Legalization of Medical Marijuana could be at a high cost
After gathering enough petition signatures for a statewide vote, the question becomes, how much will it cost?
It's been estimated that legalizing marijuana for medical purposes would cost state taxpayers $3.5 million per year, according to North Dakota's Health Department. A memo was released by the agency after it was announced that enough signatures had been gathered to put the issue to a statewide vote.
If approved, the ballot initiative makes it legal for North Dakota residents to possess up to 3 ounces of marijuana for medical purposes.
The Health Department says an additional 32 full-time state employees would be required to oversee the program set forth by the initiative, should medical marijuana be legalized. Riley Ray Morgan, a financial planner out of Fargo, is the head of the campaign for medical marijuana in North Dakota. Morgan said he believes the state's estimated figures are "grossly inflated."