Legalization Advocates Bear Down for Difficult Race in South Dakota

Two years ago, South Dakota symbolized a radical shift in attitudes toward marijuana use in America. This state was a red-hot, Trump-loving state that defied conventional wisdom and embraced weed.

But next month, Mount Rushmore may conduct a fact-finding investigation into the legalization movement.

Voters will take action on launched Bill 27, which would legalize personal marijuana possession for adults 21 and older in the state. Recent polls suggest that voters are divided.

New South Dakota State University Poll A poll announced this week found 47% of state voters opposed legalizing recreational marijuana, with 45% supporting the idea. Eight percent said they were not sure.

Initiated Bill 27 was dismissed by a court after an amendment to legalize recreational marijuana was approved by South Dakota voters in 2020, following a legal challenge filed by the state’s Republican Gov. It’s kind of like starting over again for the defender after it’s been done.

54% of state voters approved Amendment A, but the state Supreme Court finally overturned it last November, ruling that it violated the “one subject” requirement of constitutional amendments to the South Dakota Constitution. I went down.

Amendment A sought to change state law on recreational marijuana, medical marijuana, and cannabis. (South Dakota voters also approved another ballot proposal to specifically legalize medical marijuana in 2020.)

The state constitution “does not only contain a single subject requirement, but directs proponents of constitutional reform to prepare amendments so that various subjects can be voted on separately,” Supreme Court Chief Justice Steven Jensen said. is written with the majority opinion.

“This constitutional directive could not have been more articulated. Each agenda item must be voted on individually, and the mere separation of specific articles may or may not reflect the actual will of voters.” There are cases,” writes Jensen. “Therefore, we accept the proponent’s proposal that removing the medical marijuana and hemp provisions from Amendment A would be an appropriate remedy in favor of retaining the provisions that regulate and legalize recreational marijuana. You can’t, Amendment A is completely invalid.”

Potential 2024 Republican presidential nominee Noem celebrated the Supreme Court ruling.

“South Dakota is a place where the rule of law and our constitution matter, and that’s about today’s decision,” she said at the time. What we do is as important as what we do.We are still governed by the rule of law.”

Bill 27 was launched and qualified for South Dakota’s ballot in May. This is after South Dakota’s people for better marijuana laws, the campaign behind it, submitted well-verified signatures to the Secretary of State.

The campaign takes a populist approach, say it The bill “restores the will of the people by legalizing marijuana for the second time in South Dakota,” he said.

But this week’s SDSU poll wasn’t the first indication that 2022 could be very different from 2020.

A survey released in late August by local news nonprofit South Dakota News Watch and the Cheeseman Center for Democracy at the University of South Dakota found 54% of voters in the state opposed legalizing recreational marijuana, while 44% supported it. It turns out that .

With Election Day just over three weeks away, legalization advocates are now preparing to ravage South Dakota.

Matthew Schweig, director of South Dakotan for Better Marijuana Laws, said: announced At a press conference Wednesday, the campaign will begin its statewide tour of 18 cities this weekend.

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