North Dakota Pro-marijuana Group Gets Help From Other State Donors, Pot Dispensaries

A group planning a ballot measure to legalize the use of recreational marijuana in North Dakota said that it has received donations amounting to more than half-a-million dollars, mainly from out-of-state donors and medical pot dispensaries.

The group, which is in support of legalization marijuana in the North Dakota, said that out-of-the state benefactors made maximum contributions as they wanted to ensure that people of the state had a legitimate chance to vote on the issue. Lawmakers, who are not supportive of the bill, said that external forces are trying to bring in new laws on the state.

In April, the New Approach North Dakota had launched a last-ditch effort to bring before lawmakers a question on the November ballot about legalizing the keeping and purchase of small amounts of marijuana for adults aged 21 and above. The group said that it needs to get 15,582 signatures from residents by July 11 to get a decision on the ballot this year itself.

Washington-based New Approach Advocacy Fund has contributed more than $301,000 to the group this year.

The fund is closely connected to a political action committee or PAC of the same name, which has supported efforts to legalize marijuana across the United States since 2014.

As per state records, the PAC donated more than $1.9 million in 2020 to the promoters of a successful push to legalize recreational pot in Montana. It was also during the same election cycle that the committee donated around $1.8 million to the South Dakota groups, which are fighting for the legalization of marijuana.

The North Dakota marijuana legalization group has also received nearly $36,000 from the Washington, D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project, which has also funded efforts to legalize marijuana in different states across the country.

Three firms that operate medical marijuana dispensaries in the state donated another $175,000 to the North Dakota group, bringing its fundraising total to about $512,000.
Earlier, North Dakota voters had approved the legalization of medical marijuana in 2016, against the wishes of many Republican state lawmakers but later rejected a recreational legalization measure in 2018.

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