North Dakota should make it official with recreational marijuana: Vote to approve – InForumPosted by On

In 2018, North Dakotans voted against legalizing recreational marijuana. Back then, the measure failed 59% to 41%.

Times are quickly changing. Today, 19 states have legalized recreational marijuana. Canada — the entire country — also now says it’s OK to possess and use marijuana recreationally.

So when North Dakotans revisit the proposal on Nov. 8, how should they vote? We say vote “yes,” and finally make official what so many people across the world already are recognizing: that marijuana should be a legal substance, just like alcohol, for those 21 and older. It also should be regulated and taxed, which isn’t happening now.

This is an issue that North Dakotans discuss often. It lost in 2018 in the statewide ballot, of course, but then in 2019, Gov. Doug Burgum signed a bill to decriminalize low-level marijuana possession in the state.

Legalization lost again when it was brought up in the 2021 session of the state Legislature. HB 1420 would have created a legalized marijuana program and allowed adults over age 21 to possess and use marijuana products. It passed in the state House of Representatives 56-38 but failed in the Senate, 37-10.

We don’t put much credence in the legislative vote, since we believe some lawmakers are, at heart, OK with the idea but perhaps don’t want their names attached to something that could stir controversy. Even as the measure lost, some lawmakers noted the inevitability of…

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