Backers renew North Dakota marijuana legalization effort

Jody Vetter is an advocate for legalizing marijuana in North Dakota through the state's constitution.

Supporters of an unsuccessful 2020 ballot measure to legalize marijuana through North Dakota's constitution are trying again.

They submitted their petition on Monday to Secretary of State Al Jaeger, who will review the filing's format. If he approves it, supporters can circulate petitions to gather signatures. Supporters would have one year to submit at least 26,904 valid signatures for ballot placement.

Measure chairwoman Jody Vetter, of Bismarck, said the proposal is identical to the 2020 effort, which failed to garner enough signatures for ballot placement. Vetter said the coronavirus pandemic inhibited the gathering of signatures.

"Basically it's the same thing as before. We're just starting over again," she said.

The measure essentially would legalize marijuana for people 21 and older.

Vetter said the measure would go to voters for the November 2022 general election.

Voters in neighboring Montana and South Dakota last November approved recreational marijuana, and South Dakota voters also OK'd medicinal pot. Medical marijuana is already legal in North Dakota.

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