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. 

Sponsors

Senators Kennedy, Frerichs, Maher, Peters, Rusch, Solano, and White and Representatives Bartling, Bordeaux, Hawley, Jamison, Johns, McCleerey, Otten (Herman), and Ring

Status

Lost: bill did not pass

Bill number

Position

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