A bill to legalize marijuana in North Dakota that passed the House last month received its first hearing in a Senate committee on Monday, with debate centering mostly on who should shape the policy change that most observers increasingly see as inevitable: the legislature or voters. With activists already mounting a signature-gathering campaign to place a ballot initiative before voters in 2022 that would amend the state Constitution to legalize cannabis for adult use, legislators are now faced with a quandary. They could wait and see how that process unfolds, or they can advance more restrictive reform legislation sponsored by a Republican lawmaker who doesn’t even personally support ending prohibition. That bill, led by Rep. Jason Dockter (R), narrowly passed the House. The Senate Human Services Committee took it up Monday, hearing from supporters, opponents, and neutral parties alike. The panel didn’t vote on the measure, but the testimony offered a preview of the discussion that’s to be had over the coming weeks.

Kyle Jaeger, Marijuana Moment, 03/15/2021 17:45:00

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