Johnson says he’s ready to appeal pot amendment without help from AG’s office

PIERRE, SD (KELO) – One of the attorneys representing stakeholders in a battle to legalize adult marijuana in South Dakota said on Friday they would continue to take the case to the Dakota Supreme Court from South.

Brendan Johnson made his comments on Twitter after learning that the office of South Dakota Attorney General Jason Ravnsborg would not continue to defend the Constitutional Amendment A. Johnson, a former US prosecutor from South Dakota, was the godfather of the amendment approved by voters on November 3.

Ravnsborg chief of staff Tim Bormann released this statement on Friday evening:

“After a review of the case, the Attorney General decided that the Attorney General’s office had fulfilled its obligation to defend Amendment A. This conclusion includes the ruling that all issues that may be raised on appeal are questions of law. , and it seems that all the arguments that could have been put forward in this case have, in fact, been put forward. Therefore, it is the Attorney General’s decision that applicants and interveners can appeal the declaratory judgment action without the intervention of the Attorney General’s office.

Circuit judge Christina Klinger had ruled on Monday that Amendment A violated the South Dakota Constitution’s single subject requirement because it covered a variety of topics relating to marijuana and hemp.

The judge also determined that Amendment A was a constitutional review, rather than an amendment, and should have been introduced to a constitutional convention first.

“Grateful to the lawyers in the GA office who have strongly argued that Amendment A is constitutional. Good people and good lawyers. We are now moving forward without their help, but we will continue to amplify their arguments as well as ours in favor. of Amd A, ”Johnson tweeted.

Measure 26 initiated legalizing medical marijuana was not affected by the judge’s decision. However, Republican Legislative Assembly leaders and Republican Governor Kristi Noem announced on Wednesday that they plan to delay its entry into force until 2022 due to unresolved issues.

South Dakota Highway Patrol Superintendent Rick Miller and Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom presented the A Amendment challenge on behalf of the Governor. Noem had campaigned against the two measures on marijuana.

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