A judge in South Dakota struck down a voter-approved initiative that would have legalized marijuana. The decision, which comes just weeks before the state’s deadline for deciding on full legalization, came after Attorney General Dustin McDaniel said it likely violated federal law and was “unenforceable.”

The “when will south dakota supreme court rule on amendment a” is the question that has been asked by many people. The South Dakota Supreme Court ruled on Monday that it would not allow voters to decide whether or not they wanted cannabis legalized in their state.

Court Strikes Down Voters' Will for Full Legalization in South Dakota

Take a stance for something you believe in, organize behind it, and vote for it. You will complete your objective if you get enough votes. When it comes to cannabis legalization, the wonderful folks of South Dakota recently accomplished precisely that. South Dakotans wanted legalized marijuana, so they utilized the democratic process to get it. They fought diligently to collect signatures, get the issue on the ballot, and pass cannabis legalization in South Dakota when the majority backed it. It was a successful day for the Americans who voted in the election. Unfortunately, this triumph was short-lived, and the same persons chosen to serve the people of South Dakota would soon undo it.

“The tree of liberty must be watered from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants,” Thomas Jefferson observed. America is regarded as one of the world’s best democracies, and all Americans are taught to trust the democratic process from an early age. People elect political representatives to represent and speak for them in the political arena. However, it is clear that South Dakota’s elected representative Kristi Noem, who serves as both governor and the state’s lone member of the United States House of Representatives, failed to adequately represent the people of the state. Let’s take a look at what went wrong in South Dakota when it came to cannabis legalization.

The Legalization Process in South Dakota

Two propositions to legalize cannabis were on the South Dakota general election ballot on November 3, 2020. If ratified, Amendment A, a state constitution amendment, will essentially legalize cannabis for adult recreational use. Measure 26 was also on the ballot, which sought to legalize medicinal marijuana. Amendment A was approved with 54 percent of the vote, while Measure 26 was approved with 69.9% of the vote. Judge Christina Klinger overturned the people of South Dakota and declared Amendment A illegal for two reasons: the single-subject requirement for ballot initiatives and the claim that Amendment A should be categorized as a revision, not an amendment. South Dakota would have been the first state in the United States to legalize both medicinal and recreational cannabis if both Amendment A and Measure 26 had passed.

People invested their time, effort, passion, and money to collect signatures for a subject they cared about. They then prepared an amendment and got it placed on the vote in their state. On election day, everyone turned out to vote, and the amendment passed with more than half of South Dakotans voting yes. Following its passage, the governor of the state, together with law enforcement officers, began seeking for a means to reverse it.

Legalization is rejected by legislators.

Noem and a group of like-minded colleagues brought the move to knock down Amendment A. Kevin Thom, the sheriff of Pennington County, and Rick Miller, the Superintendent of the South Dakota Highway Patrol, filed a lawsuit to prevent the passage of Amendment A. In their lawsuit, these law enforcement officials claimed that Amendment A violated the state’s single-subject ballot measure provision, and that it shouldn’t be classified as an amendment at all because it sought to add a new section to the state Constitution rather than merely modify an existing one.


These initiatives did not go over well with the people of South Dakota who worked on them and voted for them. They quickly expressed their dissatisfaction on Facebook, writing a slew of critical comments on the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office’s official page. These unfavorable evaluations must have ruffled some feathers, since they have subsequently been deleted from the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office’s Facebook page.

Despite the fact that Noem has been outspoken in her opposition to legalization, claiming that cannabis is a societal evil, her legal case in court was based solely on technical breaches of the state constitution. Noem warmly hailed the court’s ruling. “South Dakota is a state where the rule of law and our constitution matter, and that’s what today’s ruling is about,” she told media outlets. We do things correctly, and how we do things is just as important as what we do.”

Matthew Schweich, the campaign director for South Dakota’s for Better Marijuana Laws, told media outlets that the decision was “very erroneous.” He also said that it was based on the “disrespectful presumption” that South Dakota voters were incapable of comprehending the proposal. The court has abandoned common sense in favor of a far-fetched legal theory in order to overturn a legislation enacted by over 225,000 South Dakota voters on the basis of no logic or evidence.”

Rec was knocked out, but Med made it through.

The elected representatives who are supposed to serve the interests of the 225,000 South Dakota citizens who voted to legalize cannabis for recreational adult use were ultimately let down. There is, however, a silver lining. Measure 26 to legalize medical marijuana in South Dakota passed, and the state’s first dispensaries are set to operate on time.

The patient application gateway for physician certification is now online, according to South Dakota’s medicinal cannabis website. Patients with a “debilitating medical condition” will be eligible for the state’s medicinal cannabis program. “A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition, or its treatment, that produces one or more of the following: cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe debilitating pain, severe nausea; seizures; or severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristics of multiple sclerosis,” according to the South Dakota Department of Health. It’s disheartening to watch politics splinter a state that was once unified around a common purpose, and elected officials charged with expressing the people’s will fail to do so. The voters of South Dakota may see their desires for recreational cannabis legalization realized on the next election.


Ashley Priest is a patient, mother, entrepreneur, and activist who is working to remove prohibition throughout the world for a brighter future for everyone. Ashley is passionate about spreading knowledge about the goddess plant known as cannabis. She thinks that a single seed can tilt the scales, and that by working together to eradicate the stigma around cannabis, we can help it reach its full potential internationally.

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