States that have both a medical marijuana law and have removed jail time for possessing small amounts of marijuana
Last update: August 15, 2023
As neighboring Minnesota ramps up legalization program, the future of cannabis reform remains unclear in ND
With the lowest voter turnout of any general election in at least 40 years, the statutory initiative to legalize cannabis for adults known as Measure 2 was rejected 54.9% to 45.1% on the November 2022 ballot. After a successful signature drive in the summer, MPP led the Yes on 2 campaign in the fall, facing a tough opposition effort that had the backing of local law enforcement groups and religious organizations.
The 2022 ballot initiative was largely based on a legislative proposal to establish an adult-use cannabis market that passed in the conservative North Dakota House of Representatives. That bill, HB 1420, was ultimately rejected in the North Dakota Senate. Legislators may consider the issue again in 2023. Advocates are also hopeful that legislators may decide to expand the state’s cannabis decriminalization policy that was approved by lawmakers in 2019.
Adult-use legalization measure will appear on this year’s ballot
After filing petition language in April, New Approach North Dakota completed its signature drive in July, submitting more than 10,000 signatures over the required number of 15,582 to qualify its statutory adult-use legalization measure for the November 2022 ballot. In mid-August the North Dakota Sec. of State officially certified that over 23,000 valid signatures had been submitted by the campaign.
MPP’s Jared Moffat, New Approach ND’s campaign manager David Owen, and supporters in front of the North Dakota State Capitol on the day petitions were submitted.
The language of the 2022 ballot measure is largely based on House Bill 1420, legislation passed by the conservative North Dakota House of Representatives in 2021 and later defeated in the state senate. If approved by a majority of voters later this year, the measure would:
Allow adults 21 and older to possess up to an ounce of cannabis and cultivate up to three plants in their homes;
Establish retail cannabis stores, product manufacturers, testing laboratories, and other types of cannabis businesses; and
Direct regulators to establish rules and implement the adult-use cannabis program by October 1, 2023.
Earlier today, a committee of 25 North Dakotans filed a 2022 ballot initiative petition to legalize cannabis. After a review by the Secretary of State and Attorney General, New Approach North Dakota will begin collecting signatures from voters. The campaign must gather more than 15,582 valid signatures by July 11 to qualify the measure for the November 2022 ballot.