A South Dakota judge has ruled that a constitutional amendment approved by voters in the state to legalize marijuana for recreational use was invalid, The Hill reported on Tuesday.
South Dakotans voted 54%-46% in November in favor of Amendment A, which legalized recreational marijuana. A separate measure legalizing marijuana for medicinal purposes passed with nearly 70% backing.
But Circuit Court Judge Christina Klinger ruled that the amendment covered more than one issue and was therefore a revision to the state constitution rather than an amendment, according to Newsweek.
"Amendment A is unconstitutional as it includes multiple subjects in violation of [the South Dakota constitution] and it is therefore void and has no effect," Klinger wrote in the ruling, adding that "Amendment A is a revision as it has far-reaching effects on the basic nature of South Dakota's governmental system."
South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws, the organization that supported the amendment, said it would appeal the ruling to the South Dakota Supreme Court, The Hill reported.
State Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg’s office, which is responsible for defending state laws and had tried to throw the challenge out, said it was reviewing the ruling.
However, Republican Gov. Kristi Noem, who allied herself closely with former President Donald Trump, opposed the amendment during the campaign and after it was approved.
Noem asked Highway Patrol Superintendent Rick Miller to bring the suit against the amendment, signed an executive order that gave him legal standing to sue, and authorized the state to pay for court costs he incurred.
If Amendment A were to become law, South Dakota would be the 15th state to legalize marijuana for recreational use and the 13th approving a ballot measure to make marijuana legal.
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