South Dakota Republicans Propose Warning Signs on Cannabis Dispensaries Regarding Federal Gun Laws

South Dakota Republicans Propose Warning Signs on Cannabis Dispensaries Regarding Federal Gun Laws

South Dakota Republican lawmakers, led by Rep. Kevin Jensen and Sen. Jim Stalzer, have introduced legislation that mandates state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries to display warning signs about federal gun laws for cannabis consumers.

The proposed bill, HB 1036, requires medical cannabis dispensaries to prominently post signs at each entrance and register or point of sale. The sign would read:

“WARNING: Federal law prohibits the possession of a firearm by certain individuals who are users of or addicted to marijuana. See 18 U.S.C. § 922(g).”

This move comes at a crucial juncture when the constitutionality of the underlying federal gun ban for marijuana consumers is under scrutiny in various courts. The legislation suggests that the warning requirement would be lifted if the attorney general certifies that federal law no longer prohibits firearm possession for certain marijuana consumers.

Failure to comply with the notice requirement would subject businesses to a civil penalty of $250 per day, with the collected fees directed to the state general fund.

In addition to HB 1036, the GOP lawmakers have filed another bill, HB 1024, which mandates state application forms for medical cannabis cards to include a notice about federal restrictions on gun possession for marijuana consumers. Patients would need to acknowledge this warning through a signature on the application.

The Justice Department has consistently defended the ban in various federal courts, asserting that individuals using marijuana and possessing firearms present a unique danger. This argument likens the situation to allowing individuals with serious mental illness to own firearms.

As South Dakota navigates the intersection of state-level cannabis legalization and federal gun laws, these proposed bills underscore the ongoing debate surrounding the constitutional aspects of the federal gun ban for marijuana consumers. Stakeholders will be closely watching the legislative process and its potential implications for both cannabis users and gun ownership rights.

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