Back in May a ballot measure, proposing an amendment to the state constitution legalizing recreational marijuana, was submitted to the Secretary of State’s office for approval to circulate.
It was then withdrawn with the organizers saying they needed to fix the language. Which was a good thing because language looked like it was something slapped together by someone who was, well, high on marijuana.
That the sponsoring committee for the measure had a laundry list of criminal convictions in their backgrounds – including charges for felony terrorizing and sexual assault – didn’t help either.
Now a new constitutional amendment to legalize recreational marijuana has been submitted to the Secretary of State’s office. The language is cleaned up, and there appears to have been quite a bit of turnover in the sponsoring committee as well.
You can read the full release from the SoS office below, but here’s the language they’re proposing to add to the state constitution:
That’s certainly much better than the previous proposal, though to my mind this sort of language should be in state statute. Not the constitution.
Anyway, we seem set to have competing ballot measures to legalize marijuana this election cycle. The folks at Legalize ND – the organization behind last year’s Measure 3 which failed at the ballot box by a wide margin – are also working up another proposal. They’ve released some details, but they haven’t yet submitted anything officially.
I don’t think it’s at all wise for the pro-marijuana folks to be competing like this. Publicly each side has said their proposal won’t conflict with the other, but I’m not sure that’s true. We could create a real mess if voters approve two measures to legalize recreational marijuana which aren’t compatible.
But more likely than that, two proposals will probably just confuse voters, and make them more likely to default to a status quo position on the question of legalizing recreational marijuana with a no vote.
The Secretary of State’s office has until July 23 complete their review of the proposed measure and, if approved, release the petition for circulation. They will need 26,904 signatures to put this before voters, and they’ll have one year from the date it was approved for circulation to collect them.