PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — The South Dakota Supreme Court will hear arguments on Amendment A on Wednesday.
Last November, a majority of South Dakota voters decided that marijuana should be legal for people age 21 and older. But less than a month later, that vote was challenged in circuit court — arguing the route Amendment A took to get to the ballot was invalid.
On Wednesday, the South Dakota Supreme Court will hear the argument about whether the route Amendment A took to the ballot was valid and whether the result — 225,260 yes to 190,477 no — counts.
KELOLAND News will livestream the hearing online, and also broadcast it on MyUTV and the Black Hills CW Wednesday morning.
Follow along with updates from the hearing on the KELOLAND News Twitter account:
WATCH LIVE at 10 a.m.: South Dakota Supreme Court hears arguments on Amendment A.
📺ON AIR: MyUTV and the Black Hills CW.
The five-member Supreme Court will hear the appeal Wednesday in its chamber on the Capitol’s second floor, across the rotunda from the governor’s office.
A majority of South Dakota voters decided November 3 that marijuana should be legal for people age 21 and older. But 17 days later, a challenge arose in Hughes County Circuit Court.
You can find all of the previous marijuana coverage on KELOLAND’s South Dakota Marijuana webpage.
Brendan Johnson is speaking first. He’s speaking about the history of the initiative. He says the state motto: “Under God, the people rule.”
Johnson says there would always be tension when the people had power through the initiative. He says in 2019, cannabis is no longer a novelty in America.
South Dakota has the distinction of being the first state in the Union to provide for popular initiative and referendum for enacting and rejecting legislation. This was accomplished by a constitutional amendment approved in 1898.
Johnson says the single-subject rule was created to help shield the people. He says the single-subject rule didn’t apply to Amendment A. He says the amendment was highly scrutinized in the state and there was a vigorous debate in the state over the issue.
Chief Justice Steven Jensen is speaking about the single-subject rule. He asked if legislative history applies to the single-subject rule. Johnson cites Barnhart v. Herseth, which Circuit Judge Klinger used in ruling Amendment A invalid.