Supporters have raised and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars trying to convince voters to mark yes on two marijuana-legalization questions on South Dakota’s general-election ballot. Opponents meanwhile raised about one-fifth of that amount trying to get voters to mark no.
Marijuana currently is illegal to use or possess in South Dakota. Constitutional Amendment A would legalize recreational marijuana for adults 21 and older and charge a 15% state tax. Initiated Measure 26 would legalize medical marijuana. The campaign-finance reports for the supporters, covering the period of May 17 through October 14, show:
South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws, a Sioux Falls-based committee, received $580,278. That included $435,000 from the New Approach political action committee, based in Washington, D.C., as well as $75,000 from Justin Johnson of Sioux Falls, $50,000 from Richard J. Steves Jr. of Edmonds, Washington, and $12,000 from Pam Sands of Sioux Falls;
New Approach South Dakota Medical Cannabis, based in Emery, received $46,992, including $41,320 from the federal New Approach PAC.
The main opposition comes from the No Way On A ballot-question committee that was organized July 7 by David Owen, president for the South Dakota Chamber of Commerce and Industry. [Read more at Keloland]