Recreational marijuana officially on the November ballot

PIERRE, S.D.(Press Release) – On Monday, the South Dakota Secretary of State announced that the proposed initiated measure to legalize cannabis, sponsored by the leaders of South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws (“SDBML”), has officially qualified for the November 5, 2024 ballot.

“We worked extremely hard on this signature drive and we are proud to have once again successfully qualified for the ballot,” said Matthew Schweich, executive director of SDBML.

The petition required 17,508 valid signatures from registered South Dakota voters in order to qualify. The final tally from the Secretary of State, based on a random sampling, was 22,558 valid signatures.

“Today’s news would not be possible without the help of our supporters across the state,” said Quincy Hanzen, deputy director of SDBML. “Thank you to everyone who was involved in this signature drive from our incredible team of volunteers and circulators to the thousands of South Dakotans who signed the petition.”

Qualification for the ballot in 2024 is the latest chapter in South Dakota’s years-long debate over cannabis policy. In 2020, South Dakota became the first state in the country to legalize medical cannabis and adult-use cannabis on the same ballot. Following the election, Gov. Kristi Noem orchestrated a lawsuit that ultimately repealed the legalization law approved by 54% of voters. At the same time, she attempted but failed to pass legislation in Pierre to severely delay implementation of the state’s medical cannabis law, approved by 70% of voters.

“We firmly believe that South Dakotans deserve to make their own choices on how they live their lives, including the freedom to responsibly use cannabis,” said Zebadiah Johnson, political director for SDBML.

Having qualified for the ballot, SDBML will now turn its attention to the general election on November 5, 2024.

To read the full text of the initiative, visit: