A new opinion poll in North Dakota is suggesting that those in favor of legalizing recreational marijuana will take the day when the matter is voted upon during the midterm polls next month.
This ballot measure comes after the state legalized medical marijuana two years ago and implementation is set to start next year.
Measure 3 is expected to legalize cannabis for adult use without any limits on how much marijuana someone can possess or grow. The minimum age limit for this adult consumption has been set at 21. The measure also seeks to expunge all marijuana convictions and protect the state from liability claims originating from marijuana convictions.
The new opinion poll suggests that 51 percent of the voters will vote “yes” while 36 percent will vote “no” to the ballot measure. However, a significant fraction (13 percent) of the participants in the poll revealed that they hadn’t made up their mind regarding how they will vote. This group could well hold the key to determining which direction the vote eventually swings on voting day.
Demographics are also likely to play a role in the outcome of the vote. Voters older than 50 seem to be biased in favor of continued prohibition while those who are younger than 50 want prohibition to end.
Advocates are therefore hoping that younger voters turn up in massive numbers so that the measure sails through in November. The opinion poll conducted by The Kitchen Group had 57 percent of its respondents in the over 50 age group.
It is noteworthy that respondents were more likely to agree with Measure 3 if they were told that legalizing marijuana would go a long way towards combating the opiate crisis and leaving the meagre law enforcement resources to be directed to more serious issues.
North Dakota is unique from other states that have legalized cannabis in a sense that those who are advocating for the ballot measure don’t have big financiers on their side while the people opposed to the measure have invested massively to sway public opinion against recreational cannabis.
LegalizeND (Legalize North Dakota, a committee set up to campaign for legalization) has been working tirelessly to provide accurate information about marijuana in order to counter the propaganda spread by those opposed to legalization.
Observers say both sides of the ballot measure appear to be getting more funding from sources outside the state when compared to the campaign funds being generated locally. Those opposed to the measure have nearly got all their funding from one source (an anti-marijuana lobby group called SAM, or Smart Approaches to Marijuana). Cannabis companies like TransCanna and VIVO Cannabis Inc. (TSX.V: VIVO) (OTCQX: VVCIF) can only watch from a distance as the trend of cannabis legalization unfolds.
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