Thom also praised the ruling, saying it “solidifies the protections” of a 2018 constitutional amendment that required further amendments to stick to one subject.
In her ruling, Klinger said that marijuana legalization would have touched on business licensing, taxation and hemp cultivation. The amendment would have given the state’s Department of Revenue power to administer recreational marijuana, but Klinger ruled that by doing so, it overstepped the authority of the executive and legislative branches of government.
Lawyers defending legalization had cast the lawsuit as an effort to overturn the results of a fair election. About 54% of voters approved recreational marijuana in November.
Possessing small amounts of marijuana would have become legal on July 1, but that will not happen unless a higher court overturns the ruling.
Thom and Miller said in a statement they are pleased by the ruling of Klinger, who was appointed to the circuit court in Hughes County in 2019 by Gov. Noem.
“The judge’s ruling today solidifies the protections that were sought in the previous passing of Amendment Z.” Thom said. “It is an honor to defend our state constitution, and I appreciate the judge ruling in our favor today.”
“I am pleased with the court’s decision today, though I realize that the Supreme Court will likely have the opportunity to address our constitutional concerns…