South Dakota Judge Nullifies Cannabis Legalization Initiative

A South Dakota judge ruled on Monday that a cannabis legalization initiative approved by voters in the November election is in violation of the state’s constitution and therefore invalid. Judge Christina Klinger of South Dakota’s Sixth Circuit Court ruled that Constitutional Amendment A violates the state constitution on two counts and should not be implemented.

Amendment A was approved by 54% of South Dakota voters in last year’s general election. Under the initiative, marijuana would be legalized for use by adults and a regulated market for legal cannabis commerce would be established. The state’s voters also approved Measure 26, an initiative to legalize medical marijuana, with 70% of the vote.

After the election, South Dakota Highway Patrol Superintendent Col. Rick Miller and Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom filed suit to block Amendment A, claiming that the measure is in violation of the state constitution. No legal challenges to Measure 26 have been filed thus far.

Klinger ruled that the initiative violates requirements that ballot measures be limited to one topic. The judge also ruled that the amendment alters the state constitution to the degree that it amounts to a revision rather than an amendment, requiring it to be approved via

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