South Dakota Governor’s Office Introduces Decriminalization Bill
To the surprise of many, South Dakota’s Governor Kristi Noem is considering a bill that would decriminalize cannabis in South Dakota. While Noem has been unflinchingly strict on cannabis before, she is now starting to loosen up a bit, though not enough for some advocates.
The legislation, which is being proposed by the governor’s office, would limit the number of plants medical cannabis patients could have, as well as stop the process of incarcerating people for possessing small amounts of recreational cannabis. Up to an ounce, or eight grams of concentrate, would simply get a petty offense charge, no jail time, as long as the person was 21 or older. Repeat offenses would result in a class 2 misdemeanor instead of a felony charge.
“This is one of several draft bills being circulated for discussion and Gov. Noem has not endorsed any of them,” said Tony Venhuizen, Noem’s chief of staff.
Noem is allegedly concerned about the medical statutes that will go into effect this summer, as they don’t specify a cap for how many medical plants a patient can have in their home. Under this new proposal, the limit would