PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — South Dakota’s Supreme Court heard arguments for and against Amendment A, in Pierre on Wednesday. Voters approved Amendment A, which legalizes recreational marijuana for people over age 21 and gives the power of regulation to the South Dakota Department of Revenue.
In February a Circuit Judge ruled in favor of those trying to stop Amendment A, and supporters are appealing to the state’s highest court. At the heart of the lawsuit, whether the amendment comprises more than a single subject, which it can’t. And whether the amendment is considered to be an amendment.. or a revision to the state constitution.
The hearing started out with the chief Justice laying out the ground rules and calling on Brendan Johnson, the lawyer supporting Amendment A, to get things started.
Johnson told the justices that South Dakotans voted for Amendment A and those who submitted it followed state guidelines, giving everyone ample time to study it.
“Historically, one of the principal bedrock of democracy is when we have an election it is final, that is the people’s expectation. But that’s not what has happened here, there is a lawsuit that was filed by those who were very aggressive in campaigning against Amendment A, who believe very strongly that the voters were making a mistake,” Johnson told the justices.
Attorney Lisa Prostrollo argued against Amendment A. She told the justices that the lawsuit has nothing to do with cannabis, it is about the rule of law.
“The circuit court recognized this when it struck down Amendment A, and we are asking this court to do the same. There are two primary issues before the court, does Amendment A violate the one-subject rule, and is it an unconstitutional revision, the answer to both of those questions is yes,” Prostrollo told the justices.
The justices asked questions of both attorneys during the hour-long hearing, then wrapped up.
There is no indication as to when a decision will be handed down.