How conservative South Dakota could be at the forefront of legalizing marijuana – ABC News

And it is the only state where both forms of legalization will be on the ballot.

Matthew Schweich, the deputy director of the nonprofit group the Marijuana Policy Project, which has been running campaigns across the country to legalize, told ABC News this is the first time in U.S. history that a state has had two ballot measures to ask voters for approval for recreational and medical marijuana during an election year.

While there is some opposition from Republican Gov. Kristi Noem and South Dakota business owners over the recreational ballot, Schweich noted that more than 50,000 residents signed on to that initiative and more than 30,000 signatures for the medical provision.

An employee stocks cannabis at a store shortly before its first day of recreational marijuana sales in San Francisco, Jan. 6, 2018.

An employee stocks cannabis at a store shortly before its first day of recreational marijuana sales in San Francisco, Jan. 6, 2018.

“I think that COVID has absorbed a great deal of the public’s attention from marijuana reform, but there is still interest in the issue,” he told ABC News. “It’s remarkable since South Dakota has always been seen as this strong conservative state.”

Schweich and other experts say that the ballot initiatives in South Dakota as well as Montana, Arizona, New Jersey and Mississippi, could have major outcomes for the rest of the country since it would put pressure on state and national leaders to address their antiquated drug laws.

“If we’re

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