Voters in South Dakota made history on Nov. 3, helping the state become the first in the union to pass a constitutional amendment legalizing adult-use cannabis sales without first having an established medical program.
Amendment A, the constitutional amendment that voters passed on election night with 53.4% of the vote with 95% of precincts reporting, per the Associated Press, legalizes the recreational use of cannabis for adults aged 21 and over and allows the possession of up to one ounce of cannabis per adult. Additionally, the law requires that the state legislature pass laws for a medical cannabis program and for hemp sales no later than April 1, 2022.
The Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) was heavily involved in supporting both ballot measures (Measure 26, the medical cannabis program ballot measure, also passed with 69.2% support). Matthew Schweich, deputy director of the MPP, said in a statement: “South Dakota has made history by becoming the first state to legalize medical marijuana and legalize marijuana for adults on the same day. Furthermore, it is arguably the most conservative state yet to enact marijuana legalization. This victory has added significance at the federal level with top-ranking Republican Senator John Thune now representing a legalization state.”