Recreational pot validated for ballot in South Dakota


SIOUX FALLS (AP) – South Dakota voters are set to vote again on whether they want recreational marijuana legalized for adults after the secretary of state on Wednesday validated the initiated measure for the November ballot.

Secretary of State Steve Barnett announced that a random sample of petition signatures showed that South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws, the group campaigning to legalize pot, had easily collected enough valid signatures to surpass the roughly 17,000 needed to place the initiated measure on the November ballot. It will appear as Initiated Measure 27.

The proposed law would allow people 21 years old and over to use and grow pot for personal use. It would place a 1 ounce (28 gram) limit on the amount that people could use or share.

Marijuana legalization has spurred political fights among South Dakota’s dominant Republican party in recent years and tested faith in a form of direct democracy – the ballot measure. A citizen-proposed constitutional amendment to legalize cannabis passed by 54% in 2020, but Gov. Kristi Noem sponsored a lawsuit to challenge it and the state Supreme Court ruled last year that it violated the state Constitution.

The secretary of state's validation may be challenged within 30 days.

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