Plans to place a measure on the 2016 ballot to give voters the option of legalizing medical marijuana are underway in North Dakota. Ray Morgan, a financial planner from Fargo, is heading up a committee responsible for gathering the required number of signatures for ballot approval.
Motivated by his own wish to be able to seek legal treatment for chronic pain caused during a recent unsuccessful back surgery, Morgan stated that he is working, as well, on behalf of people who suffer from seizures, cancer and multiple sclerosis, and other patients who would benefit from legal and accessible cannabis.
Morgan is taking up the cause after the failure of two previous efforts. A bill sponsored by Rep. Pamela Anderson died in the previous legislative session, and Morgan reports that this. A 2012 attempt to get the issue on the ballot failed when it was discovered that North Dakota State University students had forged signatures on the petitions.
Once the committee names and the ballot language are approved by the Secretary of State, Morgan hopes to start acquiring the 13,500 necessary signatures by the second half of September. He said,
“Getting 13,500 signatures, you could darn near get that at a Bison Football game for crying out loud so I don’t think we are going to have much of an issue there.”
Morgan stated that the bill resembles the Anderson proposal shot down in the last legislative session. His mission is to take the issue directly to the voters and work around what he sees as Republican resistance to medical marijuana. He said,
“You have an absolute ultra conservative Legislature that just doesn’t see the light.”
More than intent on passing this ballot measure in North Dakota, Morgan hopes it will give both “doctor and patient another avenue to at least explore some other options.”