South Dakota Supreme Court weighs pot legalization battle

National News

FILE – In this Aug. 15, 2019 file photo, marijuana grows at an indoor cannabis farm in Gardena, Calif. Top prosecutors in the vast majority of Arizona counties are dropping all existing possession of marijuana cases even before a new voter-approved law eliminating criminal penalties for having small amounts of the drug takes effect when results of the Nov. 3, 2020 election are certified. An Associated Press survey of county attorneys received responses from 13 of 15 elected county attorneys, all of whom said they were either immediately dropping existing cases or in one case pausing prosecutions and planning to drop them when Proposition 207 goes into effect. (AP Photo/Richard Vogel, File)

SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (AP) — The South Dakota Supreme Court has heard final arguments in a legal battle sparked by an attempt by Gov. Kristi Noem’s administration to strike down a voter-passed constitutional amendment legalizing marijuana.

The high court will decide whether recreational pot use, medical marijuana and hemp cultivation are enshrined in the state’s constitution.

Voters passed the measure in November.

But Highway Patrol Superintendent Col. Rick Miller mounted a legal challenge to its constitutionality on Noem’s behalf, and Pennington County Sheriff Kevin Thom also sued to block legalization. On Wednesday, lawyers argued before five Supreme Court justices in Pierre.

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