North Dakota Marijuana Supporters Are Cautiously Optimistic


The phrase of the day in North Dakota is “cautiously optimistic” when it comes to marijuana reform.

Measure 5 is the underwhelming name that has the power to change the face of medical cannabis in the staunchly red state. Regardless of the color on the map, Rilie Ray Morgan, the sponsor of the ballot initiative, is hoping and expecting medical cannabis to narrowly achieve victory.

“Myself and 25 other committee members, and 110 petition gatherers in the state got this measure on the ballot,” he said in an interview with today. Morgan went on to add that the petition came about because, in 2015, lawmakers decided to scrap the medical marijuana bill. Necessity became the mother of invention, and this grassroots team worked tirelessly to achieve what some would think impossible.

“There’s a lot more support out there than I had initially anticipated,” said Morgan when asked about the lack of poll numbers for Measure 5. “There was a poll done back in 2014, which I realize is extremely old. At that time, the favorable was about 47% and the unfavorable was about 43% and there were a lot of undecided. We’re cautiously optimistic that this will pass.” Morgan is betting that the vote should be about 54 or 55% in favor of MMJ.

If North Dakotans actually do vote yes, then it will be an interesting experiment in politics vs personal views. The expected Republican Governor and other top officials will need to accept the legal decision, despite a history of Republicans being gun-shy on marijuana reform. In the case of North Dakota, however, that is not an issue. “The three candidates for Governor are all in favor of legalizing medical cannabis.”

A few hours from now we will all know if North Dakotans want to give each other access to some of the most effective medicine in human history. Until then, we will leave the last word with the man who is responsible for Measure 5 coming this far. “We’re keeping our fingers crossed and saying a few prayers. Hopefully, the good voters will give us the thumbs up on this.”

About Author

Jonathan Hiltz has been a journalist, a TV producer and marijuana advocate for over sixteen years. He has a wife, two young children and lives in the Toronto area.

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