In a recent incident there were two men and they were moving from Washington state to Ohio so they had to travel through South Dakota and with them was some legally purchased medical marijuana and lo and behold a Highway Patrol officer stopped them and charged them with possession.  So what do you suppose they did?  They avoided jail time and pleaded guilty to felonies and paid a $2,500 fine.  Then five months later that same kind of incident was legalized by the voters in Washington and nearby Colorado.  Ok so that means more people will be traveling through South Dakota and risking arrest in a state with some of the toughest possession and sale laws in that area.

It seems that Rapid City Police Chief Steve Allender has this opinion that the legalization of marijuana in Colorado will not affect how his officers enforce the state’s drug laws.  “We are going to subject them to South Dakota law.  I don’t believe it will be a good defense that they came from Colorado or Washington.”

Attorney Matthew Kinney is thinking that more people will be bringing marijuana to or through South Dakota because more than 54 percent of Colorado’s voters approved Amendment 64, and that allows the possession of up to one ounce of pot for anyone 21 or older.  It also allows for the sale of pot at retail stores.  “If they are going to go through I-90 to go to Minneapolis, they are not going to think about South Dakota law.  Marijuana trafficking likely won’t increase due to Colorado’s new law.  However, pot smokers may think they are allowed to have the smaller amounts with them or that the chances of getting caught will be slim.  For personal use amounts of marijuana, then the answer is yes, the court system is going to be affected.”

The Police chief Allender is expecting smokers to carry it through the state and he is ready to enforce the law.  In South Dakota possession of 2 ounces or less is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in prison and a $2,000 fine.  If you are caught with more than 2 ounces it is a felony and you can go to prison for up to 15 years. Get help from Drug rehabs before the problem gets this bad.

What a situation!  I suppose it behooves those that can now possess it in these two states to stay clear of South Dakota.  It seems like the police Chief there is going to stick to his guns.  It looks like the experiment in the Colorado and Washington area will provide a test case and it will be worth watching by South Dakota lawmakers.  If South Dakota puts in less restrictive marijuana laws they should do it in a way that fits the culture of the state.  Who would have thought there would be some many unanswered questions having to do with this drug called marijuana?

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