Senator Heitkamp Won’t Say Where She Stands on North Dakota’s Measure to Legalize Recreational Marijuana


Recently a SAB reader who attended a discussion on addiction in West Fargo told me they overheard the host of that discussion, Senator Heidi Heitkamp, tell other attendees that Measure 3 is a bad idea.

That measure, if approved by North Dakota voters in November, would make recreational marijuana legal in our state.

Last week, on Wednesday, I reached out to Heitkamp’s Senate and campaign staff to confirm what her position on the measure is.

So far they haven’t responded.

Heitkamp’s opponent, Kevin Cramer, has been asked this question repeatedly during his open segments on my talk radio show (the sort of questioning Heitkamp refuses to participate in). He has said he opposes Measure 3, and would be voting against it, but he’s added that he wants to work at the federal level to empower states to make decisions about marijuana at the local level.

In summary, he is personally opposed to legalizing marijuana, but believes it’s an issue of state’s rights.

Even as states like North Dakota move toward legalizing marijuana to one degree or another (voters here approved a ballot measure in 2016 making medical marijuana legal) the federal government hasn’t changed its policies defining marijuana as a prohibited narcotic without any medical benefit. Federal policy is extremely important for state-level policy.

Heitkamp’s position on marijuana is important for voters to know this election cycle given that they’re asked to make a decision between the incumbent and Cramer. So far, however, she’s not talking about it.