Here is a riddle. Which measure on the November ballot has over 45 organizations, every major state newspaper, and countless state legislators on both sides of the aisle asking you to vote “NO”? Is it Measure 3 related to legalizing recreational marijuana? While this is also a bad measure that needs your “NO” vote, I’m actually talking about Measure 1 Review the list of organizations opposed to Measure 1 and read more about why you should vote “NO” on Measure 1.
I’ve written about Measure 1 in the past and why it’s a really bad idea. All of the beneficial parts of this measure are already covered in state law, including ethics rules that our legislature places on itself. The measure would require an unbelievable amount of duplicative reporting, create a State Ethics Commission with unlimited and unchecked power, and frankly create hurdles to your exercise of free speech. That may all sound somewhat esoteric, so let me make it personal.
If Measure 1 is approved as part of our North Dakota Constitution (not just a law, an actual Constitutional Amendment!), you would be:
- Required to document and report to the State of North Dakota any money you spend to testify on a bill or talk to your legislators about bills/laws. This would include the aggregate of any money spent on fuel, meals, lodging, or similar expenses over $200.
- Reported by name to the State of North Dakota by businesses, charities, trade associations, labor unions, religious organizations, the media, and other groups, if they are involved in influencing public policy and you financially supported them in any way.
- Pay more taxes to support millions of dollars in state legal fees to fight an endless stream of lawsuits, if it is believed to be unconstitutional (this is almost a certainty) or that its regulations have not been met. You would also need to fund that shiny new State Ethics Commission.
And those are just a few examples of how it will affect you. Are you a big fan of more government intrusion and monitoring on how you spend your money? Are you eager to sign up for more taxes to operate and defend unnecessary government programs? Do you want to create a government entity with virtually unchecked power? Yeah, I didn’t think so.
Please vote with Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota® and a host of other originations you know and trust and say “NO” to Measure 1 on November 6, and please get the word out to others that this is an ill-conceived and dangerous measure! This measure seems like a gentle sheep, but if you look more closely, it’s actually a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
President and Executive Director
Paid for by Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota
Deregulating an industry and celebrating Idaho’s great western history normally sound like a good idea. However, making sure the means of reaching these goals are equally good is vital. There is currently an effort to allow historic gambling on horse racing, otherwise known as instant racing, on your ballot this fall. This measure is not the way to deregulate or celebrate Idaho’s history.
There is much confusion and misinformation about what this initiative does and what this sort of gambling looks like in real life. This proposal will bring year-round slot-machine casinos operating 24 hours/day, seven days/week in any location approved by the pro-gambling Idaho Racing Commission. As illustrated by the “historic horse racing” that occurs in other states, the sort of gambling that will be allowed by Initiative 1 is merely slot machine gambling with a small picture of a horse race at the top of the machine. As a former Commission director confessed “[historic horse racing machines] look like slot machines because they are supposed to look like slot machines.”
The legislature banned rapid-bet slot machine action of horse racing in 2015 as a violation of Idaho’s constitution. The constitution allows some betting on horse racing but specifically prohibits any gambling that imitates or simulates slot machines, as the proposed horse slots clearly do. Proponents claim the machines allow betting on past horse races, but in reality, gamblers just hit a button as fast as every five seconds and watch reels spin.
When you hear the words Horse Racing, most people think of an actual race that spectators watch and place bets on. This sort of betting is currently legal in Idaho, it is just no longer popular. However, this is not the sort of “horse racing” that is allowed by this new initiative. In the Attorney General’s analysis of this initiative, he expressed some serious doubts about whether this initiative was constitutional and indicated that it is likely to lead to a lawsuit if passed.
Family Policy Alliance of Idaho® has long opposed gambling, and particularly highly-addictive rapid-bet slot machines because of the destruction it can bring to families economically, emotionally, and spiritually. As Christians we are called to be filled with the Spirit, and resist addiction of any kind, especially of highly addictive activities like gambling.
If you would like more information about this initiative, you can look at the information found on the website of our ally, Stop Predatory Gambling. Please, carefully consider the full implications of this initiative and its effect on you and your family.
Brittany Jones, Esq.
As you may recall, Measure 5 was placed on the ballot in 2016 to legalize medical marijuana in North Dakota. Sadly, the measure passed. While nobody is opposed to providing pain relief and other care for needy patients, there are many options available aside from medical marijuana. That said, the most recent push to legalize marijuana in our state goes even further and would legalize recreational marijuana. As the Bismarck Tribune recently noted, “Proponents of legalizing recreational marijuana use are about 2,500 signatures away from requirements for a measure to be placed on the November ballot.”
Let’s take a look at what the initiative would really do. According to the Tribune, it would:
- Fully legalize residents older than 21 to use, possess, grow and distribute marijuana for any purpose;
- Include other forms of products with the main psychoactive part of cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), such as natural oils and other products made from the plant;
- Sets no limits on how much producers can grow;
- Require that anyone previously convicted of a marijuana-related crime would have their records expunged 30 days after the measure’s passage or after being released from prison.
Are you surprised? I’m not. The progression from legalizing medical marijuana to legalizing recreational marijuana is becoming a commonly used tactic. It happened in Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Nevada, Massachusetts, Alaska, and Maine, and is shaping up to be repeated in many other states, including ours.
What is interesting is that most North Dakotans don’t want recreational marijuana. A 2017 poll by the University of North Dakota found that 68 percent of our state’s residents either somewhat (5%) or strongly (63%) oppose recreational marijuana. So why are we even debating this if two-thirds of North Dakotans think it’s a bad idea?
Let’s look at other states who have legalized recreational marijuana.
- Marijuana-related fatal car crashes have increased 62% since legalization in Colorado. They more than doubled in Washington state.
- Colorado’s top marijuana official said tax revenue from legal marijuana is a “red herring … you’re not going to pave your roads and pay your teachers with marijuana tax revenue”, the intended recipients of the state tax revenue.
- Newborns testing positive for marijuana in Colorado are on the rise. In one hospital alone, half of newborn babies test positive for marijuana.
- Washington and Colorado each have more marijuana businesses than Starbucks or McDonalds combined.
Does it sound like a good idea? Why take these risks? Let’s stop this proposed measure in its tracks. I don’t understand the logic if you want to risk experiencing the aforementioned problems just to afford a minority of North Dakotans the chance to “get stoned”.
We at Family Policy Alliance of North Dakota stand with many other respected organizations opposing this measure. Please help us defeat this measure if it appears on the November ballot. Remember, we are right now shaping the future for our children and grandchildren in North Dakota. Let’s make sure they are able to live up to their God-given potential!
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? I Corinthians 6:19
President & Executive Director