420 with CNW — Legislators in North Dakota Seek to Expand Cannabis Decriminalization Law

January 20, 2021 16:25:22

Legislators in North Dakota have introduced a measure to significantly expand cannabis decriminalization in the state. The bill, which was filed last week, would add onto an initial marijuana decriminalization law that was passed in 2019.

Under the current law, possession of half an ounce or less of cannabis is a crime punishable with no jail time and a fine of up to $1,000. The new resolution would make the possession of up to an ounce of marijuana a noncriminal offense punishable by a $50 fine.

Additionally, possession of more than an ounce of marijuana and less than 250 grams would be treated as an infraction. For now, this charge is currently classified as a class B misdemeanor. On the other hand, possession of more than 500 grams of marijuana would be classified as a class A misdemeanor while possession of more than 250 grams of cannabis would be classified as a class B misdemeanor.

The bill has been referred to the House Judiciary Committee and is being sponsored by Sen. Scott Meyer and Rep. Shannon Roers Jones in their respective chambers.

Marijuana Policy Project state campaigns manager Jared Moffat stated that it was encouraging to see Rep. Roers Jones together with her colleagues pushing for a reduction in the senseless and harsh penalties for possession of small amounts of cannabis in the state. He added that, while decriminalization was not a substitute for the regulation and legalization of cannabis for adults, the approval of the bill would continue the state’s progress.

Cannabis activists in the state are moving forward with plans to put a marijuana legalization initiative on the ballot for voters in 2022.  This upcoming proposal would permit individuals who are 21 years of age and older to cultivate and possess marijuana for personal use. The measure has been submitted to North Dakota’s Secretary of State Al Jaeger. If accepted, the campaign will be allowed to begin signature collections to qualify for the ballot.

These advocates belong to the same team that almost succeeded in putting a similar measure on the state’s ballot in 2020. However, their petitioning efforts were obstructed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Last year, Legalize ND, a separate group of advocates, also tried to qualify a separate legalization initiative that would have permitted retail sales for marijuana.

Cannabis advocates remain skeptical that lawmakers will enact the policy change on their own. However, legislators may feel increased pressure given that voters in Montana and South Dakota, states that neighbor North Dakota, elected to legalize marijuana in November 2020.

Meanwhile, in Canada, where cannabis is legal, Pure Extracts Technologies Corp. (CSE: PULL) (OTC Pink: PRXTF) is enjoying its pole position in the cannabis extraction business. The company even extracts cannabis compounds for other licensed entities both inside and outside Canada.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Pure Extracts Technologies Corp. (CSE: PULL) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/PULL

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