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Supporters of a ballot measure aimed at legalizing small amounts of marijuana for medical use filed a complaint Tuesday claiming the South Dakota Secretary of State’s office didn’t do enough to prove petition signatures were illegitimate before disqualifying the measure.

Melissa Mentele, primary sponsor of the ballot initiative and founder of the South Dakota Coalition for Compassion, said the petitions she filed with the secretary of state’s office weren’t counted properly and proper notice wasn’t given about the office’s results.

In her legal complaint, Mentele said she hopes the secretary of state’s decision calling the measure invalid would be thrown out and the Hughes County court would grant the measure ballot access.

Mentele said hundreds, if not thousands, of signatures were wrongfully declared invalid by the secretary of state’s office, which she said is disappointing and disheartening.

“I spent a year defending the rights of patients in the state of South Dakota with this and now, not only do we have to defend our patients, we have to defend the process,” Mentele said.

Secretary of State Shantel Krebs didn’t immediately respond to a message requesting comment Tuesday afternoon.

Krebs announced in May that a sample of the submitted signatures revealed that the group did not have enough valid signatures to meet the 13,871 signatures needed to appear on the ballot. A challenge to her review was unsuccessful.

The failed attempt to challenge Krebs’ count is one in a series of unsuccessful attempts this year to legalize medical marijuana.

The measure’s sponsors late last year tried to gather enough signatures for the ballot measure but came up short.

Another marijuana measure failed in the Legislature after it gained unexpected support among senators and the governor. The bill would have legalized the use of cannabidiol, a marijuana derivative that doesn’t create a sensation of feeling high, for individuals who struggle with seizure disorders.

News Moderator: Katelyn Baker 420 MAGAZINE ®
Full Article: Medical Marijuana Backers Sue Secretary Of State
Author: Dana Ferguson
Contact: Argus Leader
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Website: Argus Leader