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Attorney Brendan Johnson Discusses Amendment A Marijuana Reform on Credit Hour

Brendan Johnson Brendan Johnson '98, who served as lead counsel for Amendment A, discusses marijuana reform on Credit Hour.

VERMILLION, S.D. – Brendan Johnson ’98, lead counsel for Amendment A, discussed the implications of marijuana reform on the podcast Credit Hour.

“What is not up for compromise is the fact that marijuana is decriminalized,” Johnson said. “The people have spoken very clearly on that.”

Johnson served as lead counsel for Amendment A. He is a former U.S. Attorney for the District of South Dakota and practices at Robins Kaplan in Sioux Falls.

Johnson said the law will go into effect in July of 2021. Johnson said taxes on marijuana will be capped at 15% split between the general budget and education. He also said it may have benefits for tribal communities and from a social justice standpoint.

“Some of the biggest benefits are from a social justice perspective. We lock up too many people in our country. We lock up too many people in South Dakota,” Johnson said citing statistics that marijuana arrests account for over 10% of arrests in South Dakota.

Credit Hour is the University of South Dakota’s podcast highlighting the achievement, research and scholarship of its staff, students, alumni and faculty. Follow Credit Hour on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and


Founded in 1862 and the first university in the Dakotas, the University of South Dakota is the only public liberal arts university in the state, with 202 undergraduate and 84 graduate programs in the College of Arts & Sciences, School of Education, Knudson School of Law, Sanford School of Medicine, School of Health Sciences, Beacom School of Business and College of Fine Arts. With an enrollment of nearly 10,000 students and more than 400 faculty, USD has a 16:1 student/faculty ratio, and it ranks among the best in academics and affordability. USD’s 18 athletic programs compete at the NCAA Division I level.


Hanna DeLange
USD News