Even paying circulators $22 an hour couldn’t get South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws 16,961 signatures in four slim weeks on its Plan B petition to put marijuana legalization on the November 2022 ballot.
But that’s o.k.—thanks to so-far successful litigation against South Dakota’s onerous and now overturned one-year deadline for initiated-law petitions, marijuana advocates can keep collecting signatures for their proposal until May 3, 2022:
Unfortunately, we were not able to collect enough signatures to file our petitions on Monday. However, we will continue to collect signatures and finish what we started.
While we have been aiming for November 8 in order to be certain of ballot qualification, the filing deadline was extended to May 3, 2022 by a federal judge earlier this year. It was our preference to file by Monday in order to avoid any potential legal challenges. That being said, the May 3 deadline is the law in South Dakota and we feel confident that we can rely on that extension.
We’ll be sharing more information later today. In the meantime, we want to express our heartfelt thanks to all of our incredible volunteers and signing locations for their very hard work over the past few weeks. Thank you very, very much.
We’ve had setbacks before and we overcame them. We’ll do the same again.
The work continues [South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws, FB post, 2021.11.07].
If the marijuana advocates keep at it, and if the Medicaid expansion amendment submitted Tuesday proves to have enough signatures to qualify for the ballot, then Kristi Noem would appear on the ballot alongside two issues that run against her policy agenda. From a political reform perspective, we should hope marijuana and Medicaid expansion both make the ballot and give us a chance to amplify real policy conversations that remind South Dakotans how out of step Kristi Noem is with their will and their practical interests.