SD voters to decide future of marijuana legalization and sports betting

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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — All eyes are on the race between President Donald Trump, and challenger, former Vice President Joe Biden. South Dakotans have more at stake on the ballot than just the presidential race. They’ll have to answer several ballot questions that include sports betting and legalizing marijuana.

KELOLAND News will once again be your local election headquarters. We’re breaking down the ballot questions to help give you what you need to know before you decide on November 3rd.

Marijuana has remained a big conversation all over America, with several states legalizing it in recent years. In November, South Dakota voters will decide whether they want it legal here. There are two proposals.

Amendment A would legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana. It would also require the Legislature to pass laws regarding hemp as well as laws ensuring access to marijuana for medical use. Supporters say it would only be for adults 21 and older, and would bring in new revenue to the state, create new jobs, and would reduce arrests and criminal prosecutions.

Opponents argue that marijuana is highly addictive and can have long-term health consequences. In the ballot, The South Dakota State Medical Association says, “marijuana will create a steep cost for society and taxpayers that far outweighs its tax revenues.”

Initiated Measure 26 focuses on legalizing medical marijuana. Supporters say it would help people with health conditions.

The state medical association argues that the drug that carries safety risks, and claims it’s not a “legitimate medication.”

Amendment B wants you to bet on the future of Deadwood. Right now, only certain games are legal in Deadwood. Those include card games, roulette, and slot machines.
If passed, it would authorize the Legislature to allow you to bet on sporting events in the Old West town. The amendment’s sponsor says it would boost tourism and add new tax revenue to help local cities, schools, and the state.

South Dakota’s Speaker of the House is arguing against the amendment. He says sports betting would be a “stumbling block” for people overwhelmed by gambling addiction. He says quote, “The few dollars that would come from sports betting pales in comparison to the damage it causes.”

You can see the legal language of the ballot on the Secretary of State’s website.

KELOLAND News is Your Local Election Headquarters; view the special campaign web page for information about both upcoming 2020 elections. 

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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