South Dakota's Senate Bill To Legalize Recreational Marijuana Voted Down

South Dakota failed to passSenate 3 bill that would have legalized adult-use cannabis.   

"We commiserate with the people of South Dakota over the failure of this recent legalization initiative. It’s unfortunate that it did not succeed and even more unfortunate that the matter was once again put to a vote after the success of 2020’s initiatives," said Travis Copenhaver, a partner at leading cannabis law firm Vicente Sederberg LLP. "This defeat is not the end and we believe that South Dakota will soon join the ranks of states that have legalized cannabis."

If the bill was approved adults over 21 would have been allowed to buy and possess up to one ounce of cannabis from licensed retailers.

Home grow was not allowed under this measure, and the state’s adult-use program would have been regulated by the Department of Revenue.

The legalization bill faced an uphill battle both on the ground and in the courts. 

Even though disappointed and arguing that Governor Kristi Noem had overturned the will of the people in one of several recent court challenges over wording in the initiatives, supporters of cannabis legalization have said they'll keep pushing for it. 

Noem, who strongly opposes adult-use marijuana legalization, helped kill the previous initiative, confirmed several weeks ago that the new recreational marijuana proposal has been written correctly.

One anti-legalization group,  Protecting South Dakota Kids, presented a panoply of negative ads, which were clearly meant to frighten people. They even went so far as to claim that marijuana “can cause a permanent drop in intelligence.”

Previous Cannabis Struggles In South Dakota

This was not the first time voters have tried to legalize cannabis. Last year, even though the majority of residents, that is 54%, backed 2020 Constitutional Amendment A, legalizing the adult-use possession and sale of cannabis, legalization did not happen.

It is safe to say that the battle between the advocates and opponents was long and forceful, but alas cannabis opponents have won this round. There is sure to be another.

Photo: Courtesy of Kindel Media by Pixabay and Hugo Brizard - YouGoPhoto by Shutterstock

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Posted In: CannabisNewsPoliticsMarketsGeneralmeasure 27Midterm ElectionsSouth Dakota
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