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A measure to legalize marijuana could be on North Dakota’s 2022 ballot

BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) – Legalizing marijuana has always been a hot button issue, yet it wasn’t on the ballot in North Dakota last general election.

Now, those who want to see recreational cannabis legalized are getting ahead on ensuring it’s an option in 2022.

A sponsoring committee seeking to legalize personal possession of cannabis has brought forward a proposed petition to Secretary of State Al Jaeger.

If Secretary Jaeger approves the petition, they’ll have an entire year to gather 26,904 signatures in order to be placed on the ballot. The committee is looking to legalize the possession and growth of up to 12 marijuana plants for those 21 or older.

Some said they’d cast their vote in support of it. “I think that people should be aware that it actually helps some people.

They’re less negative side effects compared to drinking alcohol,” said future voter Samantha Dinga. However, others think it’s not a good idea.

“I voted no last time because it’s just going to cause a lot of confusion and I’m pretty sure once it does become legalized, they’re going to try to push it to other place,” said voter Shelby Bauer.

But there could be some windows of opportunity for the measure to pass.

Montana and South Dakota voters chose to legalize marijuana in the most recent election, making access to the plant closer to North Dakota’s borders than ever.

“There’s lots of people that go to Colorado, per say, and come back with a little stash from their vacation,” said Sponsoring Committee Chair Jody Vetter.

Chair Jody Vetter added she hopes people’s attitudes towards cannabis are changing as more states legalize medical and recreational usage.

“My whole life it’s been illegal and taboo and I’ve found that what we’re told doesn’t really correlate with actually happens,” said Vetter.

In 2018, a similar measure failed with 59% of voters rejecting the proposal.

The old measure included a provision that would wipe out past drug convictions for marijuana.

The new measure is taking the issue one step at a time and only tackling the legalization of small amounts of personally possessed cannabis.

Secretary of State Al Jaeger and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem have until Jan. 24 to draft a petition title for the committee’s proposal.

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