Measure 2 projected to fail, recreational cannabis will not be legalized statewide
BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - North Dakotans voted to reject Measure 2 by a vote of 55% to 45%, opting not to legalize recreational cannabis statewide for people 21 and older. This is the second time recreational marijuana legalization has been rejected; North Dakota voted down a similar ballot measure in 2018, 59% to 41%. The language of the rejected measure follows:
This initiated measure would create a new chapter of the North Dakota Century Code. It would legalize the production, processing, and sale of cannabis and the possession and use of various forms of cannabis by individuals who are 21 years of age or older, within limitations as to location; direct a state entity to regulate and register businesses that produce or dispense cannabis for use by individuals aged 21 years or older, and the businesses’ agents; permit an individual aged 21 years or older to possess a limited amount of cannabis product; provide protections, limitations, penalties, and employer rights relating to use of cannabis products; and specify that fees are to be appropriated for administration of the chapter.
In 2016, voters approved Measure 5, which allowed for the sale and distribution of medical marijuana for debilitating medical conditions, including cancer, AIDS, hepatitis C, ALS, glaucoma, and epilepsy.
In 2018, a ballot measure that would have legalized recreational cannabis was rejected by North Dakota voters 59% to 41%.
In 2019, the State Legislature passed several marijuana-related bills into law, including one that reduced criminal penalties, and one that expanded the list of debilitating medical conditions.
In 2021, the North Dakota House of Representatives passed HB 1420, which would have legalized recreational marijuana, but it was defeated in the state Senate. Members of the sponsoring committee have said Measure 2 includes the same regulatory structure as that bill.
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