Drew Tarvin

North Dakota’s ballot initiative to legalize medical marijuana was approved by the Secretary of State and will be put to voters in November, according to an Associated Press report.

Supporters of the North Dakota Compassionate Care Act turned in more than 17,200 qualified signatures to Secretary of State Al Jaeger yesterday — thousands more than 13,500 needed for the measure to secure a spot on the ballot. Supporters said they spent between 4,000 and 5,000 hours collecting signatures across the state.

“We thought we had a lot of work gathering the signatures from Christmas ’til now and it was. But now we have to win hearts and minds,” Anita Morgan, a member of the Compassionate Care Act Committee said in a WDay 6 report.  

The law, if approved by voters, would allow for state-licensed dispensaries, patients to grow a limited supply, and make it legal for program participants to possess up to 3 ounces of marijuana for medical use.

According to a 2014 poll conducted by the University of North Dakota College of Business and Public Administration commissioned by Forum Communications Co., 47 percent of respondents supported a medical marijuana program, compared to 41 percent opposed, and 9 percent neutral.

Voters in Florida, Montana, and Arkansas will also vote on legalizing medical cannabis in the general election.

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