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Recreational marijuana backers lack signatures as ballot deadline looms

Screenshot 2022-04-13 143710.jpg
Joshua Haiar
Matthew Schweich, campaign director of South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws, speaks Wednesday at an event to sound the alarm about thousands of signatures needed to place recreational marijuana legalization on the ballot.

The organization leading the effort to get recreational marijuana on the ballot — again, after the measure was overturned by the state Supreme Court — is sounding the alarm.

Matthew Schweich is the campaign director of South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws. He says the initiated measure is short of getting on the ballot, with less than three weeks left to turn in signatures.

“Our conservative estimate right now is that we’re at 13,500 ballot signatures, and we need 17,000 ballot signatures.”

Betty DeBerg of Sioux Falls is frustrated with the state and local government for not doing more to implement recreational marijuana when voters passed it in 2020.

“Shame. Shame. Shame. It’s just terrible. The governor and Legislature have gone against the will of the people whenever they could, and I’m just ashamed of our state government.”

The deadline to turn in the petitions is May 3.