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South Dakota Marijuana Laws

Marijuana laws are changing rapidly, with many states now allowing for the use of the herb for medical purposes. South Dakota is not one of them.

South Dakota is still a state that outlaws all forms of marijuana possession. Out-of-state medical prescriptions are not recognized in South Dakota and provide no defense to marijuana possession.


Possession of two (2) ounces or less of marijuana is a misdemeanor. Any amount of marijuana over two (2) ounces is subject to felony-based penalties on a scale depending on the amount. In addition, any and all forms of hashish are considered controlled substances in South Dakota and subject to felony penalties.


Selling more than half an ounce of marijuana is a felony carrying a mandatory 30-day sentence. Any marijuana found in a car leads to a 90-day suspended license for a first offense.


Cultivation in South Dakota will be punished based upon the aggregate weight of the plants found as either simple possession or as possession with the intent to distribute.

Federal Marijuana Laws

Even though some states have legalized recreational and medical use of marijuana , it is still illegal under federal laws. A first conviction is punishable by up to one (1) year in jail and a $1,000 fine. A second possession offense carries a minimum 15 day incarceration, with a maximum of two (2) years in jail and a maximum $2,500 fine. A third and subsequent offense has a minimum jail time of 90 days with a maximum of three years and $5,000 fine.

Sale and cultivation of marijuana carry even higher fines and punishment under federal law. First offenses can put someone in jail for five (5) years, and large amounts can put someone in jail for life, with a one million dollar fine.

Charges and penalties under South Dakota's marijuana laws are listed in the following column. See FindLaw's Drug Charges section for more articles and resources.

Code Section 22-42-6, et seq.; 34-20B-1 to 114
Possession Under 2 oz.: Class 1 misdemeanor; 2 oz. to .5 lb.: Class 6 felony; .5 to 1 lb.: Class 5 felony; 1to 10 lbs.: Class 4 felony; Over 10 lbs.: Class 3 felony; May be civil penalty for violation up to $10,000 in any of the above cases
  • Distributing less than one-half ounce, when given away, not sold. Penalties include up to one (1) year in jail, a $2,000 fine, or both.
  • One ounce or less. Penalties include a fine of up to $1,000, at least 15 days (and up to one year) in prison, or both.
  • More than one (1) ounce but less than eight (8) ounces. Penalties include a fine of up to $2,000, up to two (2) years in prison, or both.
  • Eight ounces or more, but less than one (1) pound. Penalties include a fine of up to $5,000, at least five (5) years in prison, or both.
  • One pound or more. Penalties include a fine of up to $15,000, at least 15 years in prison, or both.
  • Also may be civil penalty up to $10,000 in any of above cases; All felonies: mandatory 30 days without suspension; Subsequent offense: mandatory one (1) year.
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Note: State marijuana laws are constantly changing -- contact a South Dakota drug crime attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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