PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Many South Dakotans were anticipating a Supreme Court decision on Amendment A Thursday, the final day the Supreme Court could release a ruling before the voter approved measure legalizing medical marijuana was set to take effect.
But that ruling did not come down, instead the state court administrator sent out a statement saying until the supreme court issues an opinion, the circuit court ruling declaring Amendment A unconstitutional remains in effect.
There’s no indication of when that ruling may come, but no matter the decision, KELOLAND’s Bridget Bennett sat down with Governor Kristi Noem Thursday for her thoughts on the future of recreational marijuana in South Dakota.
“I don’t think in many, many situations for reactional uses that it’s the best choice,” Noem said.
Voters approved it, but Governor Kristi Noem continues to fight recreational marijuana from coming to South Dakota.
“My job as governor is to uphold the constitution, that’s the foundation of what gives me the authority to do even do what I do here in South Dakota,” Noem said.
Noem spearheaded the legal battle against Amendment A, arguing it was unconstitutional; an argument a circuit court judge agreed with in April. If the supreme court rules in her favor, she doesn’t want the state legislature to take up the issue.
“I think the voters should have a vote on a clean bill that isn’t flawed,” Noem said.
Bennett: “Do you think South Dakota voters have already sent a clear message about recreational marijuana?”
Noem: “I think they have.”
But Governor Noem says she doesn’t think the voters knew about the constitutional issues involved with Amendment A when they cast their ballots. She says that’s why she had the state fight it in court.
Bennett: “Taxpayers paid to fight a measure that they approved, what do you say to people that does not sit well with?”
Noem: “Well I would just tell them that that is my job. That when they voted for me to be governor that I told them, I held my right hand up and took and oath and pledged to uphold the constitution of this state,” Noem said. “If they disagree with actions that I’ve taken, that’s what elections are for.”
WATCH BELOW: Gov. Noem on Amendment A
Governor Noem says the state will be transparent about the cost of the legal battle over Amendment A; she says once the ruling is released, the state will reveal the final price tag of the lawsuit to taxpayers.