North Dakota could soon be surrounded by legalized marijuana

To the north is Canada, which legalized marijuana nationally.

“I think it shows that it’s not a left-wing or right-wing issue, it’s a commonsense issue,” said David Owen, who led the unsuccessful attempt in 2018 to legalize recreational marijuana in North Dakota as chairman of Legalize ND.

“People support legalization when they become fully informed,” he said.

Owen said there could possibly be moves in the North Dakota Legislature’s next session that starts in January to at least fully decriminalize possession of a small amount of marijuana.

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If not, he said the troops of supporters will likely try to gather enough signatures to put the issue on the ballot again in 2022. In 2018 after a heated campaign, the measure failed by a 59% to 41% margin.

It likely would have been on the ballot this year, but Owen said because of the coronavirus pandemic and limited crowds and interactions, they didn’t even try to collect the signatures needed.

“There just weren’t any big events where we could gather the signatures,” he said.

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