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Proposal would place age limit on medical marijuana, decriminalize possession of small amounts

Marijuana buds are shown at Huron View Provisioning in Ann Arbor, Mich., Thursday, Jan. 28,...
Marijuana buds are shown at Huron View Provisioning in Ann Arbor, Mich., Thursday, Jan. 28, 2021. The first year of state-licensed recreational marijuana sales in Michigan saw $511 million of sales in recreational and $474 million in medical sales, generating over $100 million in tax revenue, but the state also found that the industry drastically failed to attract minority business owners. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)(Paul Sancya | Associated Press)
Published: Mar. 23, 2021 at 2:29 PM CDT
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - A letter sent to the South Dakota Legislature from Governor Kristi Noem’s office lays out a proposal that would regulate medical marijuana in the state.

Dakota News Now obtained a copy of the draft bill, labeled IM 26 compromise, referring the voter-approved measure legalizing medical marijuana in the state. The measure is set to take effect July 1. Lawmakers attempted to lay the framework for legalizing medical marijuana with a delayed timeline during the legislative session, but those efforts fell through.

In the proposal, possession of marijuana could be decriminalized, although it would still be considered illegal to possess or use marijuana without a qualifying medical condition. The revision adds that a first offense would be a petty offense, not subject to jail time.

The draft includes a section that would limit the number of plants patients can grow in their own homes.

The draft also includes a section with age limits for medical marijuana patients. South Dakotans under 21, regardless of their medical situation, would be prohibited to use marijuana.

Noem’s spokesperson tells us this is one of several draft bills being circulated for discussion and that the governor has not endorsed any of them. However, lawmakers familiar with the situation tell Dakota News Now that this draft did come from her desk.

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