North Dakota Says Yes to Medical Marijuana and No to a Tobacco Tax Hike

medical marijuana

Marsy’s Law (Measure 3) winning on the statewide ballot is downright depressing for those concerned with just outcomes in the criminal justice system, but the other measures on the statewide ballot had some surprises as well.

I expected Measures 1 and 2 – constitutional amendments to require lawmakers to live in their districts and to loosen up funds in the state’s K-12 education piggy bank, respectively – to pass easily, and they did.

I did not, however, expect North Dakotans to vote overwhelmingly for medical marijuana and against a tobacco tax hike.

As I write this over 61 percent of North Dakotans have said “no” to a Measure 4, a 400 percent increase in the cigarette tax, and over 64 percent have said “yes” to Measure 5 legalizing medical marijuana.

I was against Measure 5, but its passage doesn’t break my heart. My problem with the measure is the manner of marijuana legalization. It creates far too much bureaucracy. I’d rather a cleaner sort of legalization, but whatever. It’s a step in the right direction, I suppose. The next step, hopefully, will be to begin stripping some of its more ridiculous regulations out.

Measure 4 really surprises me, though. The anti-tobacco gestapo has been very successful on the statewide ballot before, but they got slaughtered on this one.

I wonder if measure lumping vaping products in with traditional tobacco products was a non-starter for voters. The anti-smoking folks – our modern day puritans – seem to hate vaping simply because it kind of looks like smoking. But I think most in the public recognize that vaping isn’t the same thing as traditional tobacco use.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and host of the Plain Talk Podcast which you can subscribe to by clicking here.

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