In the wake of the pro-cannabis movement in the United States, North Dakota has officially entered the race as (potentially) one of the next states to legalize recreational marijuana if residents vote in favor of Measure 3 this Election Day. Two years ago, in 2016, the country was surprised when the Roughrider State officially legalized medical-grade cannabis through Measure 5. However, what you may not realize is that recreational weed was supposed to be included in this legislation. Initially, the problem arose after the prompt for recreational marijuana was overshadowed by medical signatures. However, after a mere two years, adults 21 and older may have the right to consume the drug and not face criminal charges or imprisonment. So what else will this new measure include? Let’s take a closer look at the heated fight for legalized cannabis in North Dakota.
Opposition and Propaganda
According to Legalize ND Chairman David Owen, public support for Measure 3 is very high. In fact, a poll from The Kitchens Group (conducted in mid-October) revealed that 51% of North Dakota voters fully supported the new measure. However, while younger voters (50 years and under) have voiced strong approval for legalized cannabis, the vote will ultimately rely on the opinions of the older demographic.
However, Own believes the turnout has been fantastic, so far. Measure 3 has reached the North Dakota ballot on a budget less than $10,000 and the committee did not have to pay petitioners. Every activity has been completed by-the-book and to the letter, receiving additional support from people on social media sites. However, propaganda issues have arisen in the past few months thanks to the anti-cannabis group North Dakotans Against the Legalization of Recreational Marijuana (having drawing criticism from The High Points Reader in Fargo).
Native American Rights
One particularly important aspect of Measure 3 is its potential to help indigenous tribes of Native Americans reclaim lost land by cultivating and distributing hemp. In an interview with Leafly, Winona LaDuke (an indigenous hemp farmer and environmental activist) explains that people from the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nations are looking forward to the possibility of legalized marijuana. However, some indigenous groups are cautious due to federal prohibition laws. Another issue is that the MHA Nation overlaps with territory in South Dakota, a state that does not currently have plans to legalize recreational pot.
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