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South Dakotans Overwhelmingly Approve Medical [Cannabis]

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Supermajority of voters decided in favor of medical access

South Dakotans have overwhelmingly approved Measure 26, which legalizes the medical use of cannabis by authorized patients.

The newly passed initiative permits qualified patients to possess and home-cultivate cannabis for medical purposes and establishes a state-regulated retail system for medical [cannabis] sales. Thirty-four states and the District of Columbia have enacted similar medical cannabis access legislation.

“South Dakotans sent an unequivocal message in support of allowing patients the ability to legally access it under the advice of their physician,” stated NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri. “When operational, this program will provide lab-tested medical cannabis products to thousands of South Dakotans who can benefit from them. These patients cannot wait, and voters were right to take action to make this access a reality.”

South Dakota joins over 30 states and Washington, DC in having passed legislation to regulate the production and dispensing of [cannabis] to qualified patients.


NORML advocates for changes in public policy so that the responsible possession and use of [cannabis] by adults is no longer subject to criminal penalties. NORML further advocates for a regulated commercial cannabis market so that activities involving the for-profit production and retail sale of cannabis and cannabis products are safe, transparent, consumer-friendly, and are subject to state and/or local licensure. Finally, NORML advocates for additional changes in legal and regulatory policies so that those who use [cannabis] responsibly are no longer face either social stigma or workplace discrimination, and so that those with past criminal records for [cannabis]-related violations have the opportunity to have their records automatically expunged.

Find out more at and read our Fact Sheets on the most common misconceptions and myths regarding reform efforts around the country

Erik Altieri
NORML Executive Director

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