The personal use of marijuana, or cannabis, to provide relief from certain medical conditions became legal in the state on July 1 through voter approval of Initiated Measure 26, but the state is still formulating regulations regarding medical marijuana, with the issuance of permit cards for state residents still weeks away.
Gov. Kristi Noem challenged the constitutionality of Amendment A, legalizing recreational marijuana, in January, with the issue currently before the state Supreme Court.
In the meantime, county state’s attorneys and law enforcement officers are in a state of limbo on whether to enforce and prosecute the still-illegal recreational use of marijuana through laws that may no longer be on the books within a few months.
Meade County State’s Attorney Michele Bordewyk is prosecuting possession of small amounts of THC-laced marijuana edibles as a Class 2 misdemeanor and honoring medical cards issued out-of-state.
“With medical marijuana now being legal, if someone’s got a medical claim for it, you can’t prosecute it,” Bordewyk said.
The call to make an arrest is generally up to law enforcement, she said.
“It’s kind of tough, especially for the officers on the side of the road who are trying to protect the public and make these decisions,” Bordewyk said Wednesday.