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South Dakota voters pass medical marijuana measure

Medical and recreational use items are on the South Dakota ballot in the fall of 2020
Medical and recreational use items are on the South Dakota ballot in the fall of 2020(MGN)
Published: Nov. 3, 2020 at 11:48 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - Voters in South Dakota have passed Measure 26, legalizing medical marijuana in the state.

Measure 26 will establish a medical marijuana program in the state. The program will allow those with “debilitating medical conditions” to possess 3 oz. of marijuana.

The Associated Press called the race just after 11 pm Tuesday. The measure had 69% of the votes at 86% of the precincts reporting. The measure carried the lead for most of the night. At the time this story was written, Amendment A, legalizing recreational marijuana, had 53% of the votes with 86% of precincts reporting. That race has not yet been called.

According to the Associated Press, just four years ago, a majority of voters rejected the idea of medical marijuana. The state also struggled between lawmakers and Governor Noem to get industrial hemp legalized.

Governor Noem has been a staunch opponent of marijuana.

David Owen is the president of the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Dr. Benjamin Aker is the president of the South Dakota State Medical Association were both against the measure.

Former law enforcement officers expressed support of both Measure 26 and Amendment A. They say marijuana takes up a lot of officers' time and resources that could be focused on other issues like violent crimes or harder drugs.

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