A lawsuit was filed Friday by the South Dakota Department of Law Enforcement against a referendum legalizing recreational marijuana use in the state. The lawsuit claims that the constitutional amendment in question violates rules that prohibit changing more than one issue at a time.
The lawsuit goes on to say that the initiative is a fundamental change to the state constitution, requiring a three-quarters majority in both chambers of the legislature. In this case, the group that tabled Amendment A has unconstitutionally abused the initiative process, the lawsuit says. They argue that amendments to Amendment A include legalizing marijuana, regulating its recreational use, taxing and taxing marijuana, ensuring access to medical marijuana, and requiring state legislators to pass laws regulating hemp.
Gov. Kristi Noem (R) was a prominent opponent of the measure, calling it a "wrong decision" in a statement released two days before the election. Amendment A was approved by more than 60 percent of voters in the November election, while a separate question on legalizing medical marijuana received nearly 70 percent. “We are confident that the courts will protect the Constitution and the rule of law in South Dakota”.
“Amendment A has been carefully drafted, fully reviewed, and approved by a large majority of South Dakota voters this year, and we stand ready to defend its actions”. In a statement after the bill was introduced, a group supporting the amendment, the Alliance for a Drug-Free South Carolina, said: “opponents should accept defeat rather than try to break the will of the people”.