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North Dakota Advocates Aim for 2020 Adult-Use Initiative

Following a rejection by voters in 2018, legalization advocates in North Dakota are maneuvering for another ballot initiative in 2020; advocates say the 2018 initiative was “too vague” for voters.

Full story after the jump.

North Dakota legalization advocates are hoping to put recreational cannabis legalization on the ballot in 2020, two years after a different initiative failed by a 59 to 41 percent margin. This version of the measure would allow adults 21-and-older to possess up to two ounces of cannabis, not allow home-growing or public consumption, and tax sales at 10 percent.

David Owen, leader of Legalize ND, told the Jamestown Sun, that the 2018 initiative was “too vague” and the new version has drawn on regulations in other legal states.

Under the measure, selling to minors and “obviously intoxicated” persons would be a Class A misdemeanor, there would be limits on advertising, penalties for driving under the influence, and employers would be allowed to ban employees from consumption. The bill also includes a requirement that any amount of cannabis over one ounce in a private residence would need to be secured in order to prevent underage use.

The industry would be regulated by a governor-appointed, three-member, non-partisan Marijuana Control Commission. The governor could also choose to appoint a 10-member Marijuana Advisory Board to make recommendations on regulations.

Half of the tax revenues would be allocated to the general fund; 10 percent to Health and Human Services for drug treatment programs; 10 percent to the Department of Education; 10 percent to the Legacy Fund, which is controlled by the Retirement and Investment Office; 10 percent to Parks and Recreation; and 10 percent to the Commerce Department for workforce development.

According to the report, another group is hoping to put a constitutional amendment to voters that would end cannabis prohibition in the state altogether. The legislature recently passed a law removing the criminal penalties for possession of less than a half-ounce from a misdemeanor to an infraction.

In May, lawmakers in the state moved to study the implications of legalization with a possible ballot initiative in mind.

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