There’s a new group that opposes two marijuana questions on the November ballot.
Earlier this week, supporters of the marijuana measures kicked off their campaign.
Some of the opposition focuses on public health and the state constitution.
One of the ballot measures is a constitutional amendment. It would add language to the state constitution to legalize recreational marijuana, medical marijuana and industrial hemp.
The other initiative would simply establish a medical marijuana program.
There is already opposition organizing.
Captain Tony Harrison is with the Pennington County Sheriff’s office. He says these ballot questions will not be opposed by just law enforcement.
He’s organizing a group of people who have concerns about legalized marijuana.
“I’m talking doctors, other kinds of folks who recognize the dangers and pitfalls of medical marijuana—legal marijuana in any form,” Harrison says. "That’s what we’re going to work on so we can educate the public on those issues.”
The South Dakota Chamber of Commerce is also organizing against the constitutional amendment. David Owen is the president of the chamber. He says they’ll remain neutral on the initiative for medical marijuana.
Owen says language legalizing marijuana doesn’t belong in the constitution.
“Because, if you’re going to have to change anything it’s going to require a statewide vote,” Owen says. “This is something for the legislature to deal with. Our concerns on the workforce. The fact that there’s no way to test whether someone is impaired.”
This will be the first statewide vote on marijuana in a decade. Since then, dozens of states have implemented medical marijuana programs and eleven have legalized recreational pot use.