Marijuana advocates were dealt a serious blow in an effort to have South Dakotans decide a measure to legalize medicinal forms of the drug.

In a press release Attorney General Marty Jackley announced that Circuit Court Judge Mark Barnett denied Melissa Mentele 's request to place an initiated measure involving marijuana on the November 2016 general election ballot based upon an insufficient number of valid signatures. Mentlele is the founder of the South Dakota Coalition for Compassion which advocates for small amounts of marijuana to be used for medicinal purposes.

Jackley is quoted in the press release saying, “(This) decision affirms the hard work Secretary of State Shantel Krebs and her Office put into ensuring the integrity of our election process.”

At issue were two claims: 1) South Dakota Secretary of State Krebs previously rejected the measure for lack of valid signatures. 2) Mentele asserted that she did not receive proper notification from the Secretary of State of the rejection and requested the measure be placed on the ballot.

In denying the request, Judge Barnett found in favor of Secretary Krebs on both counts. It was deemed that proper notification was given and the threshold was not reached for the required number of valid signatures.

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