South Dakota law officers sue over pot legalization

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — Two South Dakota law enforcement officials want the courts to overturn a citizen-approved constitutional amendment legalizing marijuana in the state.

The Argus Leader reports Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom and South Dakota Highway Patrol Superintendent Rick Miller filed a lawsuit Friday challenging the constitutionality of the amendment, which legalized the cultivation, transport, possession and sale of marijuana in in the state.

Voters approved the amendment in the Nov. 3 election.

South Dakota became the first state to legalize recreational and medical pot on the same ballot, after supporters of the two measures joined forces and promoted them as a package deal.

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The lawsuit argues that because the amendment 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.

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Organizers behind the amendment said earlier this month they were prepared for a court battle should it be challenged. Drey Samuelson, political director for South Dakotans for Better Marijuana Laws, said he’s confident the amendment is sound and the lawsuit seeks to stand in the way of the wishes of South Dakota voters.

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