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South Dakota Governor Votes Bill Aimed at Removing Marijuana Charges From Background Checks

Recent South Dakota legislation would have automatically removed certain marijuana charges from a defendant’s public record as long as they were at least five years old, all court-ordered conditions had been satisfied, and the defendant had not been convicted of any further offenses. However, the Governor of South Dakota refused to sign the legislation into law.

The Governor said that the state’s “current laws and criminal procedures already provide sufficient avenues for people who have earned that second chance.” She continued by saying, “I believe in second chances…But those individuals must at least show good cause or a need for such relief, such as suspended imposition of sentence procedures, county youth diversion programs, or executive clemency that can be requested online at no cost.”

This veto was of little surprise, as the Governor has been active against marijuana reform in the state. For example, after voters passed medical and recreational marijuana proposals in 2020 to legalize both, the Governor was successful in having the recreational measure struck down. To date, South Dakota allows the use of medical marijuana only.

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For more information on Medical and Recreational Marijuana and other laws, and whether they affect your state, visit our Resource Guide at the Hire Image Resource Library.

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