Senate narrowly advances recreational marijuana bill

Published: Feb. 23, 2022 at 3:26 PM CST
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PIERRE, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - A bill that would legalize recreational marijuana in South Dakota squeaked by the Senate in a close vote Wednesday.

Senators voted 18-17 to pass Senate Bill 3 . The bill next moves to the House, where lawmakers have generally been less receptive to marijuana-related legislation.

The issue has been somewhat of a roller coaster over the past few years. South Dakota voters approved Amendment A, which legalized recreational marijuana, in 2020. A judge ultimately struck that measure down for violating the state’s “single subject” rule.”

Some legislators say voters made their will clear, and want to be proactive in implementing recreational marijuana laws. The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Michael Rohl (R, Aberdeen), testified that the issue is a “one-way train” nationwide, as more and more states legalize recreational pot one way or another.

If SB 3 ultimately fails, the issue could again come before South Dakota voters. The group Better Marijuana Laws is collecting signatures to get a recreational marijuana legalization measure on the 2022 ballot.

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