Legalize ND at it again

It was no surprise to hear that Legalize ND is planning a new initiative to legalize marijuana in the state. It was only a matter of time.

But that short time span is exactly what is wrong with coming back to voters now – little has changed to cause voters to change their minds.

According to the Associated Press, Legalize ND expects to submit a new proposed initiative to the secretary of state’s office soon. The new measure will reportedly be far more specific than the one that voters soundly defeated in November.

“The group’s proposal would limit possession to 2 ounces, and wouldn’t allow home growing. It also calls for child-resistant packaging and no marketing to children. It also would prohibit smoking in public or in vehicles,” the AP article stated.

While the specifics of the measure might be tweaked the underlying concerns for legalizing pot in the state remain much the same. The following statements during the Measure 3 debate last October seem relevant yet today:

“This isn’t about limiting liberties. It is really about protecting our quality of life,” said Kristie Spooner, chairperson of Healthy & Productive North Dakota Against Measure 3. “North Dakotans would do well to step back and look at the experiences of other states – increased substance use, more impaired, drugged drivers on the roads, marketing of edibles to children and teens and thriving black markets. Is that what we want to see in North Dakota?”

Is it? Not last November and probably not now.

From another expert, also quoted last fall by our news staff:

“During the time I have worked in the field, I have personally witnessed many individuals who have become addicted to the THC in marijuana and the shattered lives and broken families that have been left behind,” said Bob Hayes, a licensed addiction counselor from Minot. “We don’t have enough resources in North Dakota to meet the current demand from those suffering from substance abuse disorders, let alone now proposing the legalization of recreational marijuana.”

What has changed?

Little or nothing.

Perhaps North Dakota voters’ opinions regarding pot?

We think not. We hope not.