South Dakota Governor Floats Marijuana Decriminalization As Part Of Medical Cannabis Compromise

MJ moment

The governor of South Dakota is looking to strike a deal with the legislature over plans to implement a medical marijuana program in the state, but advocates feel a reform proposal she’s floating doesn’t go far enough. South Dakota voters approved separate ballot initiatives to legalize cannabis for medical and recreational use in November, despite Gov. Kristi Noem’s (R) opposition to the policy change. The adult-use measure was struck down by a judge last month following challenges over its constitutionality, with a state Supreme Court appeal pending, but the medical marijuana initiative is set to go into effect on July 1. Noem tried to get the legislature to approve a bill to delay implementation for an additional year, but while it cleared the House, negotiators were unable to reach an agreement with the Senate in conference, delivering a defeat to the governor. Now she’s seeking a compromise, and one proposal out of her administration that’s being considered would decriminalize possession of up to one ounce of cannabis, limit the number of plants that patients could cultivate to three and prohibit people under 21 from qualifying for medical marijuana. An administration official told The Argus Leader that the governor hasn’t necessarily endorsed the measure her office is circulating, but it’s one of several pieces of legislation that they are exploring. Under the bill, possession of up to an ounce of cannabis by an adult 21 or older would be considered a petty fine that would not carry the threat of jail time. Any additional offenses would be classified as a class 2 misdemeanor, punishable by up to 30 days in jail and a maximum $500 fine. Underage possession would be a more serious class 1 misdemeanor. That’s too severe and defies the will of voters who approved legalization, advocates with South…

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Source : South Dakota Governor Floats Marijuana Decriminalization As Part Of Medical Cannabis Compromise

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