North Dakota’s House of Representatives has given the green light to recreational marijuana.
The Republican-controlled House on Tuesday passed House Bill 1420 to legalize and restrict recreational marijuana on a 56-38 vote.
Representatives also passed House Bill 1501 to implement a related tax policy on a 73-21 vote. The joint bills now go to the Senate.
Reps. Jason Dockter, R-Bismarck, and Craig Headland, R-Montpelier, who said they are personally opposed to recreational marijuana, respectively brought the bills to head off citizen-initiated efforts to legalize marijuana through the constitution, after South Dakota voters did just that last year.
North Dakota voters defeated a measure to legalize marijuana in 2018. Two measure efforts in 2020 fell short of signatures for ballot placement. But backers already are gearing up for a 2022 measure to plant marijuana legalization in the state constitution.
The bill would restrict recreational marijuana to people 21 and older, limit possession to 1 ounce, limit and track purchase amounts, limit use to private property and ban home growing.
“You can’t be walking down the street smoking a joint,” said Rep. Robin Weisz, R-Hurdsfield, who chairs the House Human Services Committee, which handled the bill. [Read more at The Bismarck Tribune]