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Lawmakers Pass Bill Reducing Marijuana Possession Penalties in North Dakota

May 1, 2019
  Lawmakers Pass Bill  Reducing Marijuana Possession Penalties in North Dakota

An important piece of legislation - the House Bill 1050 has been passed by the members of both houses, the Senate and the House. The legislation was aimed at reducing marijuana possession-related penalties. Republican Gov. Doug Burgum is expected to sign the bill before it becomes the law.

According to the proposed bill, low-level cannabis or marijuana-related paraphernalia possessions (up to 1.5 ounces or 14.175g) for the first-time offense will now be re-classified as an infraction instead of a criminal misdemeanor. The bill also reduces the penalties, instead of serving jail time of up to 30 days; the bill proposes a minor fine but no possibility of jail time. If a person is found guilty of subsequent infractions in the same year, he/she may face the possibility of misdemeanor charges.

It also needs to be noted that in terms of per capita marijuana-related arrests, North Dakota ranked 6th in the year 2016.

As per other important provisions that are part of this significant measure, offenses involving the possession of cannabis (up to 500g) will be re-classified from a felony to a Class-B misdemeanor and their subsequent penalties will also be reduced. Moreover, offenses involving possession of greater amounts of cannabis (>500g) are also amended and re-classified from a felony to a Class-A misdemeanor. Once the bill is signed by the Gov. it will become law and it is expected that the new penalties will take effect on 08/01/2019.


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