The following information was released by New Approach North Dakota:
A committee of North Dakotans, including a former police officer, a state legislator and military service member, a farmer, and other local leaders, filed an initiative petition with the North Dakota Secretary of State today in Bismarck to place a cannabis legalization measure on the November 2022 ballot
Bismarck, ND — Earlier today, a group of 25 North Dakotans filed a 2022 ballot measure petition to legalize cannabis in North Dakota. After a review by the Secretary of State and Attorney General, New Approach North Dakota will begin collecting signatures from voters. The campaign must gather more than 15,582 valid signatures by July 11 to qualify the measure for the November 2022 ballot.
The proposal would allow adults 21 and older to possess limited amounts of cannabis and purchase products from registered cannabis establishments in North Dakota. The measure would put policies in place to regulate retail stores, cultivators, and other types of cannabis businesses. Prior to being sold to consumers, cannabis products must be tested for contaminants, labeled, and tracked through a seed-to-sale inventory system.
Mark Friese, a Fargo-based criminal defense attorney and former police officer who is serving as campaign treasurer, issued the following statement:
“North Dakota’s policy of punishing adults who use cannabis is the wrong approach. No one’s life should be derailed over a small amount of marijuana. As an attorney and former member of law enforcement, I’ve seen how keeping cannabis illegal drains resources from our police departments and clogs our courts. Our ballot measure is thoughtful and well-crafted, and I’m confident voters will approve it this November.”
Matthew Ruby, State Representative for District 40 and active service member in the military, is a member of the campaign’s sponsoring committee and provided the following statement:
“As a member of the military community, I support this measure because it removes barriers for North Dakota veterans and other people with health conditions who need access to cannabis for therapeutic reasons. It will also create good jobs and new economic opportunities for farmers in our state. With reasonable controls and regulations in place, this measure represents a responsible approach to legalization. Our neighbors in Montana are demonstrating that cannabis legalization can work successfully. Now it’s our turn to move forward.”
David Owen, a long-time leader of the cannabis reform movement in North Dakota, is the chair of the initiated measure sponsoring committee and will serve as campaign manager. He provided the following statement:
“This is direct democracy in action. We’re excited to launch our signature drive, start talking with voters, and begin building support for our measure across the state. I encourage all North Dakotans who believe it’s time to legalize cannabis to get involved and join the effort by visiting our website, signing up to volunteer, and following our campaign on social media.”
The full text of the initiative language filed with the North Dakota Secretary of State can be found at: www.NewApproachND.org/measure.
The campaign is supported by national cannabis policy reform organizations, including the Marijuana Policy Project, which has played a central role in passing dozens of cannabis policy reforms in states across the country, including 10 successful adult-use legalization campaigns.
The campaign also announced that it will be hiring full-time and part-time petition circulators who will begin collecting signatures late next week. Potential applicants are encouraged to apply through the campaign’s website at: www.NewApproachND.org/jobs.
New Approach North Dakota is a registered ballot measure committee working to pass a 2022 ballot measure to legalize and regulate cannabis for adults 21 and older in North Dakota. More information can be found at: www.NewApproachND.org.
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