The Debate over South Dakota’s Marijuana Law Takes a Strange Turn
Ever since South Dakota voters overwhelmingly passed not one, but two, marijuana initiatives in November of 2020, there has been a ton of debate on the merits of the proposed laws.
Last month, Amendment A, the proposed law that would legalize recreational pot in the state was struck down by a circuit court judge, who ruled that the measure was unconstitutional because it violated a state requirement that restricts such measures to a single topic.
Now the fallout over that measure has taken an unexpected turn in Pierre.
Some lawmakers are suggesting that the 90 sections of the measure that appeared on the November ballot preview were printed too small, making it difficult for voters to fully understand what was actually in the proposed law.
In an attempt to rectify that moving forward, Representative Carl Perry of Aberdeen has sponsored Senate Bill 77 which will require all explanations of initiated measures and constitutional ballot questions to be printed in 14-point font.
Currently, there are no font-size minimum requirements for South Dakota ballot issues, but there is a mandate that the material take up no more than a single page.
The new 'font bill' is working its way quickly through the legislature, passing 59-10 in the house of representatives and 20-13 in the senate.
The House voted 59-to-10 in favor of the bill, mostly on party lines. Last month, the Senate more narrowly approved the measure — 20 to 13.
The proposal is expected to be on Governor Kristi Noem's desk for approval by the end of the legislative session, later this month.
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