BISMARCK — North Dakota House members voted down a marijuana decriminalization bill 47-43 on Wednesday, Feb. 20.
The bill would have changed state law and made the possession of an ounce or less of marijuana or the possession of two marijuana plants or less a non-criminal offense punishable by a $200 fine, similar to a traffic offense. Possession of marijuana paraphernalia would have been a non-criminal offense also, with a fine of $100 if caught by law enforcement.
Current law says possession of less than one ounce of marijuana is a Class B misdemeanor crime with a penalty of up to 30 days in jail and a $1,500 fine. Any quantity over one ounce is currently a felony and as the amount increases, the penalties increase up to a $20,000 fine and 20 years in jail.