Marijuana policy reform seems to be sweeping across the United States. The number of states in which the recreational use of marijuana is legal has doubled, and nearly half of the nation has legalized the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes. Until now, not much on the topic has been heard in South Dakota since a legalization measure failed in 2010. A medical marijuana legalization campaign launched this week in the form of billboard advertisements in Sioux Falls.
The billboards will look like the sample below, asking residents to contact state legislators about the issue. The campaign was funded by the Sioux Falls Free Thinkers. This group is leading the brigade for legislation to allow patients suffering from debilitating medical conditions, such as epilepsy and cancer, to have safe access to medical marijuana.
Another organization, South Dakota Family Coalition for Compassion, is in the process of drafting the medical marijuana bill that would open the door for patients. Many patients have found relief in medical marijuana that they cannot find from pharmaceutical medications. Melissa Mentele, a member of South Dakota Family Coalition for Compassion, is one of those patients. This is exactly why she is advocating for medical marijuana in the Mount Rushmore State. Mentele is writing legislation that would include use of the entire plant, so no patients nor conditions will be excluded.
There will reportedly be 6 billboards placed along west 12th Street in Sioux Falls. This message will also appear on the electronic billboard near 10th and Cliff, and more billboards will go up along Minnesota Ave. later this month. The billboards are expected to remain in public view for 6 weeks.
photo credit: MIT