For a long time, cannabis was classified with hard drugs like cocaine and heroin, a move that tarnished the plant’s image for decades. It prevented proper research into the plant and most of all kept it away from people who actually needed it. As we know, cannabis has plenty of medical properties that make it an extremely potent and versatile natural alternative to pharmaceuticals.
Before the 2018 Farm Bill legalized hemp and made it possible to sell hemp extract cannabidiol (CBD), there was medical marijuana. It led the charge as far as overhauling marijuana’s image was concerned, and on top of that, helped tons of people recuperate from a variety of medical conditions.
States like Illinois, Delaware, and California already have medical marijuana programs in place, and it seems like South Dakota may join the list. The Secretary of State’s office confirmed that a statutory measure to legalize medical marijuana in South Dakota qualified for the state’s 2020 ballot.
The proposal, now officially referred to as Initiated Measure 26, was facilitated by activists who collected more than 30,000 signatures for the petition last month. “Our office conducted a random sample of the petition signatures and found 74.65 percent to be valid,” says South Dakota Secretary of State Steve Barnett.
The reform is the first cannabis reform citizen initiative that’s made it into the ballot. A few other states have such reforms in the works, including Mississippi and Nebraska.
Aside from the medical marijuana measure, there’s a second measure to legalize adult-use marijuana that the organizers hope will reach the signature threshold in time for next year’s vote. Both of the measures are backed by national advocacy groups Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), and New Approach PAC.
“Across the country, voters are recognizing that it makes no sense to waste law enforcement resources on arresting adults for marijuana possession and that it also makes no sense to force marijuana sales into an unregulated illicit market.
Simply put, legalizing, regulating and taxing marijuana is the public policy decision that best serves the interests of public health and public safety,” says MPP Deputy Director Matthew Schweich.
“Next year, voters will have the opportunity to approve a ballot initiative that would provide legal, safe, and regulated access to medical marijuana for qualifying patients.”
Schweich argues that right now, the state government is forcing otherwise law-abiding people to be criminals in order to live healthier, happier and more productive lives. “We’re going to end that heartless injustice.”
He hopes that the adult-use legalization initiative will also qualify for the 2020 ballot. “We expect that it will, and South Dakota will be the first state in American history to vote on medical marijuana and adult-use legalization initiatives on the same ballot.”
CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.
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