Petitioners Use 4/20 Pushing for Pot Legalization in North Dakota

Marijuana is on the mind of petitioners throughout North Dakota.
April 20th is a day commonly associated with the drug, and people are using the occasion to try to legalize it in North Dakota.

It’s not just pipes and joints that are lighting up.

Petitioners are showing a passion to try and make sure their dream of legalizing marijuana doesn’t go up in smoke.
People at Island Park have two similar proposals to choose from.

One petition is to legalize medical marijuana in North Dakota.

The other is to make pot legal for everyone.

Each petition needs more than 13,000 signatures to get on the November ballot.
“So that people have a choice to vote on it,” says Eric Olson, who organized a petition to legalize recreational marijuana. “It’s democracy.”
Both groups of petitioners came together on 4/20.
“Most people who support one support the other, so we’re collecting signatures together,” Olson adds.
But some people are only supporting one petition.

Jim Schutz only signed the medical marijuana petition.
“It seems to be doing wonderful things for people who have serious diseases,” Schutz adds.
People say they’re not just signing up so they can light up whenever they want.

They say marijuana also brings social, medical, and economic advantages when it’s legalized.
“Keeping the prohibition subsidizes organized crime, contributes to crime and social problems,” claims Olson. “It just ruins people’s lives.”
Becky Muhs organized the medical marijuana petition.

She says she has cancer, and that marijuana is the only treatment she’s taking, and that it’s working.

She travels to states where it’s legal to do so.
“Everything that they have done to me has made me worse, so I’m doing what everybody’s last alternative usually is, I’m doing it first,” Muhs says.
Marcus Allen Koesterman signed both petitions.

He says legalizing lighting up can ignite the economy.
“In the (19)20’s, alcohol got us out of that rut, so why not let Marijuana do this one,” he asks.
Despite the support here at Island Park, opinions are mixed on whether they’ll reach their goal or make marijuana legal for everyone on North Dakota.
“I think we will,” asserts Olson. “We’ve seen some pretty enthusiastic support.”
“Probably not,” says Koesterman. “Fargo’s always the last to go on everything. North Dakota generally is.”

Petitioners must collect the necessary signatures by July 11th, and have them verified by the Secretary of State’s office before either measure can be put up for a vote in November.

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