Sponsors tie recreational-marijuana legislation to outcome of Amendment A court challenge

Capitol News Bureau

PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Two Republican state lawmakers filed legislation Wednesday that would regulate the sale, possession and consumption of recreational marijuana in South Dakota.

But their 22-page bill also includes a provision that calls for the proposed laws to be wiped off the books, if Amendment A that voters approved legalizing recreational marijuana gets overturned.

The sponsors of HB 1225, Representative Mike Derby of Rapid City and Senator Brock Greenfield of Clark, also have this statement in the bill: “The Legislature does not endorse the decision of the voters to make lawful the sale, possession, and consumption of adult-use retail marijuana.”

They go on to say, “However, in recognition of the voters’ recent decision on Amendment A, the Legislature believes it is necessary to enact this legislation to properly ensure the regulated and enforceable administration of laws concerning the sale, possession, and consumption of adult-use retail marijuana.”

Derby for his part has been helping organize weekly presentations at the Capitol for an informal group of legislators, lobbyists and others called the cannabis caucus.

Governor Kristi Noem, through Highway Patrol superintendent Rick Miller and Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom, has asked a state circuit judge to declare invalid the November 3 election result.

The sides presented arguments last week to Judge Christina Klinger, whom Noem appointed. The widespread belief is the judge’s decision winds up before the South Dakota Supreme Court and the justices won’t rule until after legislators wrap up their 2021 regular session March 29.

Greenfield and Derby also filed a second bill, SB 187, that is empty except for one sentence — “This Act establishes criteria regarding marijuana.” — and could serve as a vehicle for amendment.

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