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North Dakota Medical Marijuana Petitions Handed In

Submitted by Phillip Smith on (Issue #746)
Politics & Advocacy

North Dakota could be voting on medical marijuana in November. Proponents of a medical marijuana initiative there handed in about 20,000 signatures to the secretary of state's office Monday.

Fargo, North Dakota's largest city, barely tops 100,000 people. (
They need 13,500 valid voter signatures to qualify for the ballot. Election officials have about a month to review the signatures and decide whether they are valid.

Sponsored by North Dakotans for Compassionate Care, the initiative would allow people suffering from specified illnesses -- including cancer, glaucoma, and PTSD -- to use marijuana with a doctor's recommendation. Patients could possess up to 2 ½ ounces and could grow up to 12 plants in an enclosed, locked space. Designated caregivers who grow for more than one patient are limited to 30 plants.

The initiative also contains provisions for cultivation, processing, and distribution centers, or dispensaries. Such "medical marijuana organizations" would be registered with the state.

Medical marijuana has never come before the North Dakota legislature, and this is the first time a serious effort through the initiative process has been undertaken. Neighboring South Dakota is the only state to defeat an initiative legalizing medical marijuana, and has done so twice.

Seventeen states and the District of Columbia have medical marijuana laws, including North Dakota's Western neighbor, Montana.

Dave Schwartz, the group's treasurer, said he believed public attitudes about medical marijuana in North Dakota have shifted in favor of those who advocate for it. Many people know someone  who has suffered from chronic pain, a debilitating illness, or cancer chemotherapy, and there is growing knowledge that marijuana can help, he told the Associated Press.

"Some of the myths that we often hear is that, this is only for people to just go ahead and get high, and that's not the case," Schwartz said. "This is about medical patients that would benefit greatly from it."

Permission to Reprint: This content is licensed under a modified Creative Commons Attribution license. Content of a purely educational nature in Drug War Chronicle appear courtesy of DRCNet Foundation, unless otherwise noted.


Jeff Brown (not verified)

People are waking up to all the lies about cannabis. It is not the dangerous substance the government has been saying it is. It is a benign herb and has been used as a medical herb for thousands of years. In fact pharmaceutical companies in this country at one time sold preparations made from cannabis. Not only is it a healing herb but it has fed, clothed, and sheltered mankind. In fact cannabis is the most useful plant on the planet

Thu, 08/09/2012 - 1:03pm Permalink
weed man (not verified)

it might be a good thing to bring medical cannabis to north dakota not only is it helping patients but it may boost the economy bringing in large amounts of money.

Sat, 08/18/2012 - 1:48am Permalink
Peppy Lapu (not verified)

Everyone has very good points about marijuana it is and always will be a healing plant and nothing more or less. i will be very pleased to see nd pass this law, and see America come the much closer to quiting the longest most expensive and pointless war known in history to this day.... THE WAR ON DRUGS. Because i will be damned if i go to jail lonerg then a murderer and rapist for growing a plan.t people need to open there eyes to the real crimes instead of sheltering there mined to all the lies the government feeds them about weed!    Humanity almost makes me sick.

Wed, 08/22/2012 - 10:00am Permalink

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