Medical marijuana, Down syndrome abortion ban among other laws set to take effect July 1

July 1 LawPIERRE, S.D. — Several laws passed during the 2021 Legislative Session are set to take effect on Thursday, July 1.

Governor Kristi Noem suspended a teen driving law that passed in the 2020 legislative session for a year due to the coronavirus pandemic. The new law extends carrying periods for instruction and restricted licenses and limits passenger loads for drivers with restricted permits. Teens driving with these restricted licenses won’t be able to have passengers outside their immediate household or family for the first six months, then only one passenger outside of their household or immediate family until they upgrade to an unrestricted license. (2020 Senate Bill 113)

Medical marijuana will become legal in South Dakota beginning July 1, although the state has until October 29 to nail-down administrative issues and begin issuing ID cards. The first dispensary in the state will open in Flandreau and will begin selling medical marijuana the same day the law goes into effect. Despite being legal, the state has prohibited the consumption of marijuana while operating or riding in a motor vehicle. (2021 Senate Bill 35)

One of Governor Noem’s biggest policy proposals of the 2021 legislative session – a ban on Down syndrome abortions – will also take effect Thursday. House Bill 1110 prohibits performing abortions based on a Down syndrome diagnosis. (2021 House Bill 1110)

The process to bring sports wagering to Deadwood has been ongoing since 2018, and now this form of betting will become legal. Senate Bill 44 was passed in the 2021 legislative session and will regulate and tax sports betting. Gaming officials estimate an annual increase of nearly seven million dollars in sports betting revenue alone, and an overall gaming revenue boost of $22 million. (2021 Senate Bill 44)

It is a Class 6 felony for an adult in a position of authority to knowingly engage in sexual contact with a person less than 18 years of age. The bill helps bridge a gap in state law concerning sexual contact by an adult in a position of authority with persons who are 16 or 17.  “A person in a position of authority” is defined as a coach, child care provider, disability services provider, guardian ad litem, health care provider, law enforcement officer, mental health counselor, probation officer, religious leader, school administrator, social worker, teacher, therapist or youth leader (not an inclusive list). (2021 House Bill 1096)

Although the Pennington County Commission holds regular public meetings, a new law will require county commissions statewide to conduct open meetings at the county courthouse (or any other suitable location in the county) in January, April, July, and October each year. The board can hold an unlimited number of meetings as necessary throughout the year to conduct business. The county auditor or chair of the board can call special sessions if its in the interest of the county. (2021 Senate Bill 142)

It will now be a Class 1 misdemeanor to intentionally point a laser pointer at a law enforcement officer. (2021 Senate Bill 79)

Categories: Cannabis Legislation, Local News, South Dakota News