History of CBD and Cannabis: North Dakota
In 2016, North Dakota joined over a dozen states in a bid to make medical marijuana legally available for qualifying patients. It took many failed attempts over the course of a decade for the state to finally reach a decision on cannabis policy reform.
Just a year prior to passage, the bill was completely shot down in a 26-67 House vote by the legislature despite large campaigns of support from non-profit institutions.
After the bill failed, one resident decided to take matters into his own hands. Rilie Morgan, a long time resident of Fargo, became responsible for starting a large ballot initiative that would legalize medical marijuana.
Months later, the initiative worked. This represented a landmark shift in the way that both constituents and lawmakers felt about the efficacy of cannabis-based treatments. Statewide, the new policy opened up the door for cannabis to be redefined as a health supplement rather than as a Schedule I illicit substance.
Cannabis, CBD, and North Dakota
North Dakota completely banned cannabis after nearby states Oklahoma and South Dakota implemented their own restrictive policies. By 1933, cannabis possession was considered a felony that could land the user in prison for several years, in addition to incurring heavy fines.
Even to this day, illegal possession of hashish and marijuana concentrates is still technically considered a felony. Carrying even trace amounts of marijuana and paraphernalia could result in several years imprisonment, though this is incredibly rare in practice.
Additionally, just because medical marijuana is legalized, doesn’t mean that the new rules don’t come with their own set of historic problems. Over time, the legislature has attempted to chip away at some of the major tenants of the new policy. For instance, a 2017 ruling totally removed the legal ability to qualified patients to grow their own marijuana.
Despite these issues, North Dakota has adopted a comparatively less harsh stance on their own medical marijuana laws out of all the states that have passed similar policies. Rather, the state is actually working hard to establish and implement a fully-fledged medical marijuana program for patients.
Already, two companies have been selected to legally dispense marijuana throughout the state. Even with legislative backlash, constituents are becoming much more supportive of full decriminalization and legalization.
In 2014, one university poll indicated that only 24 percent of residents were in support of full legalization. Just four years later, over 46 percent of the voters expressed support. It’s rare to see such a massive shift in collective opinion over a short period of years.