Petition for Medical Marijuana Turned in Today
An effort to legalize marijuana in North Dakota has failed after supporters failed to get enough signatures.
However, the campaign to legalize medical marijuana for patients suffering from some of the most devastating conditions has enough signatures.
The petition to put the Compassionate Care Act on the 2016 state ballot in November was just turned in Monday after months of gathering signatures.
To be added to the ballot the petition needs to have 13,400 signatures, and organizers say they have more than 15,000.
Gubernatorial candidate Marty Riske supports the legislation saying marijuana is a safe alternative to many prescription drugs like opiates.
“This is for a plant that is nonlethal. There is no documented case of anyone ever ingesting too much marijuana and dying from it, Riske said.
Minnesota has already passed medical marijuana laws which are relatively strict compared to other states.
Advocates for the Compassionate Care Act hope to have looser restrictions in North Dakota.
The Compassionate care act would create a system for medical marijuana in the state similar to that of Delaware.
Patients could posses up to three ounces of marijuana at a time and patients living farther than 40 miles to a dispensary could grow their own plants.
“It’s pretty detailed and pretty, you know all the I’s are dotted and the T’s are crossed on this. The details have been pretty well worked out on this believe me,” said Committee Chairperson for the Compassionate Care Act Rilie Ray Morgan.
Public opinion in North Dakota is pretty split but Riske and Morgan believe by educating the public the bill stands a chance of being passed.
“You’re not sick so you don’t really care that much, but please have mercy on the people who are sick and are helped by it,” said Riske.
“We know we have work ahead of us to do, to educate and inform the public of North Dakota exactly what the benefits are going to be,” Morgan sated.
The petition has 30 days to be approved and if it is medical marijuana advocates will still have quite a lot of work ahead of them.
Morgan says the measure currently has just 30% support.