South Dakota House committee rejects adult-use marijuana bill

Efforts to legalize adult-use marijuana in South Dakota suffered another setback Monday when a House of Representatives committee dismissed a legalization bill by an 8-3 vote.

However, legalization proponents will attempt to revive consideration of Senate Bill 3 in the House by using a “smoke out” procedure, the Associated Press reported.

“A group of 24 State Representatives can still force a bill to the floor of the House,” pro-legalization advocacy group South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws wrote on its Facebook page.

“We will keep working to pass legalization until the very end of the session.”

However, pro-legalization Sen. Mike Rohl told the Argus Leader of Sioux Falls such a move would be “a long shot.”

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South Dakota’s House Majority Leader, Rep. Kent Peterson, warned last week that the bill would face strong opposition in the House after it was approved by a slim margin in the state Senate.

Both medical and adult-use marijuana legalization were approved by South Dakota voters in 2020, but recreational legalization hasn’t panned out because of a court ruling against it and opposition from anti-marijuana Gov. Kristi Noem.