South Dakota marijuana legalization bill cleared for Senate vote

February 18, 2022

PIERRE, S.D.–A legislative committee is pushing forward a bill that would decriminalize and regulate marijuana in South Dakota. The bill passed the Senate Commerce and Energy committee on a 5 to 3 vote.

Senate Bill 3 reduces the charge for possessing small amounts of marijuana from a felony to a misdemeanor for people over the age of 21. It also adjusts the classes for misdemeanors and felonies related to marijuana.

Opponents of the bill argue decriminalizing marijuana will increase black market sales of the drug. They also say it will be difficult for law enforcement to enforce regulations.

Proponents of the bill say decriminalizing and legalizing recreational marijuana was what the voters wanted, and the legislature should uphold that.

Republican Senator Michael Rohl of Aberdeen is the bill’s prime sponsor.