Initiated Measure 13 is getting a lot of attention right now as we approach the November election. Both sides on the issue of legalizing medical marijuana in South Dakota are firing up their campaigns to inform voters on this decision.
One person whose against it: Attorney General Marty Jackley. Still, it's a decision voters will make and need to know what they're deciding upon.
As Attorney General, Jackley wrote the ballot measure about medical marijuana that voters will decide upon in the November election.
"I tried to be objective in that explanation," said Jackley.
He says they avoided a lawsuit over the measure and both sides came to an agreement. While Jackley says he tried to be fair in its writing, it's not something he supports.
"I do not support it. The reason is based upon, I believe, my history of being a drug prosecutor in western South Dakota and then a U.S. Attorney and now serving as the Attorney General. I've witnessed some of the concerns that come about by the use of marijuana," said Jackley.
Concerns he says such as crime with its distribution. But organizations like the South Dakota Coalition for Compassion argue otherwise and are pushing for the legalization for the sake of the patients.
Under the ballot measure, a person can possess up to one ounce of marijuana and if they don't have a caregiver, they can also have six plants. It's a detailed measure that has a lot of provisions including defining who can have marijuana; a patient must have a debilitating condition as outlined in the measure.
"When you look at what the voters faced in 2006 versus 2010, that the overall measure is a better legislation. It has some safeguards in there," said Jackley.
While voters will decide in November whether medical marijuana will be legal in the state, Jackley reminds you that regardless of the decision, it will still be illegal federally.
"Medical marijuana will still be against federal law and that was included in the ballot measure and explained," said Jackley.
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