Latest information on South Dakota’s marijuana legalization measures

July 1 — Medical marijuana advocates in South Dakota marked and mourned the passing of Larry Smith, an inspiring determine whose spirit infused the state’s push to legalize cannabis within the Nov. 2020 election. Smith died on June 25 in hospice in Sioux Falls, SD. Read extra concerning the life and legacy of Larry Smith here.

South Dakota Constitutional Amendment A

Read the complete proposal right here: Constitutional Amendment A (legalizing leisure marijuana)

South Dakota Initiated Measure 26

Read the complete proposal right here: Initiated Measure 26 (legalizing medical marijuana)

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Medical or grownup use?

Both. Constitutional Amendment A (CA-A) would legalize the grownup buy and possession of cannabis. Initiated Measure 26 (IM-26) would legalize medical marijuana.

What Constitutional Amendment A would do

Constitutional Amendment A (CA-A) would legalize the leisure use, possession, and distribution (as much as one ounce) of marijuana for people 21 years outdated and older. Additionally, the modification would require the state legislature to create a medical marijuana program and legalize the sale of hemp by April 1, 2022. Furthermore, it will require all income—except for implementation prices—to be break up between the state’s normal fund and public schooling system.

What Initiated Measure 26 would do

Initiated Measure 26 (IM-26) would set up a medical marijuana program for people with a physician-certified debilitating medical condition (together with minors). Patients could be allowed to own a most of three ounces of marijuana, plus extra marijuana merchandise. Patients may develop a minimum of three crops at house, and extra with a doctor’s approval. The program’s guidelines could be established and enforced by the South Dakota Department of Health.

What the newest polls say

No polling out there but.

Legalization initiative supporters

CA-A sponsor: Brendan Johnson, former US Attorney for South Dakota. Johnson served as US Attorney from 2009 to 2015, one of many longest tenures in state historical past.

IM 26 sponsor: Local activist Melissa R. Mentele. A member of a longtime South Dakota agricultural household, Mentele has been a driving power for progressive cannabis regulation reform within the state for a few years.

Supporting organizations: 

Supporting people:

  • Drey Samuelson, political director for each campaigns and former chief of employees for Sen. Tim Johnson (D-SD)

Legalization initiative opponents

Would cannabis shops be licensed?

Under CA-A, leisure cannabis shops could be licensed by the Department of Revenue (which might oversee the adult-use retail program). Local governments would have the authorized authority to ban any class of license (cultivation, testing, wholesale, retail). Source

Under IM-26, medical marijuana dispensaries could be licensed and controlled by the South Dakota Department of Health.

Would marijuana be taxed?

Adult-use cannabis could be topic to a 15% tax at retail. Medical marijuana wouldn’t be taxed.

5 issues to learn about South Dakota Constitutional Amendment A

  • CA-A nonetheless permits for $250 fines if homegrown crops are seen to the general public, if crops will not be saved in a locked house, or if crops are being grown in a jurisdiction that has retail shops (until homegrow has been licensed in that jurisdiction).
  • Additionally, the modification permits for $100 fines for public consumption (until that place has been licensed for consumption and $100 wonderful or 4 hours of a drug schooling/counseling program for a minor caught smoking marijuana).
  • The modification requires the state legislature to go separate legal guidelines relating to medical use of marijuana. Furthermore, it requires the state legislature “to pass laws regulating the cultivation, processing, and sale of hemp.”
  • The invoice is being endorsed by a coalition of over 50 South Dakota thought leaders, together with legislators, enterprise capitalists and Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe President Tony Reider. Source
  • Recreational marijuana may generate “more than $10 million in the fiscal year 2022 and in excess of $29 million in the fiscal year 2024.” Source

5 issues to learn about South Dakota Initiated Measure 26

  • Qualifying situations for medical marijuana sufferers embrace “cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe, debilitating pain; severe nausea; seizures; or severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis.” The Department of Health can add to this listing.
  • IM-26 makes it clear that the Department of Health should deal with the medical marijuana affected person registry as non-public well being info that can not be shared or disclosed besides in very restricted and particular circumstances. This is a safeguard constructed into the regulation to guard the privateness of South Dakota’s law-abiding firearm house owners.
  • Non-residents may use out-of-state registration playing cards to buy and possess medical marijuana in South Dakota.
  • The initiative doesn’t forestall an employer from disciplining an worker for consuming or being below the affect of cannabis within the office.
  • The initiative requires that any exhausting drive or different data-storage gadget owned by the Department of Health that’s now not in use have to be destroyed, to guard affected person privateness.

Current cannabis regulation in South Dakota

Officials at Marijuana Policy Project say South Dakota’s current possession laws would be the most draconian within the nation:

Possession of only a small quantity of marijuana in South Dakota carries a possible penalty of a 12 months in jail and a $2,000 wonderful. Individuals who’ve consumed marijuana elsewhere are additionally topic to this penalty in the event that they take a look at optimistic for previous use—even when they consumed marijuana in a state the place it was authorized. South Dakota seems to be the one state with such an “internal possession” regulation.

In addition, possession of any quantity of hash or concentrates is a felony, punishable by as much as 5 years in jail and a wonderful of as much as $10,000. Even simply possessing drug paraphernalia, like a marijuana pipe, in South Dakota can land you a misdemeanor cost, as much as 30 days in jail, and as much as a $500 wonderful.

Quotes from advocates

  • “I think what we’re going to see in South Dakota on this issue is really a coalition of both Democrats and Republicans coming together and [saying] prohibition does not work. It has not worked in the past. And it’s time, for the interest of our economy as well as the next generation, to get this right.” Brendan Johnson, CA-A sponsor and former US Attorney for South Dakota
  • “I do foresee South Dakota voters taking a perfectly hard look at it. A lot of them [are] voting with their heart, because we’re a compassionate state and we understand that taking care of each other is what is important. And giving these patients that option is probably going to happen. I think it’s a great thing for everyone.” Melissa Mentele, IM-26 sponsor 

Quotes from opponents

  • “The governor has always opposed legalizing marijuana and therefore opposes these measures.” Ian Fury, spokesperson for Gov. Kristi Noem
  • “If you’re going to have to change anything it’s going to require a statewide vote. This is something for the legislature to deal with. Our concerns [are] on the workforce. The fact that there’s no way to test whether someone is impaired.” – David Owen, president of the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce

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