A new group is forming to fight against recreational marijuana becoming legal in the state. The coalition was announced Thursday, and is made up of several state groups including Greater North Dakota Chamber and law enforcement, as well as the national Smart Approaches to Marijuana, a non-profit.
Measure 3 on this fall's ballot will give North Dakotans a chance to vote on legalizing marijuana. But Luke Niforatos with Smart Approaches to Marijuana is part of a new group aimed at making sure the initiative fails.
“You have nothing to lose by pumping the breaks right now and waiting until we learn a little bit more about marijuana legalization from the states that have legalized,” Niforatos said. “You have everything to lose if you're wrong.”
The coalition, named, North Dakotans Against The Legalization Of Recreational Marijuana, will be out campaigning and spreading their message over the next several months. They will be working in opposition to Legalize ND, the group leading the fight for the passage of measure 3.
“Our support has always been very solid at the grassroots level and at the door to door level,” Dave Owen with Legalize ND said.
Owen says the group has a right to their opinions, but he says they have no new information on the legalization of marijuana.
“It's the same arguments we've been hearing and the same fear tactics they've been using for the past 20 to 30 years,” Owen said.
Niforatos says the whole movement is about more than just legalizing marijuana.
“We're talking about wall street executives in suits and ties who want to make a profit, it's very key that we understand that's what legalization is about,” he said.
Voting on the measure will take place on election day, Nov. 6.