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Noem says she ordered filing of marijuana lawsuit

FILE- In this Tuesday, Oct. 13, 2020 file photo, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem speaks in...
FILE((Erin Bormett/The Argus Leader via AP))
Published: Jan. 8, 2021 at 5:12 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - In an executive order signed and released Friday, South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem says she directed the filing of the lawsuit against Amendment A, which legalizes recreational marijuana in South Dakota.

The order is in response to an argument by the defendants in the case, South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws and the Secretary of State.

They argue the plaintiffs in the case, South Dakota Highway Patrol Superintendent Col. Rick Miller and Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom do not have the standing to file the lawsuit. They want the case dismissed.

The executive order says Noem directed South Dakota Highway Patrol Superintendent Col. Rick Miller to commence the Amendment A litigation on her behalf.

According to the executive order, Noem says the state constitution grants her powers as governor to support and defend the constitution.

Noem says the initiative process used to place Amendment A on the November ballot was not proper and violated the procedures laid out in the state constitution.

The lawsuit was filed by Miller and Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom in November in Hughes County.

According to the lawsuit, the plaintiffs allege the amendment changes more than one subject and revises the constitution rather than amending it.

The amendment passed in the Nov. 3 election with 54% of South Dakotans voting in favor. Another ballot question legalizing medical marijuana passed by an even larger margin - with just under 70% of voter approval.

MORE: Read the full Executive Order here

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