Medical Marijuana Backers Turn In 15K Signatures

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – A ballot measure that would allow patients with serious medical conditions to use marijuana has attracted roughly 15,000 signatures.

The names submitted Monday narrowly exceed the nearly 14,000 valid signatures required to advance to the 2018 ballot. The Secretary of State’s office conducts a random sampling of signatures to determine validity.

Supporter Melissa Mentele says it’s “all about validity,” touting the campaign’s volunteer efforts.

She says it’s time to give South Dakota patients effective options for treatment.

Under the measure, 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.

Last year, the Secretary of State’s office said backers didn’t turn in enough valid signatures to get a medical marijuana initiative on the 2016 ballot.

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