BY TJ GREEN
In Fargo, Democratic state Rep. Steve Zaiser is heading a campaign to legalize medical marijuana in North Dakota for anyone with a debilitating medical condition.
Under the proposed law, patients may grow and use marijuana, and possess up to 2.5 ounces. North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger is now reviewing the initiative, and must give a decision by June 1st. After Secretary Jaeger approves the initiative, supporters will begin gathering signatures.
To qualify for the general election, the medical marijuana initiative will need petition signatures from at least 13,452 eligible North Dakota voters. The petitions must be turned in by midnight Aug. 8.
Rep. Steve Zaiser, D-Fargo, a staunch believer in the medical benefits of marijuana, said,
“Marijuana has proven that it has helped people, and doctors will testify to that effect. I don’t want any more North Dakotans to suffer unnecessarily.”
Under the initiative, patients who have the following debilitating medical conditions will qualify:
Chronic Pain, PTSD, Nausea, Muscle Spasms, Alzheimers, Multiple Sclerosis, Cancer, AIDS/HIV, Glaucoma, Hepatitis C, ALS, Crohn’s disease, Seizures, Cachexia or wasting syndrome, or any other medical condition or its treatment added by the Department of Health.
Patients must first get certified by a physician, and can either grow their own meds, elect a caregiver, or buy medical cannabis from a state licensed dispensary.
If you are interested in learning more, or getting involved in the signature gathering process, the contact person for the commitee sponsoring the bill is Dave Schwartz of North Dakotans for Compassionate Care (701) 361-5800.
Here is a link to the full text of the 22 page initiative: