Final Explanation Released for Draft Initiated Measure That Would Legalize Recreational Marijuana

Article Body

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Wednesday, Aug. 30, 2023

Contact: Tony Mangan, Communications Director, 605-773-6878


Final Explanation Released for Draft Initiated Measure

That Would Legalize Recreational Marijuana

PIERRE, S.D. – The final ballot explanation for a draft initiated measure that would legalize recreational marijuana, proposed by Matthew Schweich of Sioux Falls, has been released by the South Dakota Attorney General’s Office.


Attorney General Marty Jackley takes no position on any such proposal for purposes of the ballot explanation. He has provided a fair and neutral explanation of the proposed initiated measure to help assist the voters.


This proposed initiated measure would allow individuals 21 years old or older to possess, grow, ingest, and distribute marijuana for recreational purposes. The initiated measure does not affect laws dealing with hemp. The measure also does not change State laws concerning the State’s medical marijuana program. 


The final ballot explanation can be found here.


State law requires the Attorney General draft a title and explanation for each initiated measure, initiated constitutional amendment, constitutional amendment proposed by the Legislature, or referred measure that may appear on an election ballot. The Attorney General's explanation is meant to be an "objective, clear, and simple summary" intended to "educate the voters of the purpose and effect of the proposed" measure, as well as identify the "legal consequences" of each measure.


If the required 17,509 valid signatures are gathered and approved by the South Dakota Secretary of State’s Office, the proposed constitutional amendment will be placed on the 2024 general ballot. A majority of the votes cast in the general election will be needed to pass the measure.


The Attorney General’s explanation was drafted after a review of all the comments received during the proposed amendment’s 10-day comment period. A total of 15 comments were received.


For more information regarding ballot measures, please visit the Secretary of State’s website.