Bismarck News

What's next for Measure 3

The recreational marijuana initiative failed with only 40 percent of the vote in the 2018 General Election,
and some voters feel the reason it didn't pass was because of voter participation.

Wes Wilmeth and Jessica Powers are Measure 3 supporters and both felt optimistic going into the election, and the months, weeks, and days leading up to the big night their group, ND Legalization Initiative, was handing out pins, posting yard signs, and purchasing billboards.

"I have been trying my hardest just to get the word out there to everybody," said Powers.

Powers and Wilmeth watched the news Tuesday night with great anticipation to see if their message had gotten out to the voters, but once they saw the results it seemed as though their message had not been received.

"I was disappointed, because we got so close, but not close enough," said Wilmeth.

This year's mid-terms had a record turnout with 329,085 ballots received, but 14,107 fewer ballots were received for recreational marijuana in this years election, than for medicinal marijuana in 2016. 

"I think people were turned off by how broad the bill was, and I think if we make it a little bit more strict, we might have better participation," said Powers.

Senator Rich Wardner of District 37, who voted against Measure 3, said the petition had major issues when it came to the expungement of criminal records.

"They have 30 days to expunge them. That was unrealistic. . . it just was".

He also said next election cycle more work will have to go into the petition for him to consider supporting it.

"Much better written. . . and more detail for how they are going to do it," said Wardner.

Powers said she plans on supporting it in the future, and won't stop until its passed.

"If it is okay to have a drink and relax at night-it should be okay for people to have a smoke and relax at night, " said Powers.

In this election Michigan became the tenth state to legalize marijuana-the initiative passed with 55 percent of the vote.


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