Updated on April 25, 2018.
Medical content reviewed by Dr. Richard Koffler, MD, Board Certified Physiatrist
Nearly 65 percent of voters approved a ballot initiative establishing a medical cannabis program in 2016. However, one of the medical marijuana facts for North Dakota that troubles advocates is that there appears to be a movement to drastically scale back the original initiative. Lawmakers, critics say, were trying to alter the program in such a way that it would bear little resemblance to the measure that voters approved.
Medical Marijuana Facts for North Dakota
- The original ballot initiative that was passed, Measure 5, would make it legal for patients suffering from conditions such as epilepsy, cancer, glaucoma, AIDS and others to possess up to three ounces of medical cannabis. The original sponsor of the bill, Rilie Ray Morgan, is a chronic pain sufferer who became an advocate for medical weed after seeing a CNN report outlining its benefits.
- Senate Bill (SB) 2344, which was being considered in the North Dakota legislature as of February 2017, would change basically all of the language of Measure 5. Supporters of the bill say Measure 5 is unworkable as currently written and would require a great deal of oversight as well as the establishment of new guidelines.
- SB 2344 would charge patients who wished to participate in the state’s medical cannabis program $300. So-called “compassion centers,” or medical weed dispensaries, would have to pay the state a $100,000 certification fee.
- The new bill would make it illegal for patients to smoke weed. Instead, they would only have access to pills, oils and liquid forms of cannabis. They would be able to purchase no more than 2.5 ounces a month and possess no more than three ounces at any one time.
- Measure 5, on the other hand, would allow patients to have up to three ounces of cannabis every two weeks. If a patient lives more than 40 miles from the nearest dispensary, he or she would be able to grow as many as eight plants. Before doing so, the patient would have to notify law enforcement that the cultivation was occurring. Cultivation would have to take place in an enclosed area.
- A supporter of Measure 5 compared it to SB 2344 during a legislative session in February 2017. She used a yellow highlighter to show the differences between the two, according to an article in the Bismarck Tribune. She was illustrating how much of the language of Measure 5 had been taken out and replaced by SB 2344. According to the article, her highlighter ran out of ink halfway through.
- In order to change the wording of Measure 5, two-thirds of the state legislature would need to vote to do so.
At MarijuanaDoctors.com, we will be keeping tabs on medical marijuana facts for North Dakota and all other states and keep you updated. The issue of medical marijuana reform is extremely important and we want to be your go-to source for information. Check back with us often and we’ll help make sure you are kept as well-informed as possible.