Medical marijuana bill dies in the House

Feb 19, 2015

A bill to allow the medical use of marijuana has died in the North Dakota House.

Supporters say medical marijuana would be used in cases of chronic pain and severe illness. Rep. Pamela Anderson (D-Fargo) authored the bill. She says she introduced it on behalf of a constituent, who she says tried everything he could to ease the pain – and nothing worked.

"This is not a drug issue," said Anderson. "It's quality of life for the citizens of North Dakota."

Rep. Dwight Kiefert (R-Valley City) serves on the House Human Services committee, which heard the bill. He says he was waiting for testimony on how this could help people.

"Nobody presented a single fact that helps anyone," said Kiefert. "Even the bill's sponsor used the words 'maybe,' 'perhaps,' 'someday,' 'possibly.'"

Rep. Kathy Hawken (R-Fargo) says she became a co-sponsor – because she has a son with chronic pain. She says she’s glad the bill was introduced.

"We're having the conversation," said Hawken. "And that is a good thing. And someday, this really is a good bill."

The measure failed on a 67 to 26 vote.