Amidst their newfound fondness for ditchweed, the South Dakota Legislature may lower the penalty getting high and packing heat. Representative Kevin Jensen (R-16/Canton) is proposing House Bill 1066, which revises our weapons laws to add “under the influence of marijuana” to “intoxicated” as a state in which one cannot possess a loaded firearm. The penalty for being loaded and loaded remains a Class 1 misdemeanor.
HB 1066 take the time to define “loaded firearm” as “any firearm that contains a cartridge, shell, or projectile: (1) in the chamber, including any chamber in the cylinder of a revolver; (2) in a magazine that is fixed or integral to the firearm; or (3) in a detachable magazine that has been inserted into the firearm.”
The current statute prohibit drunken shooting doesn’t mention marijuana, because shooting while high is likely covered by SDCL 22-14-12, which makes commission of a felony while in possession of a firearm a Class 2 felony on first conviction and a Class 1 felony for subsequent convictions. SDCL 22-42-5.1 currently makes ingestion of any controlled substance, including marijuana a felony, so being high and packing heat would thus be an additional felony. So if the Legislature manages to persuade Senator Lee Schoenbeck to go with the flow and legalize marijuana, HB 1066 would also reduce the penalty for getting high and carrying a loaded gun.