South Dakota: Circuit Decide Guidelines Towards Implementation of Voter-Permitted Marijuana Legalization

A Circuit Court judge has ruled in favor of litigation sponsored by the governor’s office that aims to repeal Constitutional Amendment A – a voter-initiated move to legalize the adult marijuana market in South Dakota. 54 percent of voters decided to vote on election day.

Judge Christina Klinger of the state’s Sixth Court ruled late Monday that the measure violated state requirements that electoral measures include no more than one issue. The judge also ruled that the measure should revise rather than change the state’s constitution and therefore should not be continued. Proponents of Measure A, South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws, say they will appeal the ruling to the state’s Supreme Court. In a Facebook post, the group said: “It’s not over yet. We will appeal. We will prevail. “

The group supported another successful election initiative in November, Measure 26, which legalized medical marijuana access to qualified patients in South Dakota. The results of this vote have not been legally challenged, and the court’s decision will not affect the implementation of this law.

The lawsuit against Amendment A was brought by two law enforcement officers at the behest of Republican Governor Kristi Noem. Last month, the governor issued an executive order that said, “I directed [petitioners] to begin with Amendment A on my behalf. “Before the election, Governor Noem publicly rejected both Amendment A and Measure 26

Paul Armentano, deputy director of NORML, commented on the ongoing litigation: “Opponents of legalization cannot succeed in public opinion court or at the ballot box. So they are now trying to lift the election results in a desperate attempt to uphold the cannabis ban. Whether or not you support marijuana legalization, Americans should be outraged by these openly undemocratic tactics. “

Contact South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws for more information.

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