I’m not sure who’s dragging their feet in Pierre, but after I complained on September 14 that marijuana advocates appeared to have backed away from their promise to challenge South Dakota’s egregious and infinitely malleable single-subject rule on constitutional amendments, the Secretary of State finally posted those advocates’ proposed initiated amendment on that topic. The Legislative Research Council responded to the sponsors with its obligatory review on July 26; the document posted to the Secretary of State’s website bears two date stamps, a partial stamp reading August 13 and a “Received” by SOS stamp reading September 17.
The proposed amendment strikes the single-subject amendment that voters approved in 2018 to Article 23 Section 1 of the South Dakota Constitution: “…however, no proposed amendment may embrace more than one subject. If more than one amendment is submitted at the same election, each amendment shall be so prepared and distinguished that it can be voted upon separately.” This is the clause that Judge Christine Klinger invoked as part of her decision in February to overturn Amendment A, the constitutionalization of marijuana that voters approved in 2020. A’s advocates and the Governor’s lawyers argued the case before the South Dakota Supreme Court in April; the Supreme Court still has not rendered its opinion.
Like the marijuana advocates proposed substitute initiatives to resubmit marijuana to the voters in 2022, this single-subject repeal petition has not yet started circulating. It would be due November 8, leaving sponsors only 40 days to collect at least 33,921 signatures from registered South Dakota voters.