There’s a good chance you’ll be seeing recreational marijuana on this November ballot. Over 18,000 petition signatures were turned into the Secretary of State’s office this afternoon.
Boxes and boxes rolled into Al Jaeger’s office. All containing thousands of signatures of North Dakotans in support of fully legalizing marijuana.
“It’s time It’s happening all over America. If a place this red can be this positive for it, it’s just a matter of time before it’s everywhere,” said spokesperson Josh Dryer.
The group behind the push, Legalize ND, started this process in December. But for some, the fight trails back years.
Chairman Dave Owen said, “For me, it has been three and a half long years. And it’s worth every second. We met thousands of people. We got to hear from everybody across the state about why they think this is a good idea.”
In 2016, North Dakota voted to legalize medical marijuana, which still isn’t fully implemented.
They say that’s the exact reason why they’re doing this.
Dryer added, “This state just completely destroyed the bill that was put in place. And personally, I felt like this is going to be a very good loophole.”
The proposed initiated measure will not only legalize marijuana – but expunge those who have previous marijuana charges in North Dakota. It’s a legislation they say has no partisanship.
“There are aspects of it that conservatives like a lot. For example, we spend $41,000 a year to incarcerate someone for a plant. We can send them to UND for 4 years for that price,” said Owen.
If put on the November ballot, Legalize ND says they’re more than confident it would pass statewide.
They only needed a little under 14,000 signatures turned in. But they must all be verified before it’s an official initiated measure.