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Let's talk 2018: Marijuana among issues on South Dakota list

PIERRE (AP) -- Activists have proposed several ballot measures that may go before South Dakota voters in 2018, including initiatives restricting the bathrooms transgender students could use and allowing doctors to prescribe life-ending drugs to t...

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(The Daily Republic file photo)

 

PIERRE (AP) - Activists have proposed several ballot measures that may go before South Dakota voters in 2018, including initiatives restricting the bathrooms transgender students could use and allowing doctors to prescribe life-ending drugs to terminally ill people.

Attorney General Marty Jackley this week released explanations for two measures that would legalize medical and recreational marijuana, another step in the process for supporters to get them on the November 2018 ballot.

Backers of each plan would have to collect nearly 14,000 signatures by November 2017, and have them certified to put the measures to a public vote. Here's a look at some of the initiatives proposed so far:

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MEDICAL CANNABIS

The plan would allow patients with serious medical conditions and a health practitioner's recommendation to use medical marijuana. Qualifying patients - such as people with cancer, AIDS and Hepatitis C - would be able to get a registration card to possess up to 3 ounces of the plant. It would be available from dispensaries, and some cardholders would be able to cultivate marijuana plants under the measure.

Supporters have failed to legalize medical marijuana in South Dakota at the ballot box at least twice since 2006. A proposal that year received 47.7 percent of the vote, and a 2010 effort got 36.7 percent.

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RECREATIONAL CANNABIS

People 21 and older would be able to possess and use marijuana under the proposal. Possession for South Dakota residents would be limited to 1 ounce of marijuana, five plants and any excess cannabis produced by the plants if they are stored in the same facility where they were cultivated. Marijuana retailers could be established under the plan, which would also impose an excise tax on cannabis.

People who are serving time or have been convicted of a non-violent marijuana offense would have their cases reviewed or sentences commuted under the proposal.

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DEATH WITH DIGNITY

A state-licensed physician would be able to prescribe life-ending drugs to a terminally ill South Dakota patient under the measure. The patient who wants to die would have to make an oral request and a written request, and reiterate the oral request at least 15 days after the initial one was made. The written request for medication to self-administer to die would have to be witnessed by two people.

If passed, the measure would go into effect in April 2019.

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TRANSGENDER STUDENTS

The measure would require people to use the public school bathrooms, locker rooms, shower rooms and changing facilities matching their gender at birth. Schools would be allowed to provide alternative accommodations, such as single-occupancy restrooms.

It comes after lawmakers for the past two legislative sessions have considered restricting the school facilities that transgender students can use.

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