This November, Measure 3 will be on the ballot in North Dakota to prohibit the prosecution of any person over the age of 21 for any nonviolent, marijuana-related activity and seal the records of adults with past nonviolent marijuana charges. The measure also would add penalties for individuals under the age of twenty-one in possession of, or attempting to distribute, marijuana; and provide penalties for individuals who distribute marijuana to anyone under the age of twenty-one.
The most recent poll finds voters in support of passage, 51-36 percent.
This poll distinguishes itself from earlier polling by questioning respondents using the language found on the Nov. 6 ballot. The poll was conducted by the Kitchens Group from Oct 11 through Oct 14, and cites a 4.9% margin of error.
NORML Executive Director Erik Altieri stated:
“Despite a big-money funded misinformation campaign from the opposition, this poll reveals that most North Dakotans are ready to end the failed prohibition of marijuana in the state. By voting ‘Yes’ on Measure 3, North Dakotans could save the state millions of taxpayer dollars currently being spent on arresting otherwise law-abiding adults for possession of a plant that is objectively less harmful than legal alcohol and tobacco, allow law enforcement to allocate their limited resources to focus on violent crime, and defend individual freedom. A majority of residents already support this sensible move and we expect more undecided voters will choose to join them on Election Day.”
Commenting on the poll’s findings, Legalize ND campaign advisor Cole Haymond said:
“The message of ending marijuana arrests is resounding in North Dakota, and these results demonstrate that voters are hearing our call for action. This is a dogfight, and LegalizeND will continue to set the record straight when it comes to adult-use Marijuana. The people of North Dakota believe in personal freedom and criminal justice reform. Marijuana prohibition has hurt this state and our nation as a whole, and North Dakotans believe it’s time to end that failed practice in the state once and for all.”
If Measure 3 is approved, North Dakota would join the nine states plus the District of Columbia and the Northern Mariana Islands who have legalized marijuana for personal use. Legalize ND argues the measure would have a strong positive impact across the state, highlighting potential benefits to law enforcement, the state agricultural industry, and the funding of education and infrastructure through tax revenue.
States that have legalized marijuana have seen significant reductions in opioid abuse and overdose fatalities, and Legalize ND is optimistic that legalization could have a similar impact in North Dakota.
Legalize ND is quick to point out that driving under the influence and distribution to minors will remain illegal and strengthened if Measure 3 is approved, and that current laws regarding smoking in public will apply to marijuana as well.
If approved by voters on November 6, the provisions of Measure 3 related to ending criminal penalties for marijuana would go into effect 30 days after the measure’s approval. Within 60 days of approval, the state must seal the records of individuals with previous non-violent marijuana charges.
Regarding reform more broadly in the US:
Thirty-one states, Washington, D.C. and the U.S. territories of Guam and Puerto Rico have enacted legislation specific to the physician-authorized use of cannabis. Moreover, an estimated 63 million Americans now reside in the nine states where anyone over the age of 21 may possess cannabis legally. An additional 15 states have passed laws specific to the possession of cannabidiol (CBD) oil for therapeutic purposes.
Sixty-eight percent of registered voters “support the legalization of marijuana,” according to national polling data compiled by the Center for American Progress. The percentage is the highest level of support for legalization ever reported in a nationwide, scientific poll.
Majorities of Democrats (77 percent), Independents (62 percent), and Republicans (57 percent) back legalization. The results of a 2017 nationwide Gallup poll similarly found majority support among all three groups.
To date, these statewide regulatory programs are operating largely as voters and politicians intended. The enactment of these policies have not negatively impacted workplace safety, crime rates, traffic safety, or youth use patterns. They have stimulated economic development and created hundreds of millions of dollars in new tax revenue.
Specifically, a 2017 report estimates that over 149,000 Americans are now working full-time in the cannabis industry. Tax revenues from states like Colorado, Oregon, and Washington now exceed initial projections. Further, numerous studies have identified an association between cannabis access and lower rates of opioid use, abuse, hospitalizations, and mortality.
NORML‘s mission is to move public opinion sufficiently to legalize the responsible use of marijuana by adults, and to serve as an advocate for consumers to assure they have access to high-quality marijuana that is safe, convenient, and affordable.
Find out more at www.norml.org, see our factsheets at www.norml.org/marijuana/fact-