SOUIX FALLS (CelebrityAccess) — A judge in South Dakota has denied a motion to dismiss drug charges brought against rapper Chief Keef.
According to the Argus Leader, Keef, whose real name is Keith Cozart, pleaded not guilty to all counts and has a trial date set for Nov. 27 if a deal with prosecutors can’t be reached before then.
Keef was arrested in June 2017 at the Sioux Falls airport after airport security reported finding drugs in his carry-on-bag following a performance at the University of Sioux Falls.
Keef was accused of misdemeanor possession of marijuana and drug paraphernalia and, under a quirk of South Dakota’s strict drug laws, he faces felony possession for allegedly having edibles – cannabis-infused candy.
Unfortunately for Keef, South Dakota’s drug laws, which are some of the toughest in the U.S., considers edibles such as the candy Keef allegedly had in his carry-on differently from leaf-based marijuana, despite having similar dosages.
Under South Dakota law, the possession of edibles is a class 5 felony, punishable by up to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
However, Keef may have a reason for hope. According to the Argus, several recent cases have seen out of state residents who legally purchased edibles in states that have legalized commercial marijuana sales prosecuted as misdemeanors instead of felonies.
“There’s ambiguity as to what state legislators intended,” Grant Alvine, a Sioux Falls attorney who is representing Keef told the Argus. “You could have the same psychoactive ingredient as a misdemeanor in some cases and a felony in others. Courts are going to have to interpret the statutes in their totality to determine legislative intent.”