Honestly, among the reasons one may have wanted to see South Dakota voters approve at least one of the marijuana measures on the general election ballot last month was to see how state officials might try to undercut the efforts.
When both the constitutional amendment covering recreational and medical marijuana and the initiated measure regarding medicinal marijuana passed, and when Gov. Kristi Noem affirmed that she saw the legalization of marijuana as a step backward for the state, you knew it was only a matter of time.
On Nov. 20, the first shot across the bow was fired. Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom and Highway Patrol Superintendent Col. Rick Miller filed a lawsuit aimed at scuttling the constitutional amendment, which covered both forms of marijuana as well as industrial hemp. Opponents of the amendment cite the fact that the ballot measure dealt with multiple questions instead of just one issue. Meanwhile, proponents believe they have their ducks in a row on this and the amendment can withstand legal scrutiny.
As an aside, the legal action against Amendment A is somewhat reminiscent of what happened in Nebraska earlier this year, when an effort to put a medical marijuana measure on the ballot was taken to court and ultimately struck down because it dealt with multiple issues. But that was done before the measure was even officially placed on the ballot. In South Dakota, the lawsuit has arrived after the measure not only made the ballot but was also approved by 54% of voters.
This isn’t the first time a measure approved by voters has been targeted by state officials who disapproved of the measure. It was done previously against an ethics measure passed in 2016 and an initiative to restrict out-of-state funding for state lawmakers in 2018. The public reception to those moves was generally not positive, as you might understand.
And yet, here we are again. The fact that the state is reportedly backing the lawsuit and paying for the legal fees while technically also being the defendant in the case seems to draw the frustration of the situation in sharper relief. (There have also been rumors that legislation in Pierre this winter might try to undermine the medicinal marijuana initiated measure, which passed with 70% support from voters. But we’ll see what, if anything, comes of that.)
The public’s apparent acceptance of marijuana has evolved greatly and quickly in recent years. Some of our state’s officials may need to recognize that fact.
In the meantime, the perception of state officials working to undercut the will of the people — again — creates some serious questions about who some of our leaders think they are really serving.
[thumbup] especially the last paragraph. The people have spoken. Elected officials ought to, should and must follow what the people vote for. This means elected, appointed and hired officials at all levels. But if Colorado is any example, and it is, illegal weed will still out sell legal weed by 4 to 1. Why? Because like Colorado, this state will cause the legal sales to be expensive as a result of regulation. But if South Dakota didn’t follow Colorado’s example, and chose to follow the intent of the vote of the people, we could then control most weed sales.
What happened to trusting the South Dakota citizens to make their own decisions? When it came to mask mandates; residents' freedoms were the utmost importance, despite their safety. These hippocrates will do anything to keep or gain power. Even if they fail to undermine the will of the people, they are determined to restrict this plant as much as possible. There is already talk of creating legislation that is similar to open container laws. Marijuana is not alcohol, it doesn't come in single serving sizes. If someone has half of a joint on them, it doesn't mean they were smoking it while they were driving. It just means they were a responsible adult and knew when to stop smoking the last time they smoked.
"He who sacrifices freedom for security deserves neither." - Thomas Jefferson
What happened to trusting the South Dakota citizens to make their own decisions? When it came to having a mask mandate, freedom was more important than safety. These "public servants" will do anything to gain or keep power. Now there is talk about creating laws similar to open container laws for weed. Marijuana is not alcohol, it doesn't come in single serving sizes. Just because someone has half a joint with them, doesn't mean they were smoking while they were driving: it just means that the last time they smoked they knew when they had enough. That makes them a responsible adult and not a criminal.
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