Medical marijuana supporters in North Dakota are circulating a citizen initiative to put the issue on the November general election ballot. The ND Legislature has never addressed a medical marijuana initiative before. In neighboring South Dakota, medical marijuana initiatives have been rejected in 2006 and 2010.
On Monday, campaign director for a pro-medical marijuana group North Dakotans for Compassionate Care Dave Schwartz delivered petitions that contained over 20,000 signatures in support of the initiative to the Secretary of State’s office.
The group needed only 13,500 signatures from voters to qualify to have the initiative put to a vote of the people. The Secretary of State has a little less than a month to determine whether enough valid signatures were submitted.
Should the measure make it to the ballot and be approved by voters, patients suffering from PTSD, glaucoma, cancer, and other debilitating illnesses would be able to receive a doctor’s recommendation to use marijuana to treat their symptoms.
Patients would also be able to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana and grow small amounts at their homes.
The North Dakota Health Department would oversee state approved collectives throughout the state.
Schwartz believes that the measure stands a chance of being passed by voters. “Some of the myths that we often hear is that, this is only for people to just go ahead and get high, and that’s not the case. This is about medical patients that would benefit greatly from it.”