Dakota voters by November 8, 2021.
At the 2020 Election, 54% of South Dakota voters approved Amendment A, a constitutional cannabis legalization initiative. However, since then, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem has orchestrated a taxpayer-funded lawsuit that has suspended implementation of the law. The case is currently before the South Dakota Supreme Court. The hearing was on April 28 but a ruling has still not been issued.In 2020, 70% of South Dakota voters also approved Measure 26, a medical cannabis law, making South Dakota the first state to approve recreational and medical cannabis reform at the same time.

Statement from Matthew Schweich, SDBML campaign director:
“We remain hopeful that Amendment A will be restored by the South Dakota Supreme Court. However, the November 8 deadline for 2022 ballot qualification is quickly approaching, and we have no choice but to launch a signature drive.
“In the coming days, we will be distributing petitions to volunteers all across the state and
announcing signing locations where voters can easily sign our petitions. We have less than a month to collect the signatures we need, but our supporters are very energized. They are deeply frustrated by Governor Noem’s decision to launch a taxpayer-funded lawsuit against Amendment A, the lack of a ruling in the case, and Governor Noem’s failed attempt to severely delay the implementation of Measure 26.
“We originally filed five potential ballot initiatives, but we are choosing to move forward with the
short statutory legalization initiative because it is the most likely to withstand any future legal
challenges.”

Below is a copy of disgraced Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg’s explanation of the ballot measure.

Unlike Amendment A in 2020 this is only a ballot initiative which will require roughly half of the signatures required before, which will help tremendously since time is of the essence. If you would like more information on the ballot measure please visit the Secretary of State’s Website here.

If you would like to volunteer to collect signatures or would like to sign the petition please sign up at sd2022.com/sign

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