Bismarck, ND: Proponents of a statewide ballot initiative to legalize the adult use of marijuana in North Dakota on Monday turned in nearly 19,000 signatures to the Secretary of State’s office in an effort to place the measure before voters this November. State officials must certify 13,452 of those signatures in order to qualify the measure for the 2018 electoral ballot.
The voter-initiated measure, organized by the grass-roots group Legalize North Dakota, legalizes the possession, use, and sale of cannabis, as well as the possession of marijuana paraphernalia, by those over the age of 21 and also expunges past marijuana convictions.
In 2016, nearly two-thirds of state voters approved a ballot measure regulating medical cannabis access. However, state officials have yet to make the program operational – with regulators now aiming to have licensed dispensaries up and running by June 2019. Activists have acknowledged that regulators’ failure to swiftly implement the 2016 measure was the impetus for the 2018 campaign.
State officials are expected to either verify or reject proponents’ signatures within 30 days. According to internal polling data commissioned by the Legalize North Dakota campaign, a plurality of voters back the measure.
For more information, contact Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director, at (202) 483-5500.