North Dakota OKs marijuana legalization petition format

April 22, 2022 GMT

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger has approved the formatting of a petition for a proposed ballot measure to legalize recreational marijuana in the state.

The sponsoring committee behind the petition must obtain 15,582 valid signatures by July 11 for the measure to be placed on November’s ballot. That figure amounts to 2% of North Dakota’s population. If supporters miss that deadline but obtain the signatures by April 21, 2023, the measure could be placed on the June 2024 ballot or come to a vote if a special election occurs before then.

The proposed measure seeks to allow people age 21 or older to purchase and use marijuana under certain conditions, the Bismarck Tribune reported. It also sets up the framework for the sale of marijuana within North Dakota, a process that would be implemented by the state Department of Health and Human Services or another entity as determined by the Legislature. The department could register up to seven marijuana manufacturing businesses and 18 dispensaries.

Similar petition drives have failed twice in recent years to gather enough signatures to place a measure on the ballot.