Recreational and medical marijuana passed in South Dakota, so what’s next?

Pennington County Sheriff says his office will enforce the laws South Dakotans voted for.
Published: Nov. 4, 2020 at 6:05 PM CST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KOTA) - South Dakota voters made the decision to legalize both medical and recreational marijuana, the first time any state has done both during the same election.

“When we first started these campaigns, I didn’t think it was possible," said Kevin Quick, co-owner of Cloud 9 and Noctilucent 9. "I felt like South Dakota was a very conservative state and wasn’t ready in a lot of ways for it.”

“The public voted, so it’s our job to figure out how to implement it and enforce it," said Kevin Thom, Pennington County Sheriff.

After South Dakota voted to legalize both recreational and medical marijuana, Quick said this could allow him to expand. But even if it doesn’t impact his business, he says he’ll be happy to see marijuana behind the counter rather than being sold on the streets.

“I would rather these products to be behind the counter with a responsible business owner than I would to see a drug dealer doing it," said Quick.

Thom said however, this won’t stop what he referred to as the state’s ongoing, current drug problem.

“As these stand, come July 1st, you can legally possess marijuana up to three ounces in one and one ounce in the other, so there will be fewer people “arrested” for it, does that mean the drug problem’s going to go away? No," said Thom.

Thom believes this is bad public policy, but says his office will enforce the laws South Dakotans voted for.

“Stay tuned in terms of we’ll put information out about what’s legal, what’s not," said Thom. "Between now and then, it’s still illegal, it’s still against federal law.”

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