The South Dakota Supreme Court has ruled that marijuana should not be legalized, despite the fact that 54 percent of people voted for it.
According to the Associated Press, the South Dakota Supreme Court shattered expectations for legalized recreational marijuana by affirming a lower court’s finding that voided a voter-approved amendment to the state constitution.
Last November, almost 54 percent of South Dakota voters passed the amendment, but Republican Governor Kristi Noem launched a legal battle that ended on Wednesday in the state’s highest court.
Despite Noem’s opposition to marijuana legalization for social use, her administration challenged the measure’s constitutionality in court due to a technical flaw. The lawyers contended that constitutional amendments must only address one topic, although there were technically numerous topics in the voter-approved ballot measure, known as Amendment A.
In a 4-1 judgment, the South Dakota Supreme Court agreed with the lawyers’ arguments.
In the majority ruling, Chief Justice Steven Jensen observed, “It is evident that Amendment A comprises provisions encompassing at least three discrete subjects, each with unique goals or ends.”
The legalization debate divided state Republicans, with some claiming that they must respect the will of the voters and oppose the bill. “I don’t think anybody became wiser smoking weed,” Noem said in January, calling it a “poor move for the state of South Dakota.” See the list below for more Associated Press reporting.
Last year, almost 54% of voters supported the constitutional amendment. Superintendent Colonel Rick Miller of the Highway Patrol, on the other hand, filed a lawsuit on Noem’s behalf. Kevin Thom, the sheriff of Pennington County, has also joined the complaint. The top court found that the police lacked standing to sue, but because Noem authorized Miller’s case, they handled it as if Noem had filed it herself.
Noem hailed the decision and stated that it will have no impact on how she executes a separate, voter-approved medical marijuana law. That legislation is already in effect.
“The rule of law and our Constitution matter in South Dakota, and that’s what today’s decision is about,” she said in a statement. “We do things correctly, and how we do things is just as important as what we do.” The decision of the state Supreme Court upheld a circuit judge’s ruling from February. Advocates for marijuana legalization filed an appeal, claiming that. This is a condensed version of the information.