More than 25,000 signatures were submitted to the North Dakota Secretary of State on Monday in hopes of getting a recreational marijuana-use measure on the November ballot.
The petition was approved by Secretary of State Al Jaeger in April, according to a news release from the group New Approach North Dakota.
The group is asking for a statutory change and not a constitutional one, David Owen, campaign manager for the organization, told The Center Square. Statutory ballot questions require 15,582 signatures as opposed to constitutional ballot questions, which require more than 31,000. New Approach North Dakota collected 10,000 more than needed, Owen said.
The ballot question asks voters if they want to allows adults 21 and over to possess a limited amount of marijuana and purchase it from registered business. The proposal also requires cannabis testing and a seed-to-seed inventory tracking system.
If the measure is approved by Jaeger and wins the support of voters in November, it will become law 30 days later. The Legislature would decide how the law would be enforced, according to the petition.
The House of Representatives passed a bill in 2021 that would have legalized recreational cannabis but the measure failed in the Senate. The Department of Health would have needed $1.2 million during the 2021-2023 biennium to establish a monitoring and licensing program and an additional $2 million in the 2023-2025 biennium, according to the bill’s fiscal note.[ Read more at The Center Square]