- Advertisement -spot_img
Monday, November 29, 2021

South Dakota Supreme Court rules against pot legalization

by Stephen Groves

SIOUX FALLS, SD (AP) — The South Dakota Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld a lower court’s decision that struck down a voter-passed amendment to the state’s constitution that legalized recreational marijuana use.

Government Christie Noem sparked a legal battle to overturn an amendment passed by voters in November. Although the Republican governor opposed marijuana legalization as a social disease, his administration’s arguments in court focused on technical violations of the state’s constitution.

The High Court favored those arguments in a 4-1 decision, ruling that the measure — Amendment A — would have violated the state’s requirement that constitutional amendments deal with just one subject.

“It is clear that Amendment A contains provisions covering at least three different subjects, each with different objects or purposes,” Chief Justice Steven Jensen wrote in the majority opinion, which included amusing Marijuana, medical marijuana and cannabis were each found to have separate issues.

Last year, about 54 per cent voters approved the constitutional amendment. But Highway Patrol Superintendent Colonel Rick Miller sued on Noem’s behalf. Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom also joined the trial. The High Court ruled that law enforcement officers did not stand to sue, but because Noem had ordered Miller’s trial, he treated it as if Noem himself brought the trial.

Noem praised the decision, and noted that it would not change how he enforces a separate, voter-passed law that legalizes medical marijuana. That law has already come into effect.

“South Dakota is a place where the rule of law and our Constitution matter, and that is the decision today,” she said in a statement. “We do things right – and how we do things – matters just as much as what we are doing.”

The state Supreme Court’s decision upheld a circuit judge’s decision in February. Advocates for pot legalization appealed, arguing that the Supreme Court should dismiss the legal challenge because it overturned voters’ will and undermined their future ability to legislate through the ballot box.

Matthew Schweich, South Dakoton’s campaign director for better marijuana laws, called the ruling “extremely flawed” and “relying on an outrageous assumption that South Dakota voters were intellectually incapable of understanding the initiative.”

In the High Court’s majority opinion, Jensen argued that many of the constitutional amendment’s themes – recreational marijuana, medical marijuana and cannabis – risked forcing a choice on voters who supported legalizing one, but not the other. Not to They found that the ballot measure risked political “logrolling” – a practice that covers a range of topics in a proposed law to garner widespread support.

Read Also:  EXPLANATOR: What is Facebook Docs?

Thom, who is the sheriff in the state’s second-most populous county, pointed out that the ruling actually upheld a previous constitutional amendment, passed by voters in 2018, that requires constitutional amendments that have the same subject matter. it happens.

“It is extremely important to protect the Constitution of our state, and I commend the High Court for clarifying these issues,” he said in a statement. “I am glad that the court has joined me in upholding the will of the voters.”

A dissenting voice, Justice Scott Myren, wrote that the ballot measure proposed a “comprehensive plan” for marijuana legalization and found no evidence that voters were confused about what they were supporting. He urged the court to err on the side of upholding voter-passed laws that have been a longtime feature — and a source of conflict — in South Dakota.

“This bold experiment in a citizen-led direct democracy began before the formation of the state,” Myren wrote.

Pot legalization isn’t going away in South Dakota. Marijuana advocates are looking to bring recreational marijuana back to voters next year through a ballot measure that will direct the Legislature to legalize it. Legislators are also considering legalizing pot for adults in the upcoming legislative session.

“It’s a blow,” Schweich said of Wednesday’s decision. “But the important thing is that we have the will of the people on our side. Eventually, the wishes of the people will be fulfilled.”

Marijuana has been widely accepted across the United States, with a Gallup poll last year of 68% of Americans supporting legalization. South Dakota was one of four states to approve recreational marijuana that month, along with New Jersey, Arizona and Montana. Fifteen states and the District of Columbia have done so.

Opponents of marijuana legalization used similar legal tactics last year to block a marijuana legalization proposal in Nebraska. Only in that instance, did the ruling prevent the ballot from ever going to the vote.

World Nation News Deskhttps://www.worldnationnews.com
World Nation News is a digital news portal website. Which provides important and latest breaking news updates to our audience in an effective and efficient ways, like world’s top stories, entertainment, sports, technology and much more news.
Latest news
Related news
- Advertisement -

Leave a Reply