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Challenge Filed to Constitutional Amendment A
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Challenge Filed to Constitutional Amendment A

Challenge Filed to Constitutional Amendment A


News Release - November 21, 2020

RAPID CITY, S.D. - Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom and South Dakota Highway Patrol commander Col. Rick Miller on Friday filed suit against the recently passed Amendment A.

The amendment directs the state legislature to legalize marijuana for both medicinal and recreational use, and to legalize hemp production.

The lawsuit filed in Hughes County alleges that the amendment violates South Dakota Constitution Article 23 on two grounds.

The first challenge says that Amendment A violates the one-subject rule in Article 23, paragraph 1. Thom and Miller argue that the amendment’s title alone contains five different subjects.

The one-subject rule was approved by popular vote in South Dakota’s 2018 general election.

The second challenge to Amendment A alleges that the change should have been filed as a revision to the Constitution, not an amendment.

The lawsuit argues that under Article 23, amendments are used to change existing language in the Constitution and may be approved by South Dakota voters, while revisions add new language to the constitution, and can only be approved by a Constitutional Convention called by a three-fourths vote in both houses of the South Dakota Legislature. Thom and Miller argue that the language of Amendment A is new language and should instead be considered a revision to the constitution.

The lawsuit does not challenge Initiated Measure 26, which voters also approved on November 3, which would allow the use of marijuana for medicial purposes only.

 



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