I received the following news out of North Dakota today. If you live in North Dakota, now is the time to contact your Representatives and let them know that they need to respect the will of voters. Improving on what voters approved is fine, but moving the initiative backwards is a huge slap in the face to voters and patients:
Today, the North Dakota Senate approved SB 2344, a bill that significantly alters the voter-approved medical marijuana program. While there are some positive attributes to the bill — such as a provision that adds legal protections for patients — if the bill passes as is, the program will be incredibly expensive for patients and will unduly restrict access to whole plant cannabis. Please tell your state representative you want to see this bill look more like Measure 5!
SB 2344 would potentially allow some patients access to whole plant cannabis, but it is so limited, it may serve as a de facto ban. The bill also eliminates the limited home cultivation provision and the addition of new qualifying conditions to the program. Further, the bill would only allow only eight dispensaries statewide and limit plant counts, virtually guaranteeing shortages, driving up prices, and denying patients the medicine they need. There is no statewide cap on the number of pharmacies, so why should there be a cap on dispensaries?
I have only listed some of the concerns we have with the bill — many more remain. That is why I urge you to contact your state representative and tell them to place patients first by working to enact compassionate amendments that protect and show compassion for the most vulnerable populations in the state. Please take action and spread the word by forwarding this message along to your friends and family.
Marijuana Policy Project