South Dakota Gov. Will Implement Cannabis Legalization If Advocates Can Get The Issue On Nov. Ballot, The Clock Is Ticking

South Dakota Gov. Will Implement Cannabis Legalization If Advocates Can Get The Issue On Nov. Ballot, The Clock Is Ticking

Apparently, if South Dakota voters approve implementing marijuana legalization on the November ballot, Gov. Kristi Noem (R) must oversee its implementation. Days ago, Noem said the 2022 initiative "is written more appropriately towards the Constitution," trying to explain why he was taking a different approach to citizen-led reform in this round.

However, advocates are not sure about it. The lawsuit that led the state Supreme Court to invalidate a 2020 legalization measure that voters approved on the ballot originated from his office.

Now that Noem is running for re-election, some suspect the change of attitude is an attempt to align with a popular issue and divert attention from her previous obstruction, reported Marijuana Moment.

Will South Dakota's Voters Have The Last Word On Legalization?

With the new 2022 initiative, South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws (SDBML) took a more narrowly tailored approach to legalization, omitting provisions that deal with taxes and regulations like the earlier version and leaving those decisions up to the legislature.

In addition, Noem vetoed a marijuana reform bill in 2019 and actively urged voters to oppose the recreational measure in her campaign ads the following year. Now the governor is saying legalization depends on voters' approval.

House Minority Leader Jamie Smith, a Democratic gubernatorial candidate said in a recent TV ad that South Dakotans are "getting worn out by the crazy stuff," referring to Gov. Noem's focus on "overturning our cannabis vote."

What Does The Bill Say?

Once Senate Bill 3, which will "provide for the use and regulated sale of marijuana" is signed into law, the bill would allow adults over 21 to purchase and possess up to one ounce of cannabis from licensed retailers.

The proposal would not permit home cultivation that was on a ballot measure for which activists have been collecting signatures. Under the new proposal, the state's adult-use program would be regulated by the Department of Revenue, which will also enforce rules related to transportation and registration.

However, local municipalities could choose not to allow cannabis businesses within their jurisdiction.
Photo: Courtesy Of Ronda Darby On Unsplash

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