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Legalization effort in final weeks of petition drive

South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws, the political campaign leading the effort to put a recreational cannabis legalization initiative in the November 2022 vote, held a press conference at its campaign headquarters in Sioux Falls on the 13th. April to update people on their effort. The news is a mixed bag.

“We’re at an impressive distance from having enough firmness to qualify for the vote, but we feel a little nervous,” said Matthew Schweich, campaign director for SDBML. “We have no time to lose. There are only 20 days left until the deadline.”

Schweich announced that the campaign’s internal validation system conservatively estimates that the signature unit produced 13,500 valid signatures. To qualify, the campaign must submit petitions containing 16,961 valid signatures to the South Dakota Secretary of State as of May 3. The group recently released a score card of state lawmakers ’position on cannabis ahead of the 2022 election.

Hotline petition to bring more people on board

South Dakota is one of the states holding out against legalization. After voters passed a legalization bill in 2020, the extremist state Supreme Court overturned voters ’wills.

“We want to have a large surplus of signatures when we submit our petitions to the Secretary of State,” Schweich added. “We don’t want to take any chances. This is our final push, and we need our supporters to sign the petition and, if possible, volunteer for the campaign.”

The South Dakota campaign has announced a number of specific actions designed to maximize signature collection over the next two weeks:

1. The campaign has established a “Petition Hotline” for South Dakotans to call or text 24 hours a day with any questions about signing the petition or volunteering – (605) 269-8552.

2. The campaign will assume additional paid circulators and encourage all candidates to apply by calling or texting the Petition Line (605-269-8552). Posts start at $ 22 per hour.

3. The campaign will hold a Drivethru Petition Signing Event this weekend in Rapid City (10 am to 7 pm MT on Saturday 16th April and Sunday 17th April) at 230 E North St, Rapid City, SD 57701 .

4. The campaign will hold a Drivethru Petition Signing Event next weekend in Sioux Falls (10am to 7pm CT on Saturday 23rd April and Sunday 24th April) at its 1020 S campaign headquarters. Minnesota Ave, Sioux Falls, SD. .

5. The campaign encourages people who have signed the petition to complete the “Signature Checker” on their website (www.sd2022.org/checker). This allows campaign staff to verify that a voter’s signature is valid and will be counted when petitions are submitted.

South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws (SDBML) is a registered South Dakota state voting committee.

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