Losing Our North Dakota Identity

August 30

What is the identity of North Dakota? I would guess that most of us would say that North Dakota is a conservative state that values:

  • Sanctity of marriage,
  • Importance of religion and prayer in everyday life,
  • Self-reliance, hard-work and strong personal character,
  • Personal responsibility,
  • Teaching children to respect their elders,
  • Cherishing and protecting life in all forms,
  • Truth and humility, and
  • The belief that parents, not the government or public schools, know what is best for their child’s education.

Taken together, it’s pretty clear that North Dakotans are opposed to the liberal indoctrination and propaganda found in many other states. We are not only opposed to it, we are frankly glad to be us and not them.

There are currently nine states and Washington D.C. where recreational marijuana is legal. However, it’s very fascinating to identify exactly which states are on the list. A 2017 Gallup poll ranked all states by how liberal they were and guess what, six of the nine most liberal states have legalized recreational marijuana (see, below). Interestingly, North Dakota was voted in the top ten most conservative states in the U.S.

States with Legalized                       State Liberal Ranking
Recreational Marijuana                  (1= highest)

Alaska                                                         34
California                                                   7
Colorado                                                    14
District of Columbia                                1
Maine                                                         16
Massachusetts                                         3
Nevada                                                      22
Oregon                                                      6
Vermont                                                   2
Washington                                             9

Measure 3 is fundamentally not about legalizing recreational marijuana – there are a host of reasons that would be a really bad idea, as I’ve covered in previous emails.  What it comes down to is who we are as North Dakotans.

We legalized medical marijuana two years ago, even though many of our fellow midwestern states that share our values have not. That was already a step away from who we are. Now we are being asked to take it much further and align ourselves with states that represent the exact opposite of what we believe. Think about it, not even liberal states like New York, Connecticut, or Hawaii have approved recreational marijuana, and now we’re being asked to do so? Unbelievable.

Make no mistake, your vote on Measure 3 will be a vote on who we are as a state. Further, I hope and pray that the measure is not only defeated, but overwhelmingly defeated. We need to send a message to those who would turn us into something we distain that they need not come back again and try to legalize recreational marijuana in our state.

We will not surrender our state. We will not surrender our families. We will not surrender our values.

“Good government generally begins in the family, and if the moral character of a people once degenerate, their political character must soon follow.”  Elias Boudinot, president of the Continental Congress.


Mark Jorritsma
President and Executive Director

Paid for by Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota