One organization is passionate about the topic of medical marijuana

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA TV) - New Approach South Dakota is an organization on a mission to get medical marijuana passed here in South Dakota. But not everyone is on board.

Medical Marijuana, a topic that has many different views. (KOTA)

Medical Marijuana. A hot topic, with strong views on both sides. But for the past six years, New Approach South Dakota's primary goal has been getting medical marijuana legalized.

"South Dakota is sending a very strong message right now. We're ready. We're ready to have this conversation," says the executive director for New Approach South Dakota Melissa Mentele.

Mentele says the issue can be challenging to understand.

"We see our children that have seizure disorders that are struggling. Our pharmaceutical and different blends of cannabinoid medicines have seemed to work more effectively," says Mentele.

17-thousand valid South Dakota signatures are needed to get the issue put on the 2020 ballot for voters to decide. They say they've already collected 32-thousand signatures that are currently being validated.

"Just because we have this beautiful high number doesn't; mean we're done. There are still a lot of people in South Dakota who want to sign, and we're still taking those signatures," says Mentele.

Gov. Kristi Noem says she would support medical marijuana if it were run through the FDA approval process.

"The responsibility that I think that I as governor have is to look at the viewpoint of making sure that people are using safe products, and that is the regulatory agency that has responsibility for that," says Gov. Noem.