A lot of hard work in the signature gathering phase has paid off for North Dakota activists who submitted 14,637 valid signatures for their petition to put a legalization measure on the ballot – around 1,200 more than they needed. This was confirmed on Monday by Secretary of State Al Jaeger – meaning North Dakota voters will have the chance to end prohibition in their state with the election on November 6th.
“We applaud the hard work and dedication from the campaign and countless volunteers on the ground in North Dakota who went door to door and out into their communities to gather the signatures required to put this on the ballot in November,” NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri said.
If passed, the measure would amend state law to legalize “non-violent marijuana-related activity” for adults 21 years and older – except for selling to minors. Unlike other states, the law would not put a limit on the amount of cannabis that could be possessed or grown by an individual. It would also create a process for those who were previously convicted of a crime that was legalized by the measure to have their records expunged.
It has only been two years since medical marijuana was legalized in North Dakota during the 2016 presidential election, and officials are still in the process of licensing dispensaries and growing facilities within the state. This new law would create the need for a similar system within the recreational marijuana market, which may motivate the state to push to get the medicinal shops up and running sooner to allow them to sell to recreational consumers temporarily – as other states have done to prevent illegal sales and businesses.
“Marijuana legalization is no longer a regional or partisan issue. Well over 60% of all Americans support ending our nation’s failed prohibition and I expect North Dakota voters to send shockwaves across the country this fall when they join the growing contingent of states who have chosen the sensible path of legalization and regulation over prohibition and incarceration,” said Altieri.
Come November, North Dakota may become one of the next states to join nine others and D.C. in ending cannabis prohibition and turning to the common-sense approach of legalization and regulation.
Soon enough, the majority of the United States will have legalized marijuana not only for medicinal purposes, but for adult use as well because the success of this approach is finally becoming apparent to not only those who are a part of cannabis culture and the newly legal industry, but the rest of the world as well.