In what was one of the most contentious Presidential elections in U.S. History, many voters were also faced with some of the most controversial issues. Six states approved measures Tuesday that will legalize recreational or medicinal marijuana. KDLT's Jill Johnson talked to Attorney General Marty Jackley who weighed in on the possibility of the two ever happening in South Dakota.
On Tuesday, North Dakota was one of three states joining 25 others in legalizing medical marijuana, and South Dakota is no stranger to the fight.
"We see it in the legislature about every session," said Jackley.
Even Jackley isn't opposed to the idea.
"The hope is that marijuana or a derivative of marijuana would help that child having seizures or will help that ailing adult who may have cancer," Jackley said.
However, Jackley says he would only approve of legalizing the drug if the FDA made sure it was safe. He also says marijuana would have to be prescribed by a South Dakota physician, and a South Dakota pharmacist would have to dispense it.
"I've taken the step as the Attorney General, utilizing my position of leadership with the AG's, to work with the DEA and the FDA to begin some responsible research," Jackley said.
But some states are going even further. Joining four other states, voters in California, Massachusetts, and Nevada approved recreational use on Tuesday, which Jackley says is sure to have a ripple effect in other states.
Jackley said, "We've received a lot of their problems. In fact, that's why the Nebraska and Oklahoma Attorney General have sued Colorado and said you're getting all these tax dollars and you're giving us all your problems."
One South Dakota initiative aimed at legalizing small amounts of marijuana seemed as if it would make the ballot this year. While enough signatures were collected, the petition came up short after many of them were deemed invalid.