The South Dakota Supreme Court ruled that the voice of its people, who voted in favor of legalizing adult-use cannabis by a 54.2% majority in the November 2020 election, was not enough to influence public policy.
Keloland Media Group
South Dakota Supreme Court justices heard arguments unfold on Amendment A on April 28. The body’s decision came Nov. 24.
The five-justice court issued a final decision Nov. 24, 2021, that upheld Circuit Judge Christina Klinger’s February ruling that voter-approved Amendment A violated the state’s single-subject rule in Article XXIII of the South Dakota Constitution and therefore was an unconstitutional ballot initiative.
The case stems from a lawsuit filed less than a month following the election by Pennington County Sherriff Kevin Thom and South Dakota Highway Patrol Col. Rick Miller. Although a spokesperson said Republican Gov. Kristi Noem did not ask Miller or Thom to bring forth the lawsuit, two months later, on Jan. 8, 2021, Noem issued an executive order, asserting that Amendment A was unconstitutional, and launched a taxpayer-funded lawsuit challenging the ballot measure.
Noem, who opposed legalization leading up to the 2020 election, nominated Klinger to the state’s Sixth Circuit Court in early 2019—roughly two years before Klinger struck down