North Dakota Will Vote on Cannabis Legalization in November

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Supporters of legalizing recreational marijuana in North Dakota have succeeded in bringing the matter to a public vote later this year.

Secretary of State Al Jaeger says proponents submitted more than enough valid petition signatures to get a measure on the November general election ballot.

Supporters needed to submit about 13,500 valid signatures. They had more than 14,600.

The proposal seeks to legalize marijuana for people 21 and older and also seal the records of anyone convicted of a marijuana-related crime that would be made legal under the measure.

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Supporters of legalizing recreational marijuana failed on a petition drive in 2016. That same year, North Dakota voters approved medical marijuana. The state Health Department is setting up a system for the drug.

A number of other states are also set to vote on cannabis legalization measures in November. Michigan has an adult-use legalization measure on the ballot, and Utah residents will be voting on whether to legalize medical marijuana in the state. Another effort, to legalize recreational marijuana in Missouri, failed earlier this month when the secretary of state announced that proponents didn’t gather enough signatures.

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Meanwhile, an push to put an adult-use legalization question on Oklahoma’s ballot is still up in the air. Advocates last week submitted signatures to qualify the measure, but an organizer for the group Green the Vote told the Tulsa World that he has “no idea” how many signatures were submitted or whether they are more than the 123,724 necessary to make the ballot. Even if they are, it’s not clear there’s enough time for the question to be added to November’s ballot.

Nine states and Washington, D.C., have legalized cannabis for adults 21 and older.

 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.