PIERRE | Some prospects of South Dakota’s solely medical marijuana dispensary are being arrested throughout the state, regardless of having tribal-issued hashish playing cards.
Officers with the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe informed the Argus Chief this week that greater than 100 individuals who’ve been issued tribal medical marijuana identification playing cards have been arrested because the tribe opened South Dakota’s first-ever hashish retailer final yr.
“They’re taking the playing cards and handing out fines,” Tribal chairman Tony Reider mentioned. “However most we do not learn about, as a result of most individuals are simply paying the fines.”
Since beginning up its medical marijuana program on July 1, 2021, the Flandreau Santee Sioux Tribe has issued about 8,000 medical marijuana playing cards to tribal and non-tribal members. And though a number of county- and city-level legislation enforcement companies and state’s attorneys have eased up on arrests and prosecutions for possession of small quantities of marijuana all collectively, others, just like the Flandreau Police Division, are usually not honoring some tribal-issued medical playing cards.
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And that is based mostly on a directive from the South Dakota Division of Public Security and the Lawyer Basic’s Workplace, which have taken the place tribal playing cards aren’t legitimate for non-tribal members.
“If they’ve a tribally-issued card and they’re non-Native American, we seize the cardboard and any of the marijuana merchandise that they might have,” Flandreau Police Chief Zach Weber mentioned, noting that 24 marijuana arrests have been made by his company because the tribe opened its dispensary.
Whereas the vast majority of these arrests have concerned the seizure of merchandise bought on the tribe’s dispensary, Weber famous some concerned marijuana not bought at a retailer.
Reider mentioned the Freeway Patrol can also be arresting non-tribal card holders and in a pair circumstances, tribal members have additionally been arrested.
And for these being arrested who select to combat the cost, the tribe is honoring a promise made final summer time to help within the protection of their cardholders.
The tribe’s lawyer normal, Seth Pearman, informed lawmakers this week his workplace is presently engaged in at the least 10 energetic marijuana instances involving non-tribal members. And that the playing cards are additionally being seized together with the marijuana merchandise is a priority, he mentioned.
“I do not assume the state has the authority to revoke a license issued by one other jurisdiction,” he mentioned.
Neither the Moody County State’s Lawyer’s Workplace or DPS instantly responded to requests for remark.
The tribal medical marijuana program operates independently of the state medical marijuana program. The Division of Well being started issuing state medical playing cards final fall, although no state-licensed dispensaries, develop amenities or testing websites are in operation.