Amendment A: legalize, regulate, tax marijuana

Published: Sep. 28, 2020 at 11:19 AM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - If passed, this amendment to the South Dakota Constitution will legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana.

Campaign Manager for the amendment Drey Samuelson says it will help South Dakotans gain access to medical marijuana and lets anyone over 21 purchase no more than one ounce of marijuana.

Samuelson says this amendment would also require the legislature to pass laws by 2022 regulating the cultivation, processing, and sale of hemp, and that’s not all.

“It would create a system to license and regulate marijuana businesses and it will establish a 15% tax on marijuana sales to adults who are not patients," says Samuelson.

According to the South Dakota Legislative research council passing this amendment could generate $60 million in total tax revenue by 2024 and close to $250 million by 2030.

Samuelson says this will help bring in more tourism which brings in more money into the economy, law enforcement will be able to focus on more dangerous crimes while also freeing up the courts, jails, and prisons and even go toward education.

“In the initiative, it mandates that 50% of the money go to our public schools and then 50% of the money, of the revenue generated, would go to the state’s general fund which could be used for whatever the legislature chose to use it for. They could reduce our taxes, they could improve our highways, the opportunities for that money would be limitless," says Samuelson.

This amendment and Measure 26 on the ballot work together and Samuelson says both need to pass to successfully move forward.

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