North Dakota lags behind neighbors on marijuana policies

 

Last update: July 21, 2015

 

North Dakota’s eastern neighbor stopped jailing adults for simple possession of marijuana back in 1976, while its neighbor to the west has had a medical marijuana law for nearly a decade. But in North Dakota, marijuana users — including those using marijuana to treat debilitating pain or the effects of cancer — are still branded criminals.

This year’s session of the Legislative Assembly saw the introduction of positive legislation, which was encouraging. House Bill 1430, supported by a bipartisan group of seven legislators, would have created a comprehensive medical marijuana system for North Dakotans. Unfortunately, the bill failed in the House, and the regular legislative session has now adjourned. Let your legislators know that, when they reconvene for the 2017 session, it will be time to stand up for compassionate and sensible policies. Ask your legislators to support protecting patients who use marijuana according to their doctors’ recommendations.

If you support reform and are a medical professional, a seriously ill patient who might benefit from medical marijuana, a law enforcement official, a clergy member, or a member of the legal community, or you know someone else that is, please email [email protected] to see how you can be of special help. Please include your address or nine-digit ZIP code.


ACLU study shows North Dakota’s harsh marijuana laws result in racially disproportionate arrest rates

 

North Dakota has some of the harshest marijuana laws in the country. First offense possession of even a single joint is punishable by up to a year in prison and up to a $2,000 fine.

A 2013 study by the American Civil Liberties Union found that although blacks and whites use marijuana at nearly identical rates, blacks in North Dakota are 4.4 times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana possession.

Please take a moment to send a letter to your legislators asking them to reduce the penalty for possession of marijuana to a civil fine or ask them to end marijuana prohibition entirely.


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