South Dakota Marijuana Limitations

What about Medicinal Cannabis Use?

Medical cannabis, or medicinal cannabis, is the term used to refer to the use of cannabis and marijuana extracts for therapeutic purposes, such as pain relief or the treatment of illnesses and ailments. Medical cannabis is available in a variety of forms, including capsules, tinctures, lozenges, edibles, and smoking dried buds. Some patients suffering from chronic and terminal illnesses may not find conventional medicines effective. Hence, their physicians may prescribe the use of medicinal cannabis to treat such illnesses or the debilitating side effects of conventional medicines.

The active components in cannabis are called 'cannabinoids.' There are approximately 100 cannabinoids in medical cannabis, and researchers are still learning how they all function. The majority of medical cannabis medicines include delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD).

Although medical and recreational cannabis both come from the cannabis plant, they are not the same thing. Recreational marijuana generally contains higher levels of THC and lower levels of CBD. Recreational users of marijuana use the drug for personal enjoyment rather than for health purposes.

In South Dakota, only the medicinal use of marijuana is currently permitted. While voters have also approved the legalization of recreational marijuana, the matter remains in court following a challenge on the constitutionality of Amendment A.

Minors who are patients are also not excluded with South Dakota permitting the use of qualified designated caregivers to administer medicinal marijuana care for individuals below the age of 18. Amendment A which aims to legislate recreational marijuana only proposes to allow residents above the age of 21 to use the drug within specified limits.

Where is it Legal to Smoke Weed in South Dakota?

While medicinal cannabis has been legalized in South Dakota, and a proposal to legalize recreational use has been drawn up, nothing in both articles approves the smoking of cannabis in public. Also, per SDCL 34-20G-27, persons or establishments in lawful possession of their properties are permitted to restrict guests, clients, customers, or other visitors from smoking cannabis on their properties. The smoking of cannabis for patients can only be done on private properties out of public view.

Will Cannabis Affect My Driving Record in South Dakota?

Drugged driving or driving under the influence of marijuana has serious consequences for motorists including loss of drivers' licenses, increased auto liability insurance costs, and time in the state penitentiary or county jail. In addition, you may even suffer the loss of employment and family.

A DUI record will stay on your record for 10 years after conviction. If you are convicted of a first-time DUI, your license will be suspended for 30 days. This revocation may last for up to a period of one year. Additionally, you may be sentenced to up to one year in prison and required to pay a fine of up to $2000. Second-time offenders face more severe penalties with fines of up to $2,000, jail time of up to 1 year, and a minimum of 1 year of license revocation. They may also be enrolled in treatment programs.

Per South Dakota laws, a driver with two or more prior DUI convictions in the past 10 years will be charged with a felony and not a misdemeanor. The offender's driver's license will be revoked for a minimum of one year and will be punished with a fine of several thousand dollars. The offender may also spend up to two years in prison. Fourth-time offenders may be punished with up to $10,000 in fines, five years in jail, and license revocation for at least two years.

South Dakota also uses a point system administered by the Department of Public Safety, which assigns certain point values to different driving licenses and traffic violations. Any motorist in the state who accrues 15 points in 12 consecutive months or 22 points in 24 consecutive months is subject to suspension. The following points are deducted for specific traffic violations:

  • Driving Under the Influence: 10 points (driver's license will also be revoked)
  • Reckless Driving: 8 points
  • Eluding or Attempting to Elude: 6 points
  • Drag Racing: 6 points
  • Failure to Yield Right of Way: 4 points
  • Improper Passing: 4 points
  • Driving on the wrong side of roadway: 4 points
  • Stop Sign or Light Violation: 3 points
  • Other Moving Violations: 2 points

A motorist operating a commercial vehicle while under the influence of marijuana will face the same penalties that individuals with standard driver's licenses do. However, a conviction can hinder a commercial driver's ability to work. If found guilty of a DUI offense, commercial drivers face license revocation for a period of one year. A subsequent offense may result in losing their licenses for life. Drivers transporting hazardous materials during traffic stops face three-year license revocations. Second-time offenders for such offenses will lose their commercial driver licenses permanently, meaning they cannot work again in their chosen profession.

For standard driver's license owners in South Dakota, the Motor Vehicle Department will reinstate their licenses upon the completion of any stipulated penalties. However, drivers are required to file for SR22 high-risk insurance with the MVD and they must carry it for three years. If there is a lapse in coverage during that period, the insurance provider will contact the MVD, and the violation will cause the MVD to suspend the driver's license immediately. To lift the suspension, the offender must file another SR22 form with the MVD for license issuance. A conviction for a DUI in South Dakota can increase your insurance by $3,000 to $6,000.

You can request a certified abstract of your driving record to view traffic convictions, DUI records, and license status. Driving records are used for background checks, in court proceedings, and by insurance agencies to adjust your policy rates or premiums and investigate claims.

Can I Get a DUI if I Drive While I am High?

Per SDCL 32-23-(1)(5), an individual may be charged guilty for DUI for operating a vehicle under the influence of marijuana or other controlled drug substance not obtained pursuant to a valid prescription to a degree that renders the person incapable of driving safely. Pursuant to SDCL 32-23-21, it is also illegal for a driver under the age of 21 to operate a vehicle after having consumed marijuana for as long as physical evidence of the consumption remains present in the person's body.

If a police officer suspects that you are impaired by drugs while driving, you may be pulled over for some simple roadside tests to determine if you have taken any intoxicating substance. These tests known as Field Sobriety Tests (FSTs) are undertaken at the scene of the traffic stop.

Field sobriety tests are used to enforce DUI laws and are often administered prior to doing additional chemical testing. Typically, a police officer will administer a three-part field sobriety test after a traffic stop in which the officer suspects the driver may be intoxicated or otherwise impaired. These tests enable an officer to examine a suspect's balance, physical ability, and degree of attention, among other variables, in order to assess if the suspect is driving while intoxicated.

Officers record the suspect's performance on field sobriety tests; such tests have usually been sustained on appeal in DUI prosecutions. All field sobriety tests are designed to determine if a police officer has probable cause to arrest someone for driving while intoxicated.

Field Sobriety Tests are conducted in line with the guidelines of the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration (NHTSA). Standardized Field Sobriety Test (SFST) comprises of the horizontal gaze nystagmus (HGN), walk-and-turn (WAT), and one-leg stand (OLS):

  • Horizontal Gaze Nystagmus: This refers to the natural jerking of the eye that happens when the eye is directed to the side. However, when someone is intoxicated, this jerking (or nystagmus) is exaggerated. Officers search for three indications of impairment in each eye: difficulty to smoothly follow a moving object; noticeable eye jerking when the eye is at its greatest deviation; and eye jerking within 45 degrees of center.
  • Walk and Turn: The objective of this test, which is readily performed by the majority of unimpaired individuals, is to assess the suspect's ability to execute activities with split attention. This is delivered by instructing the suspect to walk nine steps, heel to toe, in a straight line; turn on one foot; then repeat in the other way.
  • One-Leg Stand: Suspects are instructed to stand with one foot about six inches above the ground and count for thirty seconds. Swaying when balancing, balancing with one's arms, hopping, or placing one's foot down all suggest impairment.

Other non-standardized field sobriety tests may also be conducted to verify impairment. These include:

  • Standing with feet together and tipping the head backward
  • Reciting the alphabet
  • Counting backward
  • Shutting the eyes and touching the nose with a finger
  • Counting the number of fingers an officer raises
  • Standing and leaning back to gaze at the sky, while holding arms to the side

Further confirmatory tests may also be required such as blood and urine tests. Per South Dakota Implied Consent Law, any person who operates a vehicle in the state is considered to have given consent to the withdrawal of blood or other bodily substance and chemical analysis of the withdrawn substance to determine the presence of marijuana. Refusal to submit to chemical analysis may be admissible as evidence at the trial. The Department of Public Safety is also authorized to revoke the license of any person who refuses to submit to a chemical analysis. Note that a police officer can still arrest you for a DUI without chemical tests if there is probable cause that you were intoxicated based on your driving pattern, performance on the field sobriety tests, and other factors.

South Dakota has a zero-tolerance per se drugged driving law enacted for marijuana and marijuana metabolites for residents aged under 21. The state considers it a Class 2 misdemeanor for any person under the age of 21 to operate a vehicle after having consumed marijuana as physical evidence of the consumption remains present in the subject's body.

Can I Leave South Dakota with Cannabis?

No, you cannot. While medicinal marijuana is legal in South Dakota and many other states in the United States, it remains a federally prohibited drug. Marijuana is a Schedule I controlled substance under the federal Controlled Substances Act, as it has been since 1970. The United States Constitution vests the federal government with the power to regulate and oversee interstate trade. Thus, interstate transportation of marijuana or its products is a federal crime, even if the marijuana was acquired in a state that has legalized the substance.

Per federal law, the transportation of cannabis across state lines may attract huge penalties depending on the amount of the substance transported. According to the United States Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), transporting less than 50 kilos or fewer than 50 plants carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a maximum fine of $250,000. Note that even a medical marijuana card or a receipt from a dispensary will not assist your case much if you are charged with drug trafficking by the DEA.

Note that the use and possession of marijuana are also not permitted on federal lands. Crimes committed on federal lands also fall within the jurisdictions of the federal government. Therefore, it is illegal to possess or use marijuana in places such as Mount Rushmore National Memorial Park, the Badlands National Park, and the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail.

Can I Buy Medical Marijuana in South Dakota?

Although medicinal marijuana is fully legalized in South Dakota, the marketplace has yet to be set up. By October 29, 2021, the state Department of Health is expected to publish the procedure for obtaining medical cards and also announce the regulations governing medicinal cannabis businesses. The DOH also intends to put a patient verification system in place to ensure that patients and caregivers can be accurately identified and that only verified patients and caregivers have access to medical cannabis.

Where Can I Buy Marijuana in South Dakota?

Until the South Dakota Department of Health finalizes the guidelines and rules for establishing the medical marijuana marketplace, sales of medical cannabis will not begin. That is not expected to happen until the first quarter of 2022. When that happens, the legal sales of medicinal cannabis will only be done by licensed dispensaries.

However, the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe (FSST) opened the first cannabis dispensary in South Dakota on July 1, 2021. The FSST requires each customer at the dispensary to first get a medical marijuana ID card via its medical marijuana program, which is independent of the program the South Dakota Department of Health is trying to finalize.

How Much is Marijuana in South Dakota?

Since the medical cannabis marketplace does not yet exist in South Dakota, the prices for legal marijuana and marijuana products are not yet known. However, prices will typically vary with strain, quality, and the location of the dispensary where you are buying at. Prices for recreational marijuana if finally approved will also depend on what tax rate is adopted by the state. Many market forecasters have predicted prices to vary between $10 and $30 per gram.

How Much Cannabis Can I Legally Have?

Purchasing limits for medicinal cannabis in South Dakota have not been set. However, marijuana patients may possess up to 3 ounces of natural and unaltered marijuana. Per the Medical Marijuana Initiative, patients registered to cultivate under the state's medical cannabis program may grow up to 3 plants at home. If the proposals in Amendment A are upheld in the state Supreme Court, South Dakota residents above the age of 21 will be allowed to possess up to 1 ounce, and also cultivate up to 3 marijuana plants if they live in a municipality where retail marijuana business is non-existent.

Where is Weed Legal?

State Legal Status Medicinal Recreational
Alabama Criminalized No No
Alaska Decriminalized Yes Yes
Arizona Decriminalized Yes Yes
Arkansas Partly Decriminalized Yes No
Colorado Decriminalized Yes Yes
Connecticut Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Delaware Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
District of Columbia Decriminalized Yes Yes
Florida Partly Decriminalized Yes No
Georgia Partly Decriminalized Accepts only CBD Oil No
Hawaii Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Idaho Decriminalized No No
Illinois Decriminalized Yes Yes
Indiana Partly Decriminalized Accepts only CBD Oil No
Iowa Partly Decriminalized Accepts only CBD Oil No
Kansas Decriminalized No No
Kentucky Partly Decriminalized Accepts only CBD Oil No
Louisiana Partly Decriminalized Yes No
Maine Decriminalized Yes Yes
Maryland Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Massachusetts Decriminalized Yes Yes
Michigan Decriminalized Yes Yes
Minnesota Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Mississippi Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Missouri Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Montana Decriminalized Yes Yes
Nebraska Decriminalized No Yes
Nevada Decriminalized Yes Yes
New Hampshire Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
New Jersey Decriminalized Yes Yes
New Mexico Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
New York Decriminalized Yes Yes
North Carolina Decriminalized No Yes
North Dakota Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Ohio Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
Oklahoma Partly Decriminalized Yes No
Oregon Decriminalized Yes Yes
Pennsylvania Partly Decriminalized Yes No
Rhode Island Partly Decriminalized Yes Yes
South Carolina Decriminalized No No
South Dakota Decriminalized Yes Yes
Tennessee Decriminalized No No
Texas Partly Decriminalized Accepts only CBD Oil No
Utah Partly Decriminalized Yes No
Vermont Decriminalized Yes Yes
Virginia Partly Decriminalized Accepts only CBD Oil Yes
Washington Decriminalized Yes Yes
West Virginia Partly Decriminalized Yes No
Wisconsin Partly Decriminalized Accepts only CBD Oil No
Wyoming Decriminalized No No
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South Dakota Marijuana Limitations