South Dakota House, Senate take action on marijuana bills

Photo: Brent Nathaniel

February 26, 2021

PIERRE, S.D. (AP) – Members of the South Dakota House and Senate took turns deflating marijuana supporters on the same day.

One body on Thursday approved a plan to delay implementation of medical cannabis and the other killed a bill that would have decriminalized the drug.

The House pushed forward on Gov. Kristi Noem’s idea to give the Department of Health additional time to work on a medical marijuana strategy and create a working group of lawmakers to help lay out the program.

Noem wanted a year delay. The House settled on six months.

The Senate defeated a bill that would have changed existing statute so people who possess small amounts of cannabis are no longer arrested in South Dakota.