7/14/2019 Bismarck Tribune   Share to Facebook  Share on Google+  

New marijuana effort needs full debate

New marijuana effort needs full debateEfforts continue to get a measure on the ballot to legalize marijuana that can win voter approval. While the latest version by Legalize ND has been tailored to be more acceptable to the public, the Tribune editorial board still doesnt believe its wise to legalize marijuana.States which have legalized marijuana have encountered problems. Theres also a belief by many that marijuana serves as a gateway drug to stronger, more dangerous substances.The Legalize ND sponsoring committee is in the process of reviewing the proposal and will be voting on it soon. The proposal will have to go to Secretary of State Al Jaegers office to get approved for circulation. Supporters then will have to gather 13,452 valid signatures. Jaegers office will have to verify the signatures before the measure can go on the ballot. The goal is to get the measure on the ballot by the fall of 2020.Some of the restrictions being considered by supporters that make sense are a possession limit of 2 ounces; a ban on sales to anyone under 21; a ban on growing marijuana for personal use; existing penalties would continue for anyone driving while impaired by marijuana; cities could reject and limit retail stores in their communities; marijuana couldnt be used in public places or where smoking tobacco isnt allowed; and workplaces could still restrict the use of marijuana by employees.These are sensible restrictions that give state and local government along with businesses some flexibility. The question voters must answer is whether these safeguards are

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