Just two years ago, North Dakota voters passed medical marijuana legalization with 64 percent support. Now, North Dakota could join a number of sanctuary states legalizing recreational marijuana.
Through an effort called Legalize ND, proponents of recreational marijuana submitted more than the required 13,452 valid petition signatures to get a measure on the November 2018 general election ballot.
If passed, the measure would legalize the cultivation, possession, use, and distribution of marijuana and authorize the state, counties, and other municipalities to tax the sale of marijuana at no more than 20 percent. The measure would also remove penalties related to marijuana use from state law.
However, voters should expect an uphill battle. Opponents argue that legalization will create a lot of problems with regard to regulations and will increase crime. But if passed, one thing’s for sure, if you can smoke it there, you may well be able to smoke it anywhere.
So how will this affect employers? It’s a bit hazy. The measure does not have any specific provisions impacting an employer’s right to drug test or to make employment decisions based on a positive drug test.
However, based on North Dakota’s medical marijuana provisions which provide that the statute does not prohibit an employer from disciplining an employee for possessing or consuming usable marijuana in the workplace or for working while under the influence of marijuana, one can assume the same may apply if North Dakota legalizes recreational marijuana.
Stay tuned for all the growing developments in North Dakota.