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South Dakota Legalization Campaign Has Collected Over 15,000 Signatures For 2022 Initiative

The following was released by South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws.

The campaign aims to collect an additional 10,000 signatures before submitting petitions to the South Dakota Secretary of State

Sioux Falls, SD — South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws (SDBML), the campaign that has worked since 2019 to legalize recreational and medical cannabis in the state, announced today that it has collected over 15,000 signatures for its proposed 2022 recreational cannabis legalization initiative.

“We have collected a large number of signatures in a short space of time, but we need to keep working. Our goal is to collect a total of 25,000 signatures to ensure that we safely qualify for the 2022 ballot,” said Matthew Schweich, campaign director for SDBML. “Over two-thirds of our signatures came from volunteers, which demonstrates the very strong public support for our issue.”

Last month, the South Dakota Supreme Court overturned Amendment A, the recreational cannabis legalization law approved by 54% of South Dakota voters in 2020, in a ruling that SDBML described as a “far-fetched legal theory based on no logical or evidentiary support.”

“In light of the extremely flawed Amendment A ruling, we hope that the South Dakota Legislature will enact a cannabis legalization law in the upcoming session. But if that does not occur, we will give South Dakota voters the opportunity to approve legalization at the next election. We will not stop working until the will of the people is respected,” said Schweich.

SDBML has set up signing locations across the state, which can be found at www.sd2022.org/map. SDBML also plans to organize special signature collection events in the near future. Updates will be posted at www.sd2022.org and www.facebook.com/SouthDakotaMJ

The proposed 2022 initiative, which can be read in full here (https://www.southdakotamarijuana.org/2022-initiative) is a simplified version of Amendment A. There is nothing in the recent Amendment A ruling that would cause the 2022 initiative to be overturned in a future lawsuit.

A 2022 initiated measure requires 16,961 valid signatures from registered South Dakota voters to qualify for the November 2022 ballot. However, it is common practice for political campaigns to add a significant buffer to that figure to account for illegible handwriting from petition signers.

Earlier this year, a federal judge issued a ruling that extended the deadline for submitting petitions for initiated measures to May 3, 2022. The previous deadline, which still applies to constitutional initiatives, was November 8, 2021.

South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws (SDBML) is a registered South Dakota statewide ballot question committee working to establish better marijuana laws for the people of South Dakota. SDBML led the campaign that passed Amendment A and Measure 26 in 2020, played a central role in the grassroots campaign to defend Measure 26 during the legislative session earlier this year, provided fundraising and communications support to the Amendment A legal defense campaign, and is spearheading the signature drive for a proposed 2022 recreational cannabis initiative.