South Dakota: Supreme Court to take oral arguments in recreational pot law case later this month

The Argus Leader reports..

South Dakota’s highest court will decide the fate of a voter-approved constitutional amendment legalizing recreational marijuana this spring.

South Dakota Supreme Court justices will hear oral arguments in a challenge to Amendment A at 10 a.m. on April 28 at the state Capitol after attorneys representing the organization South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws appealed a lower court ruling striking down the amendment.

In February, a Hughes County judge ruled the ballot measure, which earned 54% support in the Nov. 3 election, unconstitutional because it violated a requirement that constitutional amendments be limited to a single topic. That it also gave sole governing authority around marijuana to the South Dakota Department of Revenue, not the Legislature, also factored into Judge Christina Klinger’s decision

The plaintiffs in the case are Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom and Highway Patrol Superintendent Col. Rick Miller. Miller’s legal expenses are being covered by the state, authorized by Gov. Kristi Noem through an executive order.

A separate ballot measure legalizing medical marijuana only, Initiated Measure 26, is set to take effect July 1.


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