South Dakota Supreme Court docket hears arguments in regards to the grownup hashish measure

The South Dakota Supreme Court is moving closer to deciding whether to uphold a voter-approved amendment to legalize adult cannabis after oral arguments on Wednesday that focused on tight constitutional issues.

Governor Kristi Noem, an anti-marijuana Republican, tries to put down recreational marijuana after voters in her state approved legalization by a 54% to 46% lead at the ballot box in November.

Noem directed a State Highway Patrol superintendent to challenge the measure in court, claiming, in part, that it violated a rule that constitutional amendments can only affect one subject.

A lower court rejected the adult legalization move in February, but marijuana advocates appealed to the state’s Supreme Court.

Brendan Johnson, an attorney advocating South Dakotans for better marijuana laws, argued during the Supreme Court hearing that the electoral abolition would set a bad precedent for the citizens’ referendum process, the Associated Press reported.

Matt Schweich, deputy director of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), which led the election campaign in South Dakota, has described efforts to thwart marijuana legalization through a citizens’ referendum as an attack on democratic norms.

“Politicians no longer have the feeling that they have to maintain the vote,” said Schweich.

The Supreme Court has not said when it will make a decision on the case. The adult marijuana law was due to go into effect July 1, before the lower court annulled it.

Noem has also tried unsuccessfully to delay a medical marijuana program that voters legalized in November.

That process is moving forward, however, and the state Department of Health is working to introduce a patient registry and licensing system later this year.

According to the Rapid City Journal, the state will consider proposals from vendors interested in developing the web-based systems.

Comments are closed.