(DailyNews) North Dakota’s proposed medical marijuana bill, Luick continued, was conjured up from information from several states that already have medical marijuana laws. All those pieces put together have created a mismatch of a bill, which will also require the state Department of Health to hire 17 additional full-time employees just to handle the situation.
Last November, Initiated Statutory Measure No. 5, proposed to allow North Dakota residents suffering from certain qualifying conditions to use medical marijuana if their doctors recommend it, passed with nearly 64 percent of favorable votes. Department of Health personnel, Luick said, are pulling their hair out over the difficulties in facilitating this use.
“We know the purpose of this bill was not for medical marijuana purposes, it was for recreational use,” Luick said.
Saying it would be disastrous for the Legislature to continue keeping in provisions that allow medical marijuana to be smoked, Luick commented on THC. The concentration of THC, a mind-altering chemical, has grown in marijuana since Luick was a student and continues to do so, he said. That’s concerning when he considers not only secondhand smoke, but how it may affect young children of medical marijuana users.
“We have to get something in place,” Mitskog responded. “And for us to rein in and really vet the merits of medical marijuana, I don’t know where we can say this is more dangerous than the opioids and the narcotics that are prescribed every day to patients in our state.”
According to Mitskog, Democratic caucuses in the legislature have drafted solutions to the implementation issue. She is optimistic they will have bipartisan support.