Conflict is the word of the day when it comes to polls showing support for recreational marijuana legalization in North Dakota. Three recent polls have come up with very different statistics, with one showing majority support of the potential legislation and two showing the residents are largely against the idea.
A poll taken in May showed 46% support of the measure. That support has increased to 51% as of October, at least according to one recent poll. In that poll, opposition currently rests at 36%, with 13% of the residents undecided.
Meanwhile, two other polls found that residents are largely opposed to legislation that would permit adults to use marijuana recreationally in the state. Those two polls came up with 55% opposition to the measure, compared to 40% in favour of the legislative change.
Medical marijuana was approved in 2016, and the move to legalize recreational use for those age 21 and over would mean a decrease in marijuana-related arrests, thereby cutting some of the expense for the legal system in the state.
However, a group that announced intentions to fight the legalization in September feels the measure is flawed, and they believe the new legislation would make the state the most liberal in terms of regulation and control – something these residents have no desire to be.
The group, known as North Dakotans Against the Legalization of Recreational Marijuana, shared its biggest concern: the fact that driving while impaired will not be illegal, based on the new legislation. Law enforcement officials are part of the group, and they noted the legislation would make it more difficult for agencies to protect the state’s residents from harm.
Another potential issue would be the potential for children to have easier access to the drug. This comes from observations of the handling of the drug marketing in Colorado, which is not seen favourably by group members.
However, Measure 3, which is the proposal’s current location on the ballot, is focused on personal responsibility. The measure does promise harsh penalties for sales to minors, which should be a help with that concern.
The uncertainty on support levels statewide will leave the measure waiting for voting day for a conclusive understanding of how state residents feel about the limit-free legislation proposal.