Adult-Use Cannabis Legalization Rejected in SD

Voters in South Dakota Rejected a Ballot Measure to Legalize Adult-Use Cannabis

The initiative to legalize marijuana in South Dakota was defeated at the polls. While voters in the state approved a reform initiative in 2020, it was later struck down in court. 

The South Dakota Business for Marijuana Legalization (SDBML) has released a new advertisement reminding South Dakotans that a 2020 legalization initiative supported by voters was ultimately nullified by the state Supreme Court due to a lawsuit sponsored by Gov. Kristi Noem (R). The administration’s argument that the preceding initiative broke the single-subject ballot requirement was upheld by the court.

Meanwhile, opponents have released a commercial designed to raise concerns about the effect legalization would have on children. The commercial opens with a narrator showing video of children and saying things like, “these are future drug addicts, future suicide victims, future victims of an impaired driver.”

South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws were behind the proponents of the bill and wanted to “restore the will of the people,” referring to the 2020 Election when the amendment was eventually shot down due to a violation of the single-subject rule.

Hopes were to have 2020’s result replicated on Tuesday night, but it didn’t happen.

The majority of South Dakotans (51%), according to a recent poll, were opposed to the legalization initiative, while 40% were in favor and 10% were unsure. It was the third consecutive poll showing declining support for legalization in the state.

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