Legislative committee kills bill that would loosen drug ingestion penalty

Published: Feb. 20, 2020 at 11:54 AM CST
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South Dakota lawmakers have voted down a bill that would decrease the penalty for ingesting a controlled substance in the state.

SB 115 was killed in a 5-2 vote Thursday in the Senate Judiciary committee.

The bill would have changed ingestion of a controlled substance from a felony to a class 1 misdemeanor for the first two offenses.

Opponents, including South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg, said the bill would make it harder to prosecute drug cases.

Supporters of the bill said it would help keep low-level offenders with addiction problems out of prison.

The ACLU of South Dakota issued a statement decrying the failure of the bill, stating South Dakota "can't incarcerate our way out of addiction."