BY JOHN KNETEMANN \n Over the past half year, I have been periodically posting about a medical marijuana petition drive happening in my state, South Dakota. New Approach submitted 16,000 signatures to the South Dakota Secretary of State this week. In South Dakota, a petition needs to get 5% of the vote for the last gubernatorial election, which is 13,871 signatures. \n Now the South Dakota Secretary of State is verifying signatures to check for doubles, registered voters, etc. This generally brings about attrition, but 16,000 gives plenty of leeway for attrition. \n This means that the South Dakota medical marijuana movement will need to change gears soon. The movement is now not focused on gaining signatures, but convincing people that this is a worthwhile cause to support and vote for in 2016. Luckily, 2016 is an ideal time to vote for marijuana reform, as it is a presidential election. This is important because presidential elections means a higher younger voter turnout, which is generally favorable for marijuana reforms. \n Congratulations to New Approach South Dakota for this monumental success! It looks like we have another year of work ahead of us on this campaign.