Eleven states and the District of Columbia have legalized marijuana, with another 40 allow various types of medical use, and this year, the South Dakota ballot is asking two marijuana-related questions.
IM 26 would create a state statute establishing medical marijuana use in South Dakota.
Amendment A would change the state constitution and legalize recreational marijuana use in the Mount Rushmore State. It would also require the State Legislature to pass laws regarding medical marijuana and hemp sales. When voters go to the polls Nov. 3 they will vote on these issues plus one more David Owen, the President of the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Chairman of the No Way on Amendment A Ballot Committee, said a key issue with Amendment A is that it would change the state constitution.“ The 11 states that have recreational started with medical,” said Owen. “No state has gone straight to recreational, so we’ll still tell you that we’re afraid of increased use by youth, accidental poisoning by kids, accidents, and if you want recreational marijuana, that’s a good debate, it doesn’t belong in the constitution.”
Owen said the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry and the No Way on Amendment A Committee are neutral on IM 26, acknowledging that many people see benefits of medical marijuana.
Voters will also vote on Amendment B. This would allow sports wagering in Deadwood. The constitution currently authorizes the legislature to allow certain types of games in Deadwood: roulette, keno, craps, limited card games, and slot machines. If approved, the constitutional amendment would authorize the legislature to also include wagering on sporting events as a type of gambling allowed in Deadwood.