Measure 2 has been defeated, but medical marijuana patient applications are now being accepted
Last update: November 27, 2018
Disappointingly, North Dakotans voted 59.5% to 40.5% to defeat Measure 2, a ballot initiative that would have legalized marijuana for adults and allowed for the sealing of records for individuals with prior marijuana offenses. The largely grassroots campaign put up an impressive fight after being significantly outspent by prohibitionist groups like Project SAM. Despite the loss, the results show that a large portion of North Dakotans are tired of the state’s failed status quo on marijuana policy.
MPP thanks Legalize ND, NORML, and the many advocates who worked tirelessly to get Measure 2 on the ballot and persuaded over 130,000 North Dakotans to say “yes” to marijuana legalization. 2018 was not the year, but prohibition’s days are numbered in North Dakota.
In other news, at the end of October, the North Dakota Department of Health began accepting medical marijuana patient applications. You can get more information about the program and submit an online patient application on the department’s website here. Once submitted, the healthcare provider has up to 90 days to certify the application. Medical marijuana products are expected to be available to registered patients in dispensaries by December or January.
Decriminalization and prohibition
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 a fine of up to $2,000.
These severe penalties disproportionately affect racial minorities. 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 asking 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.
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.