The United States House of Representatives voted in favor of the MORE act on Friday which would decriminalize and tax marijuana on the federal level. This was the first time ever a federal chamber took up such legislation. The bill now heads to the senate where Republican leader Mitch McConnell likely won't bring it up for a vote. The bill passed along party lines with Republicans all voting against the legislation. South Dakota representative Dusty Johnson voted against the bill but put out a statement following his vote saying he is staying “open minded” after the state he represents voted to legalize marijuana in November.
Locally, the lawsuit filed against Amendment A in South Dakota has had some developments. First, Judge Christina Klinger has accepted four South Dakotan's to intervene on the suit and they through representation will work to defend the amendment in court. Those four include Randy Seiler, former US attorney, Melissa Mentele, executive director of the marijuana advocacy group New Approach South Dakota, Bill Stocker, a retired Sioux Falls Police Officer and Chuck Parkinson, former staffer for senator Jim Abdnor and former appointees of president Ronald Regan and George H.W. Bush.
South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg called on the state's legal challenge to amendment A to be tossed out. Ravnsborg's office asked a judge in court filings to dismiss the lawsuit Thursday. As Attorney General, it is Ravnsborg's responsibility to determine if measures belong on the ballot or not and his office gave approval to both Amendment A and IM 26.