After several months of campaigning and uncertainty, the state of North Dakota will get their chance to decide whether or not to legalize medical marijuana this November. The initiative that made the ballot will create a fully functioning medical marijuana program that would allow full strength medical cannabis for a dozen or so medical conditions. As it stands now, the only patients who can legally use medical marijuana can only use the limited form of CBD oil that has virtually no THC at all – and while this is effective for some, cannabidiol tends to work best when paired with THC.
Opponents to the initiative claim that the cost of the program is more than the state can handle – expecting it to cost at least $3.5 million to get things up and running, along with a large number of workers. Rather than looking at the positives – patients with legal access to medicine they need, job creation and new revenue – they would rather look at the initial cost to get the ball rolling and use that as an excuse for not doing anything at all. This clearly isn’t sitting well with parents who are hoping to see their child have access to medical marijuana if this initiative is voted in.
“At what cost is my child and these other children’s lives worth?,” Wiese-Trenbeath said of the costs. “The start-up will be expensive, but in the long run they will save money and lives. We are 100 percent behind the times. It’s time to catch up.”
The initiative, if it passes, would legalize possession of up to three ounces of medical marijuana for treatment purposes. It would also create licensed cultivation, testing and retail facilities, all under the watch of the state’s Health Department. For patients who live 40 miles or more from the nearest dispensary, home growing will be an option, allowing up to 8 plants as long as they notify their local law enforcement and keep the cannabis grown in an enclosed place where it will not be seen by the public.
For many patients, this law initiative is long awaited and overall it seems to be fairly well received – on the other hand, a campaign hoping to legalize recreational marijuana in the state has had to put their petition gathering off for the 2018 election as they are about 20% short on the required number of signatures to qualify. Hopefully enough voters will turn out in support and, by this time next year, medical marijuana will be legal in the state of North Dakota.