Legalizing Recreational Marijuana on North Dakota’s Ballot Initiative

BISMARCK, ND ( – North Dakota’s top election official announced that a ballot initiative group can collect signatures to legalize recreational marijuana, aiming for a statewide vote in the upcoming fall. The initiative, led by the New Economic Frontier, must gather 15,582 valid signatures by July 8 to qualify for the November general election ballot. Otherwise, they have a year to gather signatures for the next statewide election.

The proposed 20-page statutory measure would allow individuals aged 21 and older to use recreational marijuana at home and on private property with permission. It also includes regulations for production, processing, and home cultivation, while prohibiting public use and consumption in vehicles.

Steve Bakken, a Burleigh County commissioner and former Bismarck mayor, heads the initiative. Despite not being a marijuana user himself, Bakken advocates for reallocating law enforcement resources towards more impactful areas like combating fentanyl and other illicit drugs. The initiative aims to prevent the potential consequences of poorly crafted legislation.

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