Should South Dakota Quit Prosecuting Marijuana Cases?
When laws are broken, and the offender is caught, they are typically prosecuted. But what happens when the law is about to change and would eventually void prosecutions currently pending?
South Dakota voted to legalize marijuana for recreational and medicinal use with the passage of Amendment A and Initiated Measure 26 respectively. The constitutional amendment directs the legislature to craft laws and the Department of Revenue will develop the system by which taxes will be collected and marijuana will be licensed in the state. So should current cases move forward?
A county attorney in one state that recently voted to legalize recreational marijuana has announced that they will not be moving forward with any of those cases.
According to KTAR.com, the Maricopa County Attorney's Office in Arizona announced that they will dismiss charges against those who have charges pending against them.
“Instead of continuing to spend resources on these cases, this office will begin implementing the will of the voters immediately.”
Arizona voters overwhelmingly voted to legalize pot when they passed Proposition 207. Similar to South Dakota's Amendment A, it allows for possession of up to one ounce of the drug for anyone at least 21 years of age.
Hopefully, the state's attorneys of South Dakota will make a sensible choice and dismiss cases against those who are awaiting court dates and would fall within the legal uses defined by the amendment passed by voters.