SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — When South Dakotans head to the polls this November, they’ll once again be voting on recreational marijuana.
Initiated Measure 27 would legalize the possession, use, and distribution of marijuana for people 21 and older.
In 2020, 54 percent of voters said ‘yes’ to Constitutional Amendment A, which would have legalized marijuana in South Dakota.
However, the state’s highest court decided the amendment was invalid last year.
Now in less than two months, voters will be tasked with voting on recreational marijuana again.
The Sioux Falls mayor made his stance on the matter clear at a public safety briefing this week.
“If we think that legalizing marijuana in the fall is going to lead to a safer community, we have another thing coming,” Sioux Falls Mayor Paul TenHaken said.
Matthew Schweich is the campaign manager for the Yes on 27 campaign.
“I think the ruling against Amendment A was an attack on the initiative process. And so for me, it’s about restoring the will of the people, respecting voters,” Yes on 27 campaign manager Matthew Schweich said.
TenHaken isn’t sold on the idea that revenues from marijuana legalization are a tremendous boon to a community.
“Any revenue that is realized is used to deal with the unintended consequences, treatment issues, crime issues, that result as a result of legalization,” TenHaken said.
Shweich argues against that.
“If it were the case that in any of these legalization states that the cost of the policy was greater than the revenue then why haven’t we seen any state repeal this policy?” Schweich said.
According to the South Dakota Legislative Research Council fiscal notes, the state and counties could see a minimal decrease in expenses due to decreased incarceration for marijuana-related offenses.
The state could also see marginal additional revenue from new civil penalty fines.
Voters will issue their say on November 8th.
Early voting starts September 23rd in South Dakota.