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Measure Legalizing Recreational Marijuana Approved For South Dakota Ballot For 3rd Try

PIERRE, SD – After two failed attempts to legalize recreational marijuana in South Dakota, voters will have another opportunity in November, ABC News reports.

A ballot question that would legalize the recreational use, possession and distribution of marijuana was validated and filed by Secretary of State Monae L. Johnson’s Office on Monday.

Titled Initiated Measure 29, it will appear on the 2024 General Election ballot on November 5.

In 2020, South Dakota became the first state in the country to legalize medical cannabis and adult-use cannabis on the same ballot, but the measure was struck down by the South Dakota Supreme Court.  Another legalization measure was defeated by the state’s voters two years later.

The latest measure was sponsored by the leaders of South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws (SDBML).

“We worked extremely hard on this signature drive and we are proud to have once again successfully qualified for the ballot,” said Matthew Schweich, executive director of SDBML.

22,558 valid signatures were collected from registered South Dakota voters during the petition drive, with 17,508 required to get the question placed on the ballot.

Under the measure, recreational marijuana would be legalized in the state for people 21 and older, with possession limited to two ounces of marijuana in a form other than concentrated cannabis or cannabis products.  Cultivation of plants would be permitted, with restrictions.

Backers of the measure are hoping South Dakota will join the ranks of 24 other states that have legalized recreational marijuana.

“We firmly believe that South Dakotans deserve to make their own choices on how they live their lives, including the freedom to responsibly use cannabis,” said Zebadiah Johnson, political director for SBDML.

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