A North Dakota bill would legalize medical marijuana in the state, effectively nullifying the unconstitutional federal prohibition on the same.
House Bill 1430 (HB1430) would allow qualifying patients with appropriate ID cards to use medical marijuana without fear of arrest and prosecution by state law enforcement.
Qualifying conditions under HB1430 include cancer, glaucoma, AIDS, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, and post – traumatic stress disorder.
In addition, patients would qualify for medical marijuana under HB1430 if they suffered from “any persistent or chronic illness or condition that, in the opinion of a physician, substantially limits the ability of a person to conduct one or more major life activities; or may cause serious harm to the patient’s safety or mental or physical health if not alleviated; if the illness or condition may be improved by the use of marijuana.”
The bill also protects the livelihood of physicians willing to prescribe medical marijuana to their patients by stating that:
A practitioner may not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or penalty in any manner, or denied any right or privilege, including civil penalty or disciplinary action by the state board of medical examiners or by any other occupational or professional licensing board or bureau, solely for providing written certifications or for otherwise stating that, in the practitioner’s professional opinion, a patient is likely to receive therapeutic or palliative benefit from the medical use of cannabis to treat or alleviate the patient’s serious or debilitating medical condition or symptoms associated with the serious or debilitating medical condition…”
Dispensaries are also protected under the bill, which states they cannot be “subject to prosecution, search, or
inspection, except by the department under this chapter, seizure, or penalty in any manner, and may not be denied any right or privilege, including civil penalty or disciplinary action by a court or business licensing board or entity” as long as they comply with state law.
Most significantly, it bans state law enforcement agencies from engaging in the seizure of marijuana “or conduct any investigation, on the sole basis of activity the officer believes to constitute a violation of the Controlled Substances” as long as the activities are in compliance with the law. The bill also forbids state law enforcement officers from using any “state or local resources, including the officer’s time, to provide any information or logistical support related to such activity to any federal law enforcement authority or prosecuting entity.”
The federal government currently lists marijuana as a Schedule I narcotic and attempts to prohibit it for any purpose. Tenth Amendment Center national communications director Mike Maharrey says this clearly violates the Constitution.
“The Constitution delegates no power to the federal government to prohibit marijuana in the states. This power remains with the state governments and the people. Doubt me? Then ask yourself why it required a constitutional amendment to prohibit alcohol. There is no fundamental difference,” Maharrey said.
As more states take marijuana policy into their own hands, defying the federal prohibition, the federal government has become increasingly incapable of enforcing its unconstitutional prohibition. They simply lack the resources to stop the tidal wave. For those concerned about the health care and personal choices of people living in North Dakota, this cannot come too soon.
“The last time half the states took action to nullify the federal government was in response to the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850,” said Maharrey. “This is historic, and it can continue with the passage of HB1430 in North Dakota during this year’s legislative session.”
Medical marijuana is an incredibly important issue pertaining to nullification and states’ rights. Because it is so overwhelmingly popular, medical marijuana can act as a metaphorical ‘gateway drug’ to the idea of state and local resistance to onerous federal laws. With this issue, it is possible to show the residents of your state that local control better serves the needs of the people than the top-down federal approach that has failed for so many decades.
Although it draws a legal distinction between recreational and medical marijuana, HB1430 marks an enormous step in the right direction for both medical marijuana supporters and advocates of decentralized government in the state of North Dakota. It signals that the public is ready to throw off the shackles of ‘federal supremacy’ and take lawmaking into their own hands.
In North Dakota: Take the steps listed AT THIS LINK, to help support HB1430.
In Other States: Contact your state legislators and politely demand that they introduce bills legalizing medical or recreational cannabis. Start here.
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