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It’s still illegal to possess marijuana for recreational use

Every election year brings new propositions to the citizens of a state to legalize marijuana for recreational use. Currently, 27 states have fully legalized the recreational use of marijuana.

However, South Dakota is not one of them. Measure 27 failed to pass by 20,000 votes. Therefore, here is what you need to know if you are caught in possession of marijuana and don’t have a medical card.

South Dakota’s possession laws

Possession of marijuana is a crime in South Dakota and can lead to serious legal penalties, including criminal charges, imprisonment and hefty fines.

The state breaks down its possession charges and penalties by the amount of marijuana you have in your possession, as follows:

  • Two ounces or less: Class 1 misdemeanor punishable by one year in county jail, or $2,000 fine or both.
  • More than 2 ounces but less than half a pound: Class 6 felony resulting in two years in state prison, or $4,000 fine or both.
  • One half to a whole pound: Class 5 felony has a sentence of five years in state prison and a possible $10,000 fine.
  • One to ten pounds: Class 4 felony is punishable by ten years imprisonment and $20,000.
  • More than 10 pounds is a Class 3 felony and brings a 15-year sentence, a $40,000 fine or both. 

If you are charged with possession of marijuana in South Dakota, the best course of action is to assess your situation and decide what steps to take. Understanding your legal rights and options is paramount in defending yourself from potential consequences. 

You will want to speak with someone who understands the legal process. They may be able to have charges reduced or dismissed or negotiate for alternative sentences, such as drug treatment or community service.