North Dakota Advocates Can Begin Collecting Signatures for Cannabis Legalization Question

Cannabis advocates in North Dakota have been cleared by the secretary of state’s office to start collecting voter signatures to put a legalization question on November ballots.

Full story after the jump.

Advocates in North Dakota have been given the green light by the secretary of state’s office to begin collecting signatures for a cannabis legalization question, the Associated Press reports. Earlier this month, the campaign, New Economic Frontier, submitted their petition to state officials to put the issue on November ballots.  

The measure would set maximum purchase and possession amounts of 1 ounce of dried cannabis leaves or flowers, 4 grams of concentrates, 1,500 milligrams of total THC in the form of a cannabis product, and 300 mg for edible products. 

In an interview with the AP, Steve Bakken, a Burleigh County commissioner and former Bismarck mayor who is leading the legalization effort, said he is backing the reforms because law enforcement resources “should be directed someplace a little more effectual,” such as combating harder drugs, and that initiatives crafted by other groups could wind up being “untenable to work with.” 

In North Dakota, cannabis possession by people under 21-years-old is a low-level misdemeanor while delivery of any amount of cannabis is a felony. Last year, 4,451 people in the state were charged with possessing or ingesting cannabis, according to state data outlined by the AP. 

In 2016, voters approved a medical cannabis legalization ballot measure and the program has about 10,000 active patient ID cards. In 2022, North Dakota voters rejected an adult-use proposal 55%-46% and had previously voted down a similar measure in 2018 59%-41%. 

The group needs to collect 15,582 valid signatures to put the issue on the ballot.

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