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New Approach South Dakota Submits 16,000 Signatures For Medical Marijuana


new approach south dakota medical marijuanaOver the past half year, I have been periodically posting about a medical marijuana petition drive happening in my state, South Dakota. Well it seems New Approach South Dakota has done it! New Approach submitted 16,000 signatures to the South Dakota Secretary of State this week. In South Dakota, a petition needs to get 5% of the vote for the last gubernatorial election, which is 13,871 signatures.

Now the South Dakota Secretary of State is verifying signatures to check for doubles, registered voters, etc. This generally brings about attrition, but 16,000 gives plenty of leeway for attrition.

This means that the South Dakota medical marijuana movement will need to change gears soon. The movement is now not focused on gaining signatures, but convincing people that this is a worthwhile cause to support and vote for in 2016. Luckily, 2016 is an ideal time to vote for marijuana reform, as it is a presidential election. This is important because presidential elections means a higher younger voter turnout, which is generally favorable for marijuana reforms.

Congratulations to New Approach South Dakota for this monumental success! It looks like we have another year of work ahead of us on this campaign.


About Author

John Knetemann currently attends South Dakota School of Mines and Technology where he is a chapter leader for Students for Sensible Drug Policy. John has had a passion for drug policy reform since he was a senior in high school, and hasn’t looked back since. Along with his work in SSDP, he is a part of the North American Executive Board for Students For Liberty. You can find John on Twitter.


  1. A bright light in the darkness of South Dakota’s draconian cannabis laws! Good luck from Oregon!

  2. They don’t have all that much wiggle room – 86.7% of the signatures will have to be valid. I hope for their sake that their validation procedures are less stringent than in Missouri, where if you don’t put down the address that you’re currently registered, or if you sign on a petition sheet for the wrong county, or put down the wrong congressional district, your signature doesn’t count.

  3. Closet Warrior on

    John, I’ve read your inspirational back story and the country needs more vigilant reformers like you. Please contact someone in my state of West Virginia to help us pass mmj. We’ve voted it down 5yrs in a row. Not a good track record but we’re still trying. Never give up your struggles. Good luck S. Dakota.

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