New Approach North Dakota Submits Over 25,000 Signatures for Cannabis Petition

Editor Special to Devils Lake Journal

NORTH DAKOTA – On July 11, backers of a statutory ballot measure to legalize cannabis for adults in North Dakota submitted 25,762 signatures to the North Dakota Sec. of State in an effort to qualify the initiative for the statewide general election ballot later this year.

New Approach North Dakota, the campaign spearheading the effort, began collecting signatures in late April after the committee’s petition was approved for circulation. In less than 12 weeks, the group gathered over 25,000 signatures from North Dakotans all across the state in support of the measure.

Mark Friese, an attorney and former police officer who serves as the treasurer for New Approach North Dakota, commented:

“So many people I spoke to were excited to sign our petition, strongly supporting the initiative for a wide variety of reasons. Having practiced criminal law for more than 20 years, and as a former police officer, it is obvious the status quo of arresting adults for small amounts of marijuana doesn’t make our communities any safer — it only wastes limited law enforcement and court resources. I’m looking forward to presenting the facts about this issue to more and more voters as November approaches.”

David Owen, campaign manager for New Approach North Dakota, said:

“This signature drive showed us that, from Williston to Grand Forks, people all across our state are ready for responsible cannabis policy reform. We are tremendously grateful to the tens of thousands of North Dakotans who signed and our terrific team of signature gatherers. We’re looking forward to all of our hard work paying off when we receive the official word that we’re on the ballot.” 

If the initiative qualifies for the ballot and is approved by voters, it will permit adults 21 and older to possess limited amounts of cannabis and purchase products from registered cannabis establishments in North Dakota. The measure would put policies in place to regulate retail stores, cultivators, and other types of cannabis businesses. Prior to being sold to consumers, the measure requires that cannabis products be tested for contaminants, labeled, and tracked through a seed-to-sale inventory system. A summary and full text of the measure is available at:

New Approach North Dakota is a registered ballot measure committee working to pass a 2022 ballot measure to legalize and regulate cannabis for adults 21 and older in North Dakota. More information can be found at: