South Dakota Supreme Court strikes down voter-approved marijuana legalization on technical grounds

The Associated PressNovember 24, 2021News
Marijuana Decision

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — South Dakota Supreme Court strikes down voter-approved marijuana legalization on technical grounds.

The South Dakota Supreme Court has upheld a lower court’s ruling that nullified a voter-passed amendment to the state constitution that would have legalized recreational marijuana use.

Gov. Kristi Noem instigated the legal fight to strike down the amendment passed by voters in November.

The Republican governor opposed marijuana legalization as a social ill, but her administration argued in court that the amendment would have broken technical rules of the state constitution.

The state Supreme Court has sided with those arguments, ruling Wednesday that the measure would have violated the state’s requirement that constitutional amendments deal with just one subject and would have created broad changes to state government.

In a statement after the high court’s decision was released, the governor issued the following:

“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.”