South Dakota voters are giving Gov. Kristi Noem (R) good marks on her job performance—except when it comes to marijuana policy and the way in which her administration has sought to undermine the will of the electorate which approved a legalization ballot measure last year. A statewide poll released on Tuesday showed that an average of 61 percent of voters strongly or somewhat approve of Noem’s job performance across five categories in her first term. But just 39 percent said they approve of her handling of marijuana legalization, with 51 percent disapproving. One-third of respondents said that they strongly disapprove of the governor when it comes to cannabis, while 18 percent said they somewhat disapprove. Twenty-eight percent of Republicans, 38 percent of Democrats and 39 percent of independents said they strongly disapproved of Noem’s handling of the issue. Another 16 percent of GOP voters, 23 percent of Democrats, and 17 percent of independents somewhat disapprove of the governor’s actions on cannabis. While Noem—who is up for reelection next year—has seemingly recognized the popularity of marijuana reform in recent months and has attempted to tie herself to the rollout of a voter-approved medical cannabis program, it appears that voters haven’t forgotten how she adamantly opposed a separate adult-use legalization initiative that residents also passed last November. In fact, it was a lawsuit funded by her administration that led to a court ruling voiding the recreational marijuana law—a decision upheld by the state Supreme Court last month when justices affirmed that the measure is unconstitutional because it violated a single-subject rule for ballot initiatives.

Kyle Jaeger, Marijuana Moment, 12/08/2021 09:02:00

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