Recreational marijuana struck down by South Dakota Supreme Court
PIERRE, S.D. – The South Dakota Supreme Court ruled in a four-to-one decision Wednesday that the voter-submitted amendment legalizing recreational marijuana, medical marijuana, and hemp is unconstitutional.
Amendment A was submitted to the voters in November 2020 and passed with 54% of the vote. In January, Governor Kristi Noem directed the state Highway Patrol Superintendent, Colonel Rick Miller, to file suit against the measure arguing that it violated the single-subject rule for constitutional amendments.
The majority opinion ruled that the provisions of Amendment A were separate and not connected to one another meaning, “voters were unable to separately vote on each distinct subject embraced” in the amendment. Justice Scott Myren dissented in part viewing the three subjects as a comprehensive, singular plan addressing “the related issues of recreational marijuana, medical marijuana, and hemp”.
South Dakota voters may have the opportunity in 2022 to revisit the subject. A petition was approved for circulation in October for an initiated measure legalizing the possession, use, and distribution of marijuana.
Governor Kristi Noem reacted to the decision Wednesday morning:
“South Dakota is a place where the rule of law and our Constitution matter, and that’s what today’s decision is about. We do things right – and how we do things matters just as much as what we are doing. We are still governed by the rule of law. This decision does not affect my Administration’s implementation of the medical cannabis program voters approved in 2020. That program was launched earlier this month, and the first cards have already gone out to eligible South Dakotans.”
This is a developing story. NewsCenter1 will update this article as we learn more.