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South Dakotan's For Better Marijuana Laws, a local grassroots organization partially responsible for IM-26 and Amendment A, has responded to the lawsuit filed challenging Amendment A's passage. 

 

Amendment A legalizes recreational marijuana usage for adults 21 years or older.  The lawsuit has been filed in Hughes county by Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom and South Dakota Highway Patrol Col. Rick Miller.  

 

The amendment passed Nov. 3rd by 54 percent of the vote.  The statement reads as follows: 

 

"We are prepared to defend Amendment A against the lawsuit filed by Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom and Superintendent of the South Dakota Highway Patrol Colonel Rick Miller. Amendment A was carefully drafted, fully vetted, and approved by a strong majority of South Dakota voters this year.

 

This coming week, South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws will be filing to intervene in the case so that we can defend Amendment A against the lawsuit.

 

Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom and Superintendent of the South Dakota Highway Patrol Colonel Rick Miller are trying to invalidate Amendment A and overturn the will of the voters on the basis of two incorrect legal theories.

 

And this lawsuit was filed incorrectly under South Dakota law, as a “contest” to an election. However, the complaint has nothing to do with the manner in which the election was conducted and only relates to the text of Amendment A.

 

The first theory claims that Amendment A is not limited to a single subject. But anyone who reads Amendment A can see that every word relates to the cannabis plant. Furthermore, Amendment A follows the interpretation of the single subject rule used by the legislature. South Dakotans have a constitutional right to a ballot initiative process and it's clear that Amendment A meets the single subject standard.

 

The second theory claims that Amendment A was improperly enacted because it created a new article in the constitution as opposed to adding a section to an existing article. This manufactured distinction is unsupported in the law and is utterly insufficient as a basis for overturning a constitutional amendment approved by voters."

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