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North Dakota Likely To Let Ballot Determine Medical Pot Initiative

North Dakota Likely To Let Ballot Determine Medical Pot Initiative

Posted by Marijuana Doctors on 08/06/2012 in Medical Marijuana News

This fall, North Dakota voters are going to likely have the chance of deciding whether or not marijuana may be used legally as a pain reliever or alleviator in regards to medical conditions. This current situation and voting opportunity is an option that the North Dakota Legislature has never addressed and something the South Dakotans have shot down twice.

Vast and die-hard supports for medical marijuana in the state of North Dakota have been frantically circulating a citizen-induced initiative in order to put the issue on the November 2012 ballot. Dave Schwartz, campaign director for a pro-medical marijuana advocacy group called North Dakotans for Compassionate Care, delivered petitions on Monday that he had said contained nearly 20,000 signatures to North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger’s office. In order for a citizen-induced initiative to qualify for a vote on the state ballot, 13,500 signatures are required. Secretary of State Jaeger now has a month’s time to review the petitions and decide whether or not they are valid and qualifying.

If passed, this measure would allow individuals within the state of North Dakota who suffer from cancer, glaucoma, post-traumatic stress disorder or any other qualifying debilitating condition or illness, to use medical marijuana after a successful board-certified doctor evaluation and recommendation.  Under this act, medical marijuana users could also grow a limited supply for their own personal use, as well as possess up to two and a half ounces of marijuana for medicinal purposes only. As for those who pass an evaluation and receive a recommendation, going to a state-licensed dispensary, which is monitored and regulated by the North Dakota Health Department, would complete the process of obtaining the drug. The North Dakota Health Department was given all out-right regulatory responsibility over the medical marijuana program if passed in the state.

Many people in this country, as well as the state of North Dakota, know someone who has suffered from chronic pain, a debilitating disease or cancer-related chemotherapy, and we all know that due to it’s medicinal benefits, marijuana can be extremely useful in relieving and alleviating both the pain and the nausea. Most people see the stigmatism associated with marijuana, but on the contrary of just getting high, this situation is about the medical patients who would truly benefit greatly from this alternative medicine and you can only hope North Dakota voters can comprehend that.

South Dakota voters have rejected medical marijuana initiatives that have been proposed twice, once coming in 2006 and once in 2010. In 2006, nearly 52% of South Dakota voters opposed the idea, but that fraction of no’s grew greatly in 2010 to a whopping 63%. All things aside, you must hope the best for those in need of this medicine in North Dakota, it’s up to the citizens now. 

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