South Dakota Could Be First State To Legalize Cannabis Twice

Legalization is back on the ballot in November

When it comes to marijuana, South Dakota has been a leader among its Great Plains neighbors: one of the first to legalize recreational use, the first to approve both medical and recreational forms on the same ballot and the only one to have its recreational measure reversed.

Legalization is back on the ballot in November, but whether the politically red state will become the first to pass it twice remains in doubt.

It’s facing strong opposition from conservative groups and figures determined to pull the state back from legalizing pot. And though 54% of voters approved a constitutional amendment to legalize cannabis in 2020, that campaign may have benefited from the medical marijuana measure that appeared on the same ballot.

This time, recreational marijuana stands alone on the ballot. And it likely faces a different demographic of voters — older and perhaps less inclined toward the drug — in a midterm election rather than in a presidential year, said Matt Schweich, who organized that campaign and is doing so again this year.

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