While attempts to legalize cannabis by a ballot measure last year and by legislative means this month were met with defeat, marijuana advocates in the state aren’t giving up, and they are already planning to have another shot at a ballot measure in 2020.
Dave Owen, a leading cannabis advocate in the state who played a major role in the ballot measure that was voted upon during the recent midterms says that his organization (Legalize ND) will look to national advocacy groups for funding and support this time round. He revealed that the huge amounts of money poured into the state to oppose the ballot measure in the midterms led to the defeat of that effort.
Dave Owen also revealed that come 2020, the ballot measure will be a watered down version of the one of 2018. For example, rather than insist that people should be allowed to grow as much marijuana as they want for their own use, the new ballot measure will propose some restrictions to home grows.
The new ballot measure will also include provisions for licensing as well as excise taxes on marijuana sales. These provisions were lacking in the measure that was rejected by voters during the midterms last year.
The last ballot measure had a provision to expunge marijuana convictions from the criminal records of North Dakota residents. Dave Owen isn’t sure whether the next ballot measure he plans to draft will still have this provision. It should be noted that most of the states that have legalized recreational marijuana have also taken steps to expunge some marijuana convictions from the criminal records of those who qualify for this expungement. It is therefore unclear whether Dave Owen feels that watering down the ballot measure in this regard will win it more supporters.
Polling is an important step during such a campaign for marijuana legalization, and the cannabis advocate admits that they have been finding it hard to get the funds needed to conduct several polls. This lack of funding has compelled the organization to base on assumptions when planning and executing a campaign strategy. Legalize ND intends to change this so that they can work with concrete numbers as they prepare for the polls in 2020.
Dave Owen is confident that the grassroots networks that exist in the state can propel the ballot measure to success if only external help (especially funding) can be sent in by the national marijuana advocacy groups.
All that Redfund Capital Corp. (CSE: LOAN) (OTC: PNNRF) (Frankfurt: O3X4) and SinglePoint, Inc. (OTCQB: SING) can do is wish both sides good luck as they put their case before North Dakotans for a final decision at the ballot.
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