A North Dakota group is renewing efforts to legalize cannabis in the state through the ballot process after a previous effort failed to gather enough signatures earlier this year, KVRR reports. Advocates will need to get a minimum of 16,000 valid signatures to advance their petition but are aiming to get between 20,000 and 21,000, Dana Owen, campaign manager for New Approach North Dakota, told KVRR.
“The question today is not do you support or do you oppose recreational marijuana, that question will come later. The question today we have is should people have the right to vote on recreational marijuana and I think those are two fundamentally different questions that people don’t understand.” – Owen to KVRR
The group’s bill is similar to one passed by the state House in 2018 that was never considered by the Senate.
“We thought the people deserved to have a vote on it so we took the bill, made some small strategic changes, we submitted it to the Secretary of State and now we’re approved to start circulating here,” Owen said in the report.
The campaign is seeking to get the question on 2022 ballots, so they must submit enough valid signatures to the Secretary of State’s office by mid-July.
Owen described the proposal as a “restricted” and “controlled” legalization proposal which he does not anticipate “a lot of problems.”
“It’s important to have the conversation because states are the testing ground for policy,” Owen said, “and the state of North Dakota has the power and authority to set policy that works best for its people.”
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