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Long shot effort to repeal medical marijuana in South Dakota launches

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A South Dakota man has launched an effort to convince voters to repeal the state’s medical marijuana law.

But considering that residents in the state voted overwhelmingly in favor of a medical marijuana program in 2020, Newell resident Travis Ismay might have his work cut out for him.

According to state Attorney General Marty Jackley, Ismay’s proposed ballot initiative would:

  • Repeal the state’s medical cannabis program.

  • Outlaw the MMJ dispensaries currently in operation.

  • Make all possession and use of cannabis products a crime.

The proposal would have no impact on South Dakota’s hemp industry.

Members of the public have until Aug. 6 to submit public comment on Jackley’s summary of Ismay’s proposal.

Ismay’s plan is simple, according to the proposed language he submitted in early June: a blanket repeal of all state MMJ laws.

An avowed marijuana legalization opponent, according to the Dakota Free Press, Ismay declined to comment to Rapid City TV station KOTA.

If his proposal advances, Ismay would have to collect more than 17,000 signatures to qualify a repeal measure for the 2024 ballot.

South Dakota voters approved both medical and recreational marijuana in November 2020. But a 2021 state Supreme Court decision overturned adult-use legalization. However, medical marijuana sales began in South Dakota in July 2022.


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