North Dakota Activists Submit Legalization Initiative Language to Officials

Cannabis activists in North Dakota have submitted language for a legalization ballot initiative to the secretary of state; if approved, the group will need to collect 13,452 signatures by July 6 to put the issue on the 2020 ballot.

Full story after the jump.

North Dakota activists have submitted the language for their ballot initiative to legalize cannabis for adults to the secretary of state for approval, the Bismarck Tribune reports. The secretary of state and state attorney general have one week to review the proposal and decide whether to approve the language in order for Legalize ND to move forward with collecting signatures.

The group would need to gather 13,452 valid signatures by July 6, 2020, to put the question to voters in the 2020 General Election.

David Owen, chairman of Legalize ND, told the Tribune that the organization hopes to gather more than 18,000 signatures to be on the safe side. North Dakota voters rejected adult-use legalization in 2018 by a majority of nearly 10 percent – 59 percent to 41 percent. That measure was reportedly rejected because it lacked rules and regulations and was poorly written. The measure submitted to officials this week was written by attorney Scott Brand, was sent twice to the Legislative Council, a nonpartisan legal and policy agency.

The measure would legalize use, purchase, and possession of up to 2 ounces of cannabis for adults 21-and-older. It would impose a 10 percent tax on cannabis products and does not include home-grow provisions.

Another group, ND for Freedom of Cannabis Act, is also seeking to put a legalization question to voters in 2020, but that plan would add legalization to the state constitution. That groups needs 26,904 signatures by February 10 – more than double the amount required by Legalize ND because it’s seeking to alter the constitution.

In other states that have posed potentially competing legalization initiatives, stakeholders expressed concerns that the dueling questions would prevent either measure from being approved.

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