North Dakota could vote on legalizing marijuana this November

It legalized medicinal marijuana in 2016.
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North Dakota voters could get the chance to vote on legalizing recreational marijuana this November.

It follows a successful grassroots campaign led by groups including Legalize ND and the ND Legalization Initiative, which helped compile 18,700 signatures that were submitted to the North Dakota Secretary of State on Monday.

That's significantly more than the 13,452 signatures needed to get a measure on the ballot, with the Bismarck Tribune reporting the Secretary of State has until Aug. 13 to verify the number of signatures to determine if it's on the ballot or not.

North Dakota only passed the law allowing the use of medical marijuana in 2016, and now proponents of the legalization initiative hope to give the state a say on its legal use recreationally as well.

Success at the polls would make North Dakota the 10th state to legalize the drug for recreational use, according to

The bill written by supporters of the measure would legalize the growth, possession, sale and use of marijuana for those 21 and old. It would also expunge marijuana convictions from North Dakotans' criminal records.

The Washington Post notes that the movement in North Dakota is unusual given that it was done without the financial backing of national legalization groups.

And while it faces a tough task to pass in what is a deep-red state, Legalize ND says internal polling shows more are in favor of legalization than against it, the newspaper adds.

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State lawmaker leads push for medical marijuana use in North Dakota

Fargo Democrat Steve Zaiser is leading a campaign to allow North Dakotans with "debilitating medical conditions" to use and grow marijuana. Those conditions would range from cancer to post-traumatic stress. If the Secretary of State approves their petition, they'll begin collecting signatures for a ballot initiative.