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March 28, 2017 05:46 PM

Two Marijuana Ballot Measures In The Works For Campaign 2018

Pierre, SD

Two initiated ballot measures are in the works to make marijuana legal in South Dakota. One legalizes marijuana, and the other legalizes medical marijuana. Each measure has the same sponsor- Melissa Mentele, who's vice chair for the Hanson County Democrats. Mentele is also director of New Approach South Dakota

"I have conversations every single day about cannabis, whether I'm at a doctor's office, out in the community: people support it," Mentele said. "They may not openly support it, but they're going to support it at the polls."

Each of the two proposed initiated measures to legalize the drug in South Dakota will need 13,871 signatures by this November to be on the 2018 ballot.

"The sponsors will put together the petitions that'll contain both the attorney general's explanation as well as the full initiated measure," South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley said.

Jackley has released explanations for both measures. Mentele isn't pleased with them. One of her problems is that Jackley used the word "marijuana."

"He used the word 'marijuana,' instead of using the term 'cannabis,' which is the actual scientific name for it," Mentele said. "I do feel that he used that term in a derogatory manner, which I just think really shows poor form on his part."

"I think South Dakota voters understand the terminology 'marijuana,'" Jackley said. "It's something that has legal significance under both state and federal law."

The attorney general's explanations aren't set in stone.

"They have an opportunity to go to the courts and ask for a review of the attorney general's explanation," Jackley said.

"I do anticipate the recreational [explanation] will probably be going to court for a new summary," Mentele said.

If you'd like to read the attorney general's statements, they're embedded below: 

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