Attorney General Marty Jackley has finished his fifth ballot measure explanation, this time for the medical marijuana initiative brought to us by Melissa Mentele and the South Dakota Family Coalition for Compassion. The proposed initiative is a monster, 95 sections laying out the rules for the “regulation, access and compassionate use of cannabis in South Dakota.”
Here’s AG Jackley’s summary of the medical cannabis proposal:
The measure legalizes medical use of marijuana by qualifying patients, including minors. No person or entity may be penalized, or denied any right or privilege, for conduct that is lawful under the measure.
Qualifying patients must be certified by a practitioner as having a debilitating medical condition. South Dakota patients must obtain a registration card from the State Department of Health (“Department”). Non-resident patients are permitted to use their registration cards from other jurisdictions.
Qualifying patients may designate caregivers to assist with their use of marijuana. A designated caregiver must obtain a registration card from the Department for each qualifying patient.
Allowable amounts of marijuana include three ounces of marijuana, a minimum of six marijuana plants (if cultivation is permitted for that cardholder), and quantities of other marijuana products as determined by the Department.
The measure legalizes marijuana testing, manufacturing, and cultivation facilities, as well as dispensaries where marijuana may be acquired by cardholders. These establishments must register with the Department.
Schools and landlords cannot penalize, or refuse to enroll or lease, based solely on a person’s cardholder status, absent federal law to the contrary.
Marijuana possession, use, cultivation and distribution remain illegal under federal law [Attorney General Marty Jackley, ballot measure explanation, 2015.06.09].
196 words—right below the 200-word limit. That cut-off apparently kept AG Jackley from pointing out the negative of what he felt bore emphasizing in his explanations of Bob Newland’s two rhetorical exercises in consistent prohibition, that the medical cannabis measure would appear not to cost the state any tax revenues and would not likely expose the state to costly court challenges.
Compared to the Newland initiative explanations, the medical cannabis explanation is less discouraging and more straightforward, telling us whom the law would authorized to use and grow pot and what for. With that document filed, it should be mere days until cannabis activists can start circulating their petition. Circulators will have until Monday, November 9 of this year to submit at least 13,871 valid voter signatures on their petition to place medical marijuana on the ballot again in 2016.