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Puffing in public, smoking marijuana could face $500 fine or 30 days in jail

Published: Aug. 17, 2021 at 8:21 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - The state is getting closer to its deadline to create regulations and rules for medical marijuana in October and municipalities are reacting.

The first Rapid City City Council hearing of a marijuana ordinance regarding public smoking took place Monday.

Marijuana will eventually make a grander appearance in South Dakota -- shown through medical marijuana distribution regulations in the coming months, and the potential for recreational use depending on a South Dakota supreme court ruling.

It’s a given, and time will tell. No matter, Rapid City is making preparations for how it may be used in public.

Coordination’s Communicator for Rapid City, Darrell Shoemaker, says “the crux of what this ordinance is about -- it basically lays down that the prohibition of smoking of medical cannabis in public places, public property. Areas that prohibit tobacco smoking, this is consistent with that.”

Local Reaction

Steve Conway - “I guess more in the confined spaces or if I don’t have a way to get away from you in public, I guess I would prefer that you not do that. Or, if there are areas where people can step out and enjoy their freedom to have their cigarette or whatever without infringing on my clean air, then I’m cool with that.”

Amy Lindenberg - “If it’s going to be done out in public, I would appreciate it if there were just designated areas because I have things like allergies. While I support their rights to be able to do that, I also support my right to be able to have clean air to breathe.”

Speaking with a few parents downtown, they agree that their children shouldn’t be forced to be subjected to smoke of any kind. Especially an expecting mother.

Samara Wilson - “I think it should be something that they do in certain areas when they’re more alone than around other people because I know that whatever comes into my body will be going into my child’s body. That is the last thing I need in my child’s life.”

A group of children - “We don’t want to smell your smoke.”

Of 20 or so citizens spoken with, there wasn’t a single citizen who voiced that people should be allowed to smoke wherever they want.

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