Argus story on lawsuit challenging marijuana legalization measure

Joe Sneve at the Argus is posting his story on the Marijuana Legalization challenge which was filed this afternoon by two of South Dakota’s top law enforcement officials:

The lawsuit argues that because Amendment A inserts a new section into the constitution, it should be considered a revision to the constitution, which can only be done placed on the ballot through a state convention, something that hasn’t been done since statehood.

If heard, it will be the first case of its kind since voters placed the single subject rule on the books. Because it touches on taxation, transportation, licensing, the health department as well as medical and recreational marijuana and hemp, the lawsuit argues that Amendment A encompassed more than one subject.

37 thoughts on “Argus story on lawsuit challenging marijuana legalization measure”

  1. Freedom? Personal Responsibility? With drug use especially commercializing another drug being at the super high potency THC (Marijuana) is today more bad choices result targeting those who are most vulnerable which almost always results in collateral damage and costs inflicted upon others. This is all driven by greed and profiting off of addiction. South Dakota cannot afford the socio-economic costs that will result form this public policy con.

  2. Sheriff isn’t a policy making position. Thom’s job is to enforce the laws, that’s it. I’m not sure the next time he’s up for reelection, but I hope voters hold him accountable.

    1. they aren’t trying to make policy; they are trying to uphold the state constitution
      I think that’s in their oath of office.

    1. You’re seeing exactly why it needed to be an amendment, springer. Politicians can’t be trusted. They are attempting to subvert the will of the people. This is big government authoritarianism writ large.

      1. It’s a stupid amendment.
        The people who wrote it were stupid.
        The people who voted for it didn’t bother to read it.
        We don’t need stupidity enshrined in the state constitution.

        1. Oh, a constitutional legal scholar has joined us. Can you shed some light on the “stupid” parts of the amendment, since I’m sure you’ve read the 3 or so pages? Surely, ignoring democratic principles isn’t stupid, as long as you get your way, right?

          1. Anonymous at 7:51 p.m….

            It’s stupid for no other reason than the constitution is reserved for fundamental law — using clear and concise language — and not a dumping ground for three pages devoted to the single issue of boosting the sales of Fritos.

            Yes, voters approved Amendment A. But concerns about it covering more than one subject were voiced from the get-go, and now judges will consider whether the new amendment can be constitutional. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

            1. Fundamental law…., how is criminalizing objects to support the law enforcement and prison industry not a fundamental law? Consider the second amendment of the united states constitution, is that not a fundamental law, it is less clear and concise than amendment A is and follows the same logic? Regardless of technicalities, the people knew what they were voting on and you are advocating for ignoring that fact. This isn’t going away, the second time it passes it will be at a greater margin, how many times will it have to pass before you autocrats accept the will of the people?

              1. The 2nd Amendment has 27 words, which includes 11 two- and three-letter words, and clearly states that each of us can keep arms as self-defense.

                I’ll vote for decriminalized pot possession when supporters write it in 27 words or less.

                1. We don’t need you to vote for it, Cliff. It already passed, and it will survive this anti-democratic challenge from these big government frauds.

  3. Can’t wait to get my legal weed and Medicaid expanded healthcare. Thank you SD Democratic Party!

  4. They got away with overturning the voice of the people in 2016, so why not just ignore this one too? Furthermore, why not just ignore all elections moving forward, they seem to know more about what we need than we do. One question though, when we no longer have the ability to decide what our law enforcement “service” enforces, does that still make it a service for us, or an occupying force serving…who? This seems very Orwellian, the intent of the law was understood at the time of the vote, and Kevin (who’s built his career on destroying lives of people who use marijuana) wants to throw this out due to a technicality. There is nothing we can do about this, no recall elections in South Dakota, and everyone is so convinced the few democrats in the state cause all the problems, yet there are 11 democrats going in and all the corruption is still there fault? Wake up people, you’ve given away your state….

    1. Your 1st sentence is myth, not fact. The legislature improved the voter passed measure in 2016 by strengthening the ethics laws in this state. What don’t people understand about voter passed measures that are unconstitutional?
      Also the entire campaign to pass A was based on deception-that voters had to vote yes on A to get medical marijuana approved.
      Not true. IM 26 accomplished that.
      In the end, truth will always win over deception.

      1. Your first claim is political jargon only accepted by the uneducated who don’t understand what a fact is. Imagine if your logic were applied to the election of an official, if Kristi lost, could she say, “I see why you voted for that other guy, I’ll strengthen my position by adopting some of those polices, however, I still won”. The idea of “strengthening” is subjective and not fact at all. Also subjective is your perception of Amendment A, the excuse used in 2016 that “the people didn’t know what they were voting on”, continues to be used. I know there are a lot of stupid people in the state, but I don’t accept they fail to understand what they vote on time and time again. In the end, the voice of the people and majority will prevail, eventually. Imagine the next election, just reminding people to vote again on what they already approved to continue to over ride the corrupt political system in the state. Freedom will prevail, each person should have the freedom to decide what they put in or on their body, we don’t need big SD GOP government.

  5. You know, it doesn’t really matter if Amendment A is thrown out because of this challenge. The election proved, clearly and convincingly, that the majority of South Dakotans support legal marijuana for all purposes. The genie is out of the bottle, and even if they succeed in stuffing it back in for now, the trends are obvious. The majority will only grow. Thom et. al. are the losers; they can only fight it for so long.

    All that happens in the meantime is that they reveal themselves to be anti-democracy, big government nanny staters. These people aren’t conservatives. Not even close.

    1. Nope. The complete opposite of conservativism. Personal freedom, except when we don’t like it, then your vote doesn’t matter ‘cause we know better than you! Freedumb!!!

  6. Who is paying for the legal challenge by South Dakota’s ‘Law Enforcement’? Is the challenge really coming out of the governors office?

    1. I’m surprised the state has any money left for these lawsuits after all that we spent on the Trump campaign. Maybe if we did a firework show for Kevin Thom he could have gotten Amendment A voted down. If he loses this, we just need the legislature to pick up a few new things to become illegal. I would suggest no non-natural hair color (i.e. red, blue, green), and no hair past the ear for males. It is a scientific fact the long hairs and punks cause crime, lets just send them out of the state, but take their money first. Get on this team!

  7. Maybe before they spend too much time and money on this lawsuit, a close look at the election results should be examined. Where did all the pro-marijuana votes come from when all of South Dakota’s Democrats can fit in one VW microbus? Other than John Dale, did any Republicans vote for Amendment A? If the Democrats can steal the presidency, they could easily legalize marijuana in South Dakota.

    1. As an intellectually honest observer (to a fault), I have asked this question. I have tested the efficacy and legality of the Marijuana legalization efforts in SD since last year.

      I have concerns, but at the same time .. would SD government ever want to admit that the process could have been subverted?

      Even if it benefits me somewhat (even legalization can be done in a way that is ultimately harmful), I can say I only support legitimate democratic outcomes.

      Claiming that I’m the only one that would vote for this demonstrates how out of touch a person can be.

      The movement toward common sense on this issue nationally is heartening for this ol’ conservative Republican.

  8. It should have never been in the constitution. The libbies that floated this turd need to be taken out behind the shed and beaten with a hemp switch. Be honest about toking the demon weed, like my close personal friend Bob. Just say you want to toke it, and then toke it.

    1. Literally everyone who wants to do that is already doing that, grudz. All the commerce related to marijuana is already happening. It’s just unregulated and untaxed.

      1. The prohibition also pits otherwise good law abiding citizens against police. Quick legalization that obviates the power of black markets is the best path. It will save money from constant political fights, and the people will receive a clear signal from the elected political class that our freedoms are respected for real.

        Thank you,


  9. We have the Constitution to guide the rule of law and protect the minority from the mob majority.

    Everyone should remember that they too can be in the minority and will welcome the protections a Constitution affords and be circumspect about using it at a sledgehammer when one is in the minority.

    1. Troy, there is no individual constitutional right to keep marijuana illegal that needs to be protected against “mob majority” in this case.

      Ed doesn’t get this but I’m sure you do.

  10. Who is paying for these lawsuits? How can these people use their official titles while pursuing this How much work time are they wasting while doing this? Do they have the blessing of the County/ State to do this?

  11. Update – When Republicans are faced with a cancer from within, and a group that wants to reject the voice of the voters, it’s a good opportunity to rally support, and remember why real Republicans work together.

    Copied and pasted directly from another story on this site, Maybe everyone should read it again

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