The past few years have been game-changing for the cannabis industry. As attitudes towards it change and research into cannabis’ effects is carried out, more states have been legalizing it. At least 30 states have passed legislation allowing medical and recreational use within their borders, and activists in other states have been hard at work with their own marijuana legalization campaigns.
This November, voters in South Dakota will vote on whether or not to legalize both medical and recreational cannabis in the state. If they choose to legalize, South Dakota will become the first state to approve both medical and recreational marijuana at the same time. The two measures, Amendment A and Initiated Measure 26 would legalize, regulate, and tax cannabis and establish a medical marijuana program for qualifying patients respectively.
Under Amendment A, individuals 21 and older would be allowed to possess up to an ounce of marijuana grown in South Dakota, or to grow, transport, or distribute it in South Dakota to individuals 21 and older. A 15% excise tax would be charged on sales, with part of it going to the Department of Revenue to pay for regulation and the rest being dedicated to state aid to public schools and the state government’s general fund.
On its website, South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws says that “when something is broken it has to be fixed” and it states that these two measures represent a commonsense solution to a failed status quo. “Our marijuana policy reform initiatives will help veterans and patients who have serious health conditions, improve public safety, and generate new revenue.”
According to Brendan Johnson, former U.S. Attorney and member of Better Marijuana Laws, the outright prohibition of cannabis does not work. “Of course that does not mean we favor no restrictions on cannabis. We certainly do.” Of a similar school of thought is Chuck Parkinson who worked for President Reagan’s administration on the frontlines of the infamous War on Drugs. “I’ve come to the conclusion after all these years, we’ve spent hundreds and hundreds of millions of dollars and really gotten no results and we’ve ruined lives. We have taken away productive citizens who cannot get jobs, because they may have a drug conviction on their case file,” he says.
If the state is to legalize recreational and medical marijuana, law enforcement will have to be part of the discussion. “Anytime somebody’s talking about a big change like that, there’s obviously a lot of stakeholders involved and I think getting perspective from law enforcement can be very valuable,” says Sam Clemens, a public information officer for the Sioux Falls Police Department.
Industry actors like Green Growth Brands Inc. (CSE: GGB) (OTCQB: GGBXF) may be hoping that the people of North Dakota who badly need medical marijuana will finally heave a sigh of relief when voters approve the measure to create a regulated marijuana market.
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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