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South Dakota Cannabis Facts

Updated on June 22, 2020.  Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer

South Dakota Medical Marijuana Facts

In February 2016, the South Dakota state legislature’s Senate Judiciary Committee was considering two medical cannabis bills. Known as the “Safe Haven Bill,” one bill would allow residents of areas where medical pot is legal to visit friends or family in South Dakota and be protected from arrest. The second bill would remove cannabidiol oil (CBD) from the state’s Schedule I list of illegal drugs.

However, as of this writing, one of the most unfortunate medical marijuana facts for South Dakota was that it was highly unlikely that either bill would pass.

Medical Marijuana Facts for South Dakota

  • Another bill aimed at allowing patients to access CBD oil was introduced into the legislature in 2016. The bill passed the Senate but did not pass the House. Critics say the bill was rendered ineffective before it even reached the Senate.
  • Advocates of a sensible medical cannabis program in South Dakota are working to put the issue to a vote in 2018. They were able to come close to achieving this in 2016, but their initiative was thrown out due to an error on the part of a notary public.
  • The disturbing marijuana facts for South Dakota is that the penalties for weed possession are some of the toughest in the entire nation. Many experts believe they are the harshest. For example, if someone is caught possessing even a small amount of weed, they could face as long as a year in jail and a fine of as much as $2,000.
  • But the South Dakota marijuana fact that is most alarming is that someone who smoked pot in another place — even in a state where it is legal — and tests positive for weed could be subject to the same penalties. South Dakota is the only state in the country that has what is termed an “internal possession” law.
  • Anyone convicted of possession of between two ounces and a half pound of weed will face a punishment of as long as two years in jail and a fine of as much as $2,000. Possession of as little as one pound carries with it punishments of up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000.
  • If someone is convicted of possessing a weed concentrate or any amount of hashish, the penalties are even harder. Incredibly, this is considered a felony in South Dakota, and it is punishable by as many as five years in prison as well as a find of as much as $10,000.
  • The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) released a report that showed black people in America are 3.75 times more likely to be arrested for weed possession than whites. This, according to the ACLU, puts South Dakota in the top 10 of states that have the largest racial disparity when it comes to marijuana possession arrests.

For more medical marijuana facts for South Dakota or any other state, make sure you visit We will update our site as developments regarding this very important issue warrant.

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