SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — The issue of legal adult-use marijuana will be back in front of the voters in November.
This week, the Secretary of State added Initiated Measure 27 to the list of ballot questions for the November 2022 election. The fine print of IM 27 is much different than Amendment A, which was struck down by the South Dakota Supreme Court after Governor Kristi Noem challenged it in court.
IM 27 contains only six sections and it legalizes possession, use and distribution of one ounce or less of marijuana by people age 21 and older. Amendment A, which passed by South Dakota voters 225,260 to 190,477, contained 15 sections and 55 sub-sections covering aspects on how it should be regulated and taxed.
KELOLAND News has received more than 60 responses from the more than 100 state Senate and House candidates on the June primary ballot. One of the seven questions on an emailed questionnaire asked candidates where they stood on recreational marijuana if it reached the ballot.
A breakdown of the answers shows 27 candidates opposed recreational pot and 15 candidates responded in a way stating support. There were 20 candidates who did not share a personal position but responded either the issue will be answered by voters or they support whatever voters decide on the issue.
One candidate responded: “I oppose expanding marijuana use for recreational purposes. Numerous studies imply these drugs have harmful effects for the health and well-being of individuals, families, and society. Sound public policy decisions should be designed to protect and sustain the health and well-being of our society, both now and in future generations.”
Another candidate responded: “I favor legalized control, regulation, taxing and oversight of marijuana use just like we do alcohol and tobacco.”
One neutral response from a candidate said: “Recreational Marijuana use already passed once by a vote of the people. A technicality stopped its implementation. I believe there are some issues with allowing recreational marijuana use but other states allow it and we can figure out a way to implement it if it should pass.”
During the 2022 legislative session, a legal marijuana bill (Senate Bill 3) passed the South Dakota Senate by a narrow 18-17 vote.
For the June primary, there are 27 districts with Republican primaries, while two districts will have Democratic primaries. Eight districts will not have any primary elections.
You can find all the candidate responses on the Election Page and in the breakdown below. Not sure what district you live in? Find your voter registration information on the Secretary of State’s Voter Information Portal.
Northern, central and eastern S.D. districts
Southeastern South Dakota Districts
Western South Dakota Districts
For registered Democratic and independent voters, there will only be local primaries for the state House races in Sioux Falls-based District 11 and District 26A located in Mellette and Todd Counties.
All the candidate stories will be updated with answers and photos from candidates when they are received. KELOLAND News reached out to every candidate through email addresses listed on the Secretary of State’s campaign finance reporting system.
Districts that won’t have any primaries are: District 6 (Harrisburg and Tea), District 10 (central and eastern Sioux Falls), District 15 (central and northern Sioux Falls), District 17 (Vermillion and North Sioux City), District 18 (Yankton), District 21 (Wagner, Platte, Plankinton, White River and Gregory), District 22 (Huron and Redfield) and District 27 (Wall and Pine Ridge Reservation).