South Dakota Police Officers File Lawsuit In Response To State Marijuana Legalization

South Dakota Police File Lawsuit Opposing State Marijuana Legalization


Two South Dakota law enforcement officers turn to the courts after 225,260 voters chose to legalize marijuana in South Dakota.

Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom and South Dakota Highway Patrol Superintendent Rick Miller filed a lawsuit Friday November 20, 2020 challenging the constitutionality of Amendment A, which allows the cultivation, transportation, sale and possession of marijuana in South Dakota.

Voters approved the change at the Nov. 3 election by an 8 percent margin.

At a release issued Friday declaring the legal struggle, Thom and Miller claim Amendment A violates the constitution since it prohibits more than 1 topic, a limit added into this constitution by voters from 2018. And they state the procedure Republicans employed to maneuver Amendment A does not obey the constitution.

The lawsuit claims that since Amendment A inserts a new division to the constitution, so it needs to be thought of as a revision to the constitution, and this may only be achieved put on the ballot by means of a state tradition, something which has not been achieved since statehood.

“The proponents of Amendment A failed to follow that basic textual requirement,” reads the information release.

Sheriff Thom didn’t return a message left with the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office Friday, and queries to Highway Patrol Superintendent Miller were deferred to the office.

“In South Dakota we honor our Constitution,” Gov. Kristi Noem stated in a declaration. “I anticipate this court addressing the significant constitutional issues laid out of this litigation.”

Friday’s filing in Hughes County Circuit Court does not appear as a surprise, even since lawmakers along with other members of this governmental institution compared Amendment A and triumphed before this election that it would probably be contested.

If noticed, it’ll be the first instance of its type because Republicans put the single subject rule about the novels. Since it impacts on taxation, transport, licensing, and the health area in addition to recreational and medical marijuana and hemp, the suit claims that Amendment A surrounded over 1 subject.

If the court rule from Miller and Tohm’s favor, then it would not be the very first time courts have ceased countries from easing marijuana constraints throughout the ballot box. Before this season, the Nebraska Supreme Court maintained a medical marijuana suggestion from looking on ballots there afterwards justices ruled it violated the country’s single subject matter.

“If voters are to intelligently adopt a state policy with regard to medicinal cannabis use, they must first be allowed to decide that issue alone, unencumbered by other subjects,” the Nebraska court composed in its September ruling.

Organizers supporting Amendment A advised the Argus Leader earlier that they had been ready to get a courtroom conflict should it be contested. Drey Samuelson, political manager for South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws, said he is convinced the language of Amendment is solid and the litigation attempts to endure in the manner of the fantasies of South Dakota voters.

“We are prepared to defend Amendment A against this lawsuit. Our opponents should accept defeat instead of trying to overturn the will of the people,” he said. “Amendment A was carefully drafted, fully vetted, and approved by a strong majority of South Dakota voters this year.”


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