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Attorney General Jackley’s Bill to Strengthen Meth Laws Passes Full Senate

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  Thursday, February 15, 2018

CONTACT:  Sara Rabern (605) 773-3215 

PIERRE, S.D. - Attorney General Marty Jackley announced today that SB 63, a bill to strengthen the sentences for Distribution and Manufacture of Methamphetamine in South Dakota has passed the full Senate. The Senate Judiciary passed the bill on February 8, 2018.

“America is living a methamphetamine epidemic and it is directly affecting South Dakota and hurting our families and communities.  The South Dakota Senate has taken a bold and important step in keeping drug dealers out of our state,” said Jackley.

“In Montana, meth violations more than tripled between 2010 and 2015. In drug-related deaths in Oklahoma, meth is by far the No. 1 cause (oxycodone was a distant second). In Hawaii, where meth was first introduced in the United States, the number of people over 50 who said meth was their drug of choice has doubled in five years. In South Dakota, the attorney general has proclaimed an epidemic.”    New York Times-Frances Robles

New York Times - Meth, the Forgotten Killer, Is Back. And It’s Everywhere

Senate Bill 63

• Increases the penalty for the distribution and manufacturing of 5 grams or more of methamphetamine that includes to minors.

• Provides for a mandatory state penitentiary sentence for the distribution and manufacture of methamphetamine. Current law provides for mandatory sentences that are not consistently applied. 

• A court would have discretion to go below the mandatory sentence if the court makes written findings that a defendant meets the following criteria that are designed to protect communities and to assist law enforcement in stopping drug distribution: 

(1) the defendant does not have a prior violent felony

(2) the defendant did not use violence or credible threats of violence or possess a firearm or other dangerous weapon 

(3) the defendant did not induce another participant to use violence or credible threats of violence or possess a firearm or other dangerous weapon in connection with the offense;

(4) the defendant was not an organizer, leader, manager, or supervisor of others in the offense; and 

(5) the defendant has truthfully provided to the State all information and evidence the defendant has concerning illegal drugs;

(6) the offense did not result in death or serious bodily injury to any person.