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Recreational Cannabis Legalization Makes the Ballot Again in South Dakota

This will be the third try.

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South Dakota Secretary of State Monae L. Johnson announced that a petition submitted for an initiated measure for legal recreational cannabis was validated and filed by her office. That means South Dakota voters will have another chance to weigh in on a ballot question that would legalize the recreational use, possession, and distribution of marijuana.

The title for the ballot question will be Initiated Measure 29, and it will appear on the 2024 General Election ballot on November 5, 2024.

In South Dakota, an initiated measure currently requires 17,508 valid signatures in order to appear on the ballot. Johnson's office conducted a random sample of the petition signatures and found 77.76 percent to be valid. Additional part-time staff was hired to assist with the validation process and, based on the results of the random sample, 22,558 signatures were deemed valid.

At this point, any citizen may challenge the Secretary of State’s validation of the initiated measure. However, they must submit an original, signed affidavit listing out each specific deficiency to the Secretary of State’s Office no more than 30 days after validation.

This will be the third time recreational cannabis appears on the ballot in South Dakota. According to the Associated Press, voters passed a measure in 2020 but it was struck down in court. In 2022, voters did not approve a similar measure.

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