South Dakota OKs adult-use cannabis after passing medical measure

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South Dakota became the first state in the country to legalize medical and adult-use marijuana simultaneously during Tuesday’s election.

In addition to handily passing Measure 26, which creates a medical marijuana market in the state, voters also passed Amendment A, the adult-use cannabis ballot item, with 53.5% in favor and 46.5% against.

The Washington Post called the contest with 90% of precincts reporting.

Melissa Mentele, executive director of New Approach South Dakota, said the success of both initiatives was crucial to cover the needs of all South Dakotans.

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a condition that often affects veterans and is a qualifying condition for MMJ in many states, but the Veterans Health Administration won’t recommend medical marijuana.

“Our veterans cannot be part of a statewide MMJ registry. So having adult use allows us to serve patients that couldn’t be under a medical program,” Mentele said. “A lot of adult-use states serve our vet population more than almost anyone.”

Both ballot issues will become law July 1.

– Kate Lavin