Petitions turned in to legalize recreational marijuana

PIERRE, S.D.(Press Release) – On Tuesday, South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws, the political group that led the 2020 and 2022 campaigns to legalize cannabis in South Dakota, submitted petitions containing 29,030 signatures in support of its proposed ballot initiative to legalize cannabis for adults 21 and older.

“Today is the culmination of seven months of hard work by advocates and volunteers across South Dakota,” said Matthew Schweich, executive director of South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws. “We are very confident that we have collected enough signatures from registered voters to qualify for this November’s ballot.”

In South Dakota, an initiated measure requires 17,508 signatures from registered voters in order to qualify for the ballot. Today is the deadline for submitting petitions to South Dakota Secretary of State Monae Johnson.

“Things all seem to be moving in the right direction for South Dakota to finally win the freedom they voted for a few years ago,” said Deb Peters, President of the Cannabis Industry Association of South Dakota. “At the federal level, things are moving towards a responsible rescheduling and dozens of states are seeing the tax benefits of recreational cannabis legalization. It’s inspiring to see this industry come together and work so hard. We’re looking forward to Election Day. “

In 2020, South Dakota became the first state in the country to legalize medical cannabis and adult-use cannabis in the same election. Following the 2020 election, Governor Noem orchestrated a lawsuit that ultimately repealed the legalization law approved by 54% of voters in a highly controversial ruling. At the same time, advocates were able to defeat Governor Noem’s legislative attempt to delay implementation of the medical cannabis policy.

“The effects of Governor Noem’s actions, including leading the lawsuit against Amendment A, have left a lot of South Dakotans feeling as though their votes do not matter,” said Quincy Hanzen, deputy director of South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws. “If this initiative qualifies for the ballot, we hope South Dakota voters will show up on November 5th and make their voice heard.”

Having received the petitions, South Dakota Secretary of State Monae Johnson will now oversee a review of the signatures and determine whether the proposed initiated measure has qualified for the ballot. A decision is expected in the next several weeks.

To read the full text of the initiative, visit: