North Dakota May Have Competing Ballot Measures To Legalize Marijuana


Marijuana plants flourish under the lights at a grow house in Denver, Thursday, Nov. 8, 2012. Marijuana legalization votes this week in Colorado and Washington state don't just set up an epic state-federal showdown on drug law for residents. The measures also opens the door for marijuana tourism.(AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

UPDATE: It looks like this measure had to be re-submitted because it was based on old law.

Yesterday we got news that a petition had been filed with the Secretary of State’s office which, if approved, would put a measure legalizing marijuana production, possession, and use on the ballot for voters.

Already circulating is a petition for a ballot measure which would legalize marijuana for medicinal uses, though in an extremely restricted way.

I’m not a big fan of legalizing medicinal marijuana, mostly because I think it’s the wrong debate for the state to have. We ought to be debating full-on legalization of marijuana, and that’s what this latest ballot measure would have us do it seems

You can read the full text of the measure below, which was sent out in a press release by the North Dakota Libertarian Party. They’re apparently backing, or at least endorsing, the measure. The man who filed the petition, Eric Olson, has been a LP candidate on the statewide ballot before.

Compared to the medicinal marijuana measure Рwhich you can read here Рthis is pretty simple stuff. It essentially eliminates from existing criminal code all mention of marijuana and marijuana paraphernalia, and then adds this:


I gotta say that I like it. It’s a straight-forward legalization of marijuana, putting it on mostly equal footing with alcohol (though licenses are required to sell booze), and it leaves the door open for the state to tax only putting in place a cap to prevent a prohibitive tax.

Already, though, law enforcement is sounding alarms:

Cass County Sheriff Paul Laney said he is planning to research the issue over the next few months.

But he said that his impression is that legalization has been bad for the states that have opted for it.

“The addiction issues, the crime issues that have come out of it, I think speak for themselves,” he said.

“I’m not educated enough to go into specifics,” Laney said. “In talking to the law enforcement that I have … they’re not liking what they’re seeing.”

Well of course cops hate anything which might lead to a need for fewer cops. I hardly think we can accept the word of law enforcement on issues like this as objective.

Here’s the full measure: