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Law enforcement keeping a close eye on marijuana regulations in South Dakota

Published: Nov. 6, 2020 at 3:58 PM MST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - There are still many questions surrounding what legalized marijuana will look like in South Dakota. It’s something law enforcement is keeping an especially close eye on.

Right now, Minnehaha Sheriff Mike Milstead says that his office is waiting on the state legislature.

“I’m not a lawmaker, I’m a law enforcer. So, we’ll enforce the laws that are put in place and the rules and regulations that come as they work through this,” said Sheriff Milstead.

He’s hoping lawmakers can look at other states who’ve already legalized marijuana and learn from them.

“I’ve talked to sheriff’s in Colorado, I’ve talked to other law enforcement people in colorado. The number of marijuana-related fatal crashes that they saw, the number of marijuana-related overdoses that they saw in their emergency departments, the drug use among teens,” said Sheriff Milstead.

Also, marijuana in Colorado is still being sold and purchased illegally.

“What we’re hearing from Colorado is that the black market for marijuana is at, you know record levels. Because why would they buy legal marijuana that’s taxed, that’s more expensive than the black market marijuana,” said Sheriff Milstead.

Sheriff Milstead says that could cause some challenges for his officers, but they’ll train to be prepared to handle it.

He wants to remind South Dakotans that these measures do not go into effect immediately.

But when they do, “Because marijuana is still federally prohibited and against the federal law, someone who uses marijuana whether it’s for recreational purpose or medical purpose would not be allowed to purchase or possess a firearm,” said Sheriff Milstead.

Both recreational and medical marijuana are expected to be legal in South Dakota come July 1st, 2021.

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