North Dakota Advocates Working to Put Adult-Use Cannabis Question on November Ballots

Cannabis advocates in North Dakota submitted a petition to put an adult-use cannabis question before voters this November; the campaign needs to collect 16,000 valid signatures by July 8 to qualify.

Full story after the jump.

Advocates in North Dakota on Tuesday submitted a petition to place an adult-use cannabis question to voters during the upcoming General Election, the North Dakota Monitor reports. The campaign needs to collect 16,000 valid signatures by July 8 to get the issue on November ballots. 

Steve Bakken, Burleigh County Commissioner and former Bismarck mayor, is chair of the initiated measure’s sponsoring committee. 

“Cannabis legalization is coming, and it’s coming fast. We’ve got a choice here – let out-of-state interests call the shots, or take the lead ourselves. We’ve carefully crafted this initiative right here in North Dakota, making sure it fits what our community really needs. Let’s embrace this opportunity the North Dakota way, with common sense and local input guiding the way.” — Bakken, in a statement, via the Grand Cities 

The committee notes that the proposal calls for lower possession limits than neighboring Minnesota and Montana based on different product types. The proposal would allow adults 21-and-older to cultivate three plants per person, up to six per household.  

Mark Friese, an attorney and former police officer who serves as a member of the sponsoring committee told the Monitor that “a ton of resources” go into investigating and prosecuting cannabis crimes in the state and that those resources could be better utilized for investigations into drugs like fentanyl and methamphetamine.  

“Lumping marijuana into that group and labeling marijuana offenders the same way that we do is just bad policy,” he told the Monitor. 

In 2022, North Dakota voters rejected an adult-use proposal 55%-46% and had previously voted down a similar measure in 2018 59%-41%. 


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