In 2015, the North Dakota House of Representatives narrowly declined to pass the bipartisan House Bill 1430, for comprehensive, compassionate medical marijuana legislation. Introduced by Rep. Pamela Anderson of Fargo. The bill would have allowed patients and caregivers to possess a certain amount of cannabis for medical use.
After the vote, Rep. Gail Mooney suggested that it would be appropriate to study medical cannabis for North Dakotans but that idea was also declined. Rep. Mooney commented that it may open up the issue to a citizens driven initiated petition.
That prompted a group of citizens who testified before the ND House of Representative committee and who have medical issues to start that process.
Frustrated by inaction, patients, their loved ones and legislative champions took action. After an initial turndown of the petition by the Secretary of State, the committee made the required modifications and was approved for signature gathering. The goal was to provide access to this safe and effective medical treatment option. So the journey began on December 1st 2015 - gathering signatures from across the state.
On July 11th, 2016 the dedicated volunteers and committee submitted to the Secretary of State 18,011 signatures. On August 12th 2016, Secretary of State Al Jaeger announced that the medical marijuana initiative, named Measure #5, would appear on the 2016 ballot.
As Election Day draws closer we need your help to ensure Measure #5 becomes law. While patients in 25 other states have access to medical marijuana, North Dakota patients are prohibited access to a treatment that could provide a safer alternative to traditional prescription medications.
Measure #5 would allow patients with a qualifying condition and a doctor’s recommendation to access medical marijuana from a state-licensed compassion center. Patients living further than 40 miles from a compassion center will be able to cultivate up to eight marijuana plants in an enclosed, locked facility. In addition, a patient with a qualifying condition and who is likely to receive therapeutic or palliative benefit from the medical marijuana must have a bona fide relationship with their doctor.
We will need your help in educating the voters of North Dakota as to the benefits of medical cannabis. Our journey will end or begin on November 8th, 2016.
Thank you to every one who has volunteered their time, money and talents to this effort.
Sponsored by North Dakota Compassionate Care 2016, Treasurer Murphy Anderson