South Dakota has long charged people found with drugs in their systems with felonies that leave them with a life long criminal record and prevents them from fully participating in society. This bill would reduce the felony of having drugs in your system to a misdemeanor. That means people convicted would spend less than one year in jail at a maximum, and is a step towards ending harsh and ineffective policies from the war on drugs.
Reducing the prison population also makes good financial sense. According to a Legislative Resarch Council estimate, SB 95 cuts prison costs by $5,103,666 annually and $51,036,661 over 10 years. Jail costs would decrease of $1,010,234 annually and $10,102,342 over 10 years.