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AG Jackley: Current SD Marijuana Laws 'Strike Perfect Balance'

May 16, 2014, 9:55 PM by Jared Ransom

AG Jackley: Current SD Marijuana Laws 'Strike Perfect Balance'

Once Colorado opened the door for legalizing marijuana, the Attorney General's office started taking calls and emails about South Dakota's laws. Now that Minnesota is about to do the same, only restricted to just medical marijuana, the calls and emails are coming again.

"I certainly can appreciate as additional states look to the legalization of marijuana, especially medical marijuana, that we should and will continue discussions here in South Dakota," South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley said.

However, that's where the support on the issue stops.

"Law enforcement has expressed public safety concerns with marijuana use, and the medical community has not overwhelmingly taken a position or supported the legalization of marijuana," Jackley said.

Conversations with Attorneys General in both Colorado and Montana have led Jackley to believe that any sort of legalization would be extremely hard to manage.

"Make sure we have controls in place so there isn't that marijuana abuse that, frankly, some of the other states are experiencing and which is why there's an ongoing discussion in Montana about pulling back from their medical marijuana laws," Jackley said.

Even though medical marijuana in South Dakota remains unlikely, Jackley is still preparing for the 'what if' scenario of seeing the law change.

"If we are going to allow there to be a legalization of medical marijuana, we do it the right way. We include the physicians, we include the pharmacists, to make sure they're comfortable with it and they have the ability and control in place so there isn't abuse of marijuana," Jackley said.

Jackley also adds that even though Minnesota has moved forward with their new medical marijuana deal, he doesn't expect any South Dakota laws to be changed. He also doesn't expect any increase in illegal marijuana use along the state border.

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