South Dakota lawmakers on Tuesday advanced legislation to legalize marijuana for adult use and replace the state’s newly established medical cannabis program. In an 8-2 vote, a subcommittee tasked with exploring adult-use legalization recommended approving a draft bill that’s being carried by Chairman Hugh Bartels (R). This comes as the state Supreme Court continues to contemplate a review of the constitutionality of an earlier cannabis legalization initiative that voters approved in 2020 but which was later challenged with a lawsuit funded by the administration of Gov. Kristi Noem (R). At the same time, activists have launched a signature-gathering drive to put a marijuana legalization initiative on the state’s 2022 ballot after receiving clearance from the secretary of state’s office. South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws (SDBML) says it will be undeterred by legislative actions to simply recommend putting an alternative legalization proposal before the legislature next year and will proceed with plans to turn in petitions next month to put the cannabis issue back before voters next year.

Kyle Jaeger, Marijuana Moment, 10/19/2021 16:57:00

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