Last Update: February 3, 2014
North Dakota lags behind neighbors on marijuana policies
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.
Last year came and went without any discussion of sensible marijuana policy reform, and 2014 will see no regular session for the North Dakota legislature. Let your legislators know that, when they come back next year, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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.
To stay updated on the status of marijuana policy reform in North Dakota, be sure to subscribe to MPP’s free legislative alert service.