According to Bismarck Tribune reporter Nick Smith, Secretary of State Al Jaeger’s office has approved for circulation a petition to legalize medical marijuana. Organizers of the petition drive provided me with a copy of their proposed measure previously. You can read the finalized approved version below.
— Nick Smith (@NSmithReports) November 30, 2015
Organizers will need 13,452 signatures to put their measure on the ballot (and usually a couple of thousand more to be safe as some signatures are always disqualified as illegible or whatever).
For to make it on the June 2016 ballot organizers have to turn the appropriate number of signatures in by February 15. For the November ballot the cut off is July 11.
You can read my analysis of what the measure would do, if passed, right here.
While I’m in favor of legalizing marijuana for medical use – or any damn use, really – I’m not sure it’s a good idea. Minnesota’s experience with legalizing medical marijuana might provide voters here with an object lesson on why this particular flavor of legaliztion might not be a great idea.
That state saw medical marijuana go legal earlier this year, with those authorized to produce and sell it heavily regulated under the law (as they would be under North Dakota’s proposal), and the problem is that the legal marijuana is so expensive and bureaucratically arduous to get that those who it is supposed to be helping are turning again to the black market.
“Price has been a major hurdle for patients in the new medical marijuana program. Monthly costs that can quickly approach hundreds to thousands of dollars have prompted some patients to revert to buying marijuana on the black market,” the Associated Press reported.
The whole point of legalizing marijuana is to defeat the black market. If legalized marijuana doesn’t accomplish that, what’s the point?