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Marijuana-related crimes and penalties

On Behalf of | May 29, 2020 | Criminal Defense |

South Dakota has strict laws against marijuana. State law reads, “No person may knowingly possess marijuana,” and legislators mean it. South Dakota does not even honor medical marijuana prescriptions from other states.

If you are being questioned about any marijuana-related crimes, it is crucial that you proceed with caution. Be aware of your rights and protect yourself. What you intend as an explanation, law enforcement may view as a confession. You may think of marijuana as a relatively harmless substance, but conviction of a marijuana-related crime in South Dakota can carry severe consequences.


Being caught with fewer than two ounces is a misdemeanor. The sentence may be jail for up to a year and a fine of $2,000. Possessing more than two ounces can result in a felony charge. Sentences vary, depending on the amount of marijuana, with possible sentences of up to 15 years in prison and a fine of up to $30,000. Sentencing is harsher for possession of concentrates such as hashish. Possessing a marijuana concentrate in any amount is a felony, punishable by up to five years’ imprisonment and up to $10,000 in fines. You may also lose property connected to possession, such as your car.


Penalties for sale of marijuana are harsher than those for possession. If the courts convict you of selling less than half an ounce, there is a mandatory sentence of 15 days to a year, possibly accompanied by a fine of up to $2,000. Selling more than a half-ounce is a felony, for which the courts may sentence you to 15 years in prison and issue a $30,000 fine. Furthermore, you may be subject to tougher sentences if convicted of selling marijuana in proximity to schools, public pools, youth centers or arcades.

Manufacturing, distributing or dispensing

Making marijuana concentrates is a felony. A first-time conviction may result in a 1- to 10-year prison sentence. A second conviction may subject you to a 10-year minimum prison term. Dispensing or distributing concentrates to a minor carries longer periods of incarceration.