With much of the nation transfixed by the drama in our nation’s capital over efforts to overturn the results of the presidential election, Republican leaders at the state level also have a target in the bid to block the will of the people: marijuana legalization initiatives. Voters in five states approved ballot measures to legalize cannabis in November, all of them passing by significant margins.
But that popularity with voters hasn’t swayed many Republicans from their continued support of marijuana prohibition. In South Dakota, voters approved both Initiated Measure 26 and Amendment A, ballot initiatives to legalize the medicinal use of cannabis and recreational marijuana, respectively. Amendment A won by eight percentage points while Measure 26 prevailed with a whopping 70% of the vote.
But despite that popularity, Republican Gov. Kristi Noem has decided that the state’s voters made the “wrong choice.”
“I was personally opposed to these measures and firmly believe they’re the wrong choice for South Dakota’s communities,” she wrote in a statement published by Dakota News Now after the election. “We need to be finding ways to strengthen our families, and I think we’re taking a step backward in that effort. I’m also very disappointed that we will be growing state government by millions of dollars in costs to public safety and to set up this new regulatory system.” [Read more at Forbes]