Judge rules recreational marijuana measure unconstitutional in SD

PIERRE, S.D.(Aberdeen American News)- A Hughes County judge has ruled that a voter-approved amendment to the South Dakota Constitution ending marijuana prohibition in the state shouldn’t go forward.

Circuit Court Judge Christina Klinger ruled Monday that Constitutional Amendment A violates the state Constitution on two grounds: It violates the single subject rule, meaning it encompassed more than one topic, and it conflicts with language in the Constitution that provides for its modification.

Attorneys for the plaintiffs in the case, South Dakota Highway Patrol Superintendent Rick Miller and Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom argued last month that because Amendment A added an entirely new section to the state Constitution instead of modifying an existing one, it should be considered a revision, not an amendment.

Revisions to the constitution require a convention of state delegates before being placed on the ballot and cannot be done through the petition process, like initiated measures and amendments.

“The failure to submit Amendment A through the proper constitutional process voids the amendment and it has no effect,” Klinger said.

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