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“Not just about marijuana”: Group behind Amendment A files appeal to South Dakota Supreme Court

A campaign spearheaded by Idaho medical marijuana activists is collecting signatures in a...
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Published: Mar. 10, 2021 at 6:05 PM CST
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SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The group behind the push for medical and recreational marijuana in South Dakota has appealed to the South Dakota Supreme Court after a judge ruled Amendment A unconstitutional.

Amendment A, the constitutional amendment legalizing recreational marijuana in South Dakota, was declared invalid by Circuit Judge Christina Klinger in February. Klinger ruled against the amendment on the basis of the single subject rule, which states a constitutional amendment can only contain one subject. Klinger’s ruling was the result of a lawsuit filed by Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom and Col. Rick Miller, superintendent of the South Dakota Highway Patrol.

MORE: Medical marijuana debate continues as legislature enters home stretch

On Wednesday, the group, South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws, filed an appeal to the South Dakota Supreme Court in an attempt to overturn Judge Klinger’s ruling.

The appeal’s opening argument states, “This case is not just about marijuana. It is also about the future of the initiative process in South Dakota. If this Court affirms the decision of the circuit court, it will substantially impair the fundamental right of South Dakotans to initiate laws and constitutional amendments.”

The appeal addresses other aspects of the original lawsuit stating that Sheriff Thom didn’t have the standing to sue the state in an official capacity,

“The circuit court ignored well-established precedent in South Dakota that a county (or a county official in his or her official capacity) cannot sue the state.”

The decision ultimately falls upon the South Dakota Supreme Court.

Amendment A was approved by South Dakota voters in November with 54% of the vote.

MORE: Pot advocates cry foul on Noem using state funds for lawsuit

Governor Noem and some state lawmakers have come out in strong opposition to medical or recreational marijuana in the state.

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