In November, South Dakota is set to become the first state in the country to vote on cannabis legalization for both medicinal and adult usage. Since Nebraska’s supreme court scuttled their initiative, South Dakota is now the only state in the heartland of the country that will vote on a cannabis initiative.
The cannabis legalization vote in South Dakota shows substantial progress for cannabis proponents when compared to previous years when it was more challenging to push the agenda. In 2018, cannabis advocates in South Dakota were unable to collect enough signatures that would get a legalization initiative on the ballot.
If the cannabis initiative wins the vote, local authorities will have the power to control the number of business licenses issued. However, the legalization of cannabis for adult use will require a constitutional amendment that would allow authorities in South Dakota to issue more licenses. This action will help reduce the illegal adult-use cannabis market.
To date, no opinion poll has been done in the state to predict the outcome of the voting. Drey Samuelson, a political director for an umbrella organization for both cannabis initiatives called South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws, recently stated that they are positive on the voting for a strong reason.
According to Samuelson, both initiatives are likely to win by a zillion points considering how much South Dakota residents have changed their attitude towards cannabis legalization. Some of the people who changed their attitude include important political figures like Tom Daschle, who was a South Dakota U.S senator from 1987 to 2005.
Daschle recently stated that the legalization of cannabis would have a positive impact on the economy, social justice, and health of the people.
Samuelson ‘s view is that the medical cannabis initiative will have more supporters than the adult-use cannabis initiative.