Pierre, SD: State officials announced last week that proponents of a statewide initiative to allow for the physician-supervised use of medical marijuana have turned in sufficient signatures to qualify for this November's electoral ballot.
Proponents of the measure, the South Dakota Coalition for Compassion, collected over twice the number of signatures necessary to place the proposal on the 2010 ballot.
If approved by voters, Measure 13 – the South Dakota Safe Access Act – would exempt state criminal penalties for the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana or six plants by authorized patients.
"The coalition could not be more proud of this truly grassroots accomplishment," said Emmit Reistroffer, Coalition communications director, in a statement. "Our members are united behind protecting the sick and the dying, and we now aim to educate the public about the various medical applications for cannabis before the election this November."
In 2006, voters narrowly rejected a similar proposal – marking the only time that citizens have rejected a statewide medical marijuana legalization proposal.
Fourteen states have enacted medical marijuana laws since 1996; ten have done so by voter initiative.
For more information, please visit: http://www.sdcompassion.org/.