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South Dakota Supreme Court Rules Against Pot Legalization

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Narijuana law denied in S DakThe South Dakota Supreme Court on Wednesday upheld a lower court’s ruling that nullified a voter-passed amendment to the state constitution that would have legalized recreational marijuana use.

Gov. Kristi Noem instigated the legal fight to strike down the amendment passed by voters in November. Though the Republican governor opposed marijuana legalization as a social ill, her administration’s arguments in court centered on technical violations to the state constitution.

The court sided with those arguments, ruling that the measure would have violated the state’s requirement that constitutional amendments deal with just one subject and would have created broad changes to state government.

About 54% of voters had approved the amendment — known as Amendment A — to legalize adult recreational pot use, medical marijuana and hemp cultivation. But Highway Patrol Superintendent Col. Rick Miller sued on Noem’s behalf. Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom also joined the lawsuit.

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