SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – South Dakota voters said “YES” on both Amendment A and Initiated Measure 26. This legalizes medical and recreational marijuana. But it will not take effect overnight.
Amendment A will legalize, regulate and tax marijuana.
The amendment legalizes the possession, use, transport and distribution of marijuana by anyone who is 21 years old and older.
State Representative and Speaker of the House, Steven Haugaard says there could be some challenges when the issues are discussed in the legislature.
“You really need to figure out if a constitutional amendment is sufficient in itself to clarify some of those issues, I suspect we are going to have some challenges to that because it is so long,” Haugaard said. “Even in our legislature, when we pass a bill that’s a paragraph, we spend a lot of time arguing about the wording and then we might come back and in following years and address that, this though is a constitutional amendment so it’s a little more difficult to do that.”
Senate minority leader, Troy Heinert says it’s important to make sure it gets implemented properly.
“We have a road map of other states and how they did it, and we can either choose to look at them and learn from them and see what works and make a plan that fits South Dakota, or we can just negate the will of the people and say no we aren’t going to do this and I would think that is a mistake,” Senate Minority Leader (D), Senator Troy Heinert said.
And that will take time and effort.
“There are also lots of statutes on the books that are going to need change, the possession, ingestion as a felony, that A didn’t really deal with, but in order to implement A we need to change these statutes,” Heinert said.
“It’s going to be a challenge to try to figure out how do you weave this together with current law, both state and federal, so there are a lot of things that it addresses,” Haugaard said.
Heinert says voters have spoken and the legislature needs to honor that. Haugaard says they need to look out for the best interest of citizens.
The results of the election will be officially canvassed on November 10th. According to the Department of Revenue, if the official canvas verifies the passage of the measures, they do not take effect until July 1st, 2021.