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South Dakotans may again vote on legalizing recreational pot in 2024

Marijuana advocates are renewing the push to legalize recreational pot in South Dakota.

The Attorney General’s Office released a draft explanation for an initiated measure allowing people over 21 to grow, sell and use recreational marijuana.

It wouldn’t affect the state’s medical marijuana or industrial hemp programs.

Once the Attorney General has filed and posted the draft explanation, the public has 10 days to provide written comment. The deadline for public comment is Aug. 21.

The measure is proposed by Matthew Schweich of Sioux Falls, who is deputy director of South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws. Supporters need to get 17,509 valid petition signatures to get the measure on the 2024 ballot.

Recreational marijuana has had a convoluted path in recent South Dakota history. Voters approved a measure legalizing recreational pot in 2020, but that law was thrown out after a court ruled it violated the state's single-subject rule. Advocates came back two years later with a new measure written with more constitutionally friendly language, but it was rejected by voters.

Josh Chilson is the news director at South Dakota Public Broadcasting. A Florence, S.D. native, Josh graduated with a journalism degree from South Dakota State University. He has worked as a newspaper reporter and videographer, and most recently as managing editor for Dakota News Now. Josh is based out of SDPB's Sioux Falls studio.