Recreational marijuana initiative to be on fall 2022 ballot

Published: May. 26, 2022 at 5:53 PM CDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - It’s official. South Dakota voters will once again cast a ballot that could legalize recreational marijuana.

Secretary of State Steve Barnett announced Wednesday that the submitted petitions for Initiated Measure 27 have been verified, and the issue will be on the fall ballot. South Dakotans for Better Marijuana laws say they received more than 20,000 signatures, they only needed more than about 17,000.

Matthew Schweich, the group’s campaign director, says the organization is ready for the fall campaign.

”We were confident when we submitted the petitions that we’d be on the ballot, but you don’t know for sure until you get the official word,” Schweich said. “So, we’re very pleased and excited, and we’re looking forward to the campaign ahead.”

Schweich says however, that there is one hurdle to overcome, Amendment C which is being voted on in the June primary. If enacted, that amendment would require two-thirds support for ballot initiatives that require the state to spend more than $10 million.

He says Amendment C must be defeated, as it could be used against the recreational marijuana initiative.

”They may still file a lawsuit under Amendment C to raise the threshold to 60% and drag us back into court,” Schweich said. “That really illustrates the problem with Amendment C. It’s convoluted, it’s open-ended, and it’s ripe for abuse. This is another weapon for people to use to undermine the initiative process.”

The primary is June 7th.

We reached out to Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom’s office. Thom has opposed the legalization of recreational marijuana. We have yet to hear back.

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