Legalization of marijuana creates issues for law enforcement, judicial system

BROOKINGS, S.D. (KJJQ) – The voters of South Dakota a week ago approved the legalization of both recreational and medical marijuana.

The legalization of recreational marijuana through a constitutional amendment surprised many and creates some immediate issues for law enforcement and the judicial system.

Possession of marijuana remains illegal until July 1. Brookings County States Attorney Dan Nelson talked about the issue.

A major question, what do you do between now and July 1 for adult possession of small amounts of marijuana? He says defense lawyers will seek to have the cases continued until the law changes.

He also wonders if it’s worth it to spend tax dollars to prosecute marijuana possession cases between now and July 1.

There is also the question of past convictions and cases already under way.

The amendment legalizes possession of less than one-ounce of marijuana or less than 8-grams of THC oil, whether by itself or in other products.