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Recreational marijuana debate to be decided Nov. 8

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) – It is a ballot issue that has had a polarizing past in South Dakota politics.

“This is about our kids and our community,” Meade County Sheriff-elect Pat West stated. With elections two weeks away, public safety officials from around the region are gathering to voice their concerns about the newest push to legalize recreational marijuana in November.

“We are here because we’re worried about our kids and our community, and I believe this whole IM 27 is about money and pushing marijuana into our community and it’s going to be a train wreck,” West added. West stressed that they are not about putting people in jail for insignificant amounts of marijuana; saying that it is not true.

Looking to those in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana:

“Marijuana is already here in the community, not just in this medical cannabis establishment, but outside of it, there is an entire black market of illicit drugs out there. And the black-market thrives in Colorado when they ship to states like South Dakota that do not have an adult use program,” Kittrick Jeffries, owner of Puffy dispensary, said.

If South Dakota were to regulate an adult use program it would allow anyone over the age of 21 to purchase cannabis.

“When’s the last time anyone bought bootleg liquor?” Jeffries asked. “It goes to show that prohibition has failed, the war on drugs has failed, and that we can implement a regulated system that collects those tax dollars instead of feeding the black-market.” Jeffries also added that dispensaries do not condone the sale of marijuana to minors, and that parents need to take on the responsibilities of monitoring their children..

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