Activists in North Dakota took a big step this week toward getting a cannabis legalization measure before state voters in November.
The group, known as New Approach North Dakota, said it submitted signatures worth of funds on Monday to the office of the secretary of state in the capital, Bismarck, in a bid to get the measure on this year’s ballot.
According to local TV station KFYR, The group’s organizers submitted a “petition of more than 25,000 signatures,” which was “more than 10,000 than they would need to put the issue on the ballot in November.”
The Foreign Minister’s office now has until August 15 to “verify the signatures and determine whether the procedure will be placed on the ballot paper,” according to the station.
If the measure qualifies for the ballot, it could serve as another test case for how much attitudes on the issue have changed, even in the most conservative corners of the United States.
It will also reveal how much public opinion has changed in North Dakota since 2018, when state voters rejected a ballot initiative that would have legalized recreational cannabis.
“In a span of four years, they called it, we’ve gone from being surrounded by illegal states, to having everything around us become legal,” said David Owen, campaign manager for New Approach North Dakota. As quoted by KFYR.
If the measure qualifies for the ballot and wins the approval of voters, individuals in North Dakota “who are 21 or older for using marijuana in the privacy of their homes” will not be penalized, according to the Summary of the scale, which would allow “adults to own up to one ounce of cannabis, up to four grams of cannabis concentrate, and up to 500 milligrams of cannabis in an infused product,” and “to grow up to three plants of cannabis.” In a secure location and closed to their property.”
The new law would also create “a system of registered dispensaries, manufacturers and testing laboratories,” with each product analyzed for potency and screening for unsafe contaminants, and “accurately tracked, traced and labeled in a seed inventory system for sale.”
The title of the proposal reads: “This action initiated will create a new chapter of the North Dakota Century Act. It will allow the production, processing, sale, possession and use of various forms of cannabis by individuals 21 years of age or older, within the limits of venue; state entity directive To regulate and register the cannabis production business that is used for adults, dispensaries, and their agents; allow an individual to own a limited amount of a cannabis product; provide protections, restrictions, penalties, and employer rights related to the use of cannabis products; and provide that a fee shall be allocated to managing the separation.”
Regulators in North Dakota may have been encouraged by what they saw from their neighbors to the south.
A majority of South Dakota voters approved an amendment legalizing recreational cannabis use for adults in the 2020 election, only to see the law collapse under a legal challenge led by Republican Governor Kristi Noem.
But polls have shown voters in South Dakota still support legalization (while rejecting Noem’s handling of the issue), and activists there aim to put another proposal on this year’s ballot.
After voting in South Dakota, some Republican lawmakers in North Dakota Bills introduced to legalize pot in the state, that was describe it As an attempt “to sidestep efforts by citizens to legalize marijuana through the Constitution, after South Dakota voters did so last year.”