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North Dakotans struggle to legislate full marijuana rights in the Peace Garden State as oil price collapse threatens economy

North Dakota

(NaturalNews) At the beginning of 2016, freight costs were so low that nearly every cargo ship around the world was anchored. Goods were so cheap that their prices didn't cover the expenses of transportation. Now it's happening to oil. The fracking industry literally helped the economy drill through the 2008 crisis. Everyone involved anticipated huge profits to be made in petrol. They were right, but what they refused to take into consideration is that a free market will always be influenced by supply and demand. Too much oil was supplied, so the prices crashed.

At this point, laid-off field workers are traveling for new employment or trying their best to adapt to other positions. Still, things are far from what they once were. Business is down, hotels are barely occupied and the camps where oil workers used to live are now empty and forlorn. According to David Owen, a student at the University of North Dakota, the answer is legalizing marijuana. On the one hand, many conservatives might frown and even reject the proposition, but on the other, the UND student makes a strong argument for this niche agricultural industry.

What's going on in the Peace Garden State?

North Dakota is just one of the places that started to drill massively for shale oil and gas. Back in 2008, there wasn't enough time to discuss the refinements of market analysis. Americans needed jobs to pay their mortgages, keep their families fed and their kids in school. For a while, it worked. In 2013, thousands of people looking for a job were coming to the Peace Garden State from all over the country.

Trailer parks were built, numerous housing development projects started and the government invested heavily in schools and infrastructure. The hustle and in-flow of workers was contributing to a never-before-seen liveliness. Many hoped the booming industry would last. But it didn't. The drilling frenzy was smothered by an ever-decreasing price of oil. Producers had to cut costs, so they let people go. Without stable employment, most of them went elsewhere.

A saving grace is possible if the citizens of North Dakota are willing to open their minds to the agribusiness of marijuana. David Owen, a local college student, is well aware of the current difficulties that many face, and his proposal has a lot more depth to it than "it would be totally rad." In fact, this is a long-term investment that can potentially pay off the loans made by the local administration to build infrastructure for the thousands who had previously flocked to the state, now that extensive fracking is tranquilized.

But in order for a veto referendum to be organized against federal law, at least 2% of the state's population, based on the most current census, must provide their signatures on a petition. That means that 13,452 voters must give their written consent by midnight, July 11, if the proposition is to be voted on.

How marijuana will benefit the people of North Dakota

Currently, possessing one gram of marijuana is a legal felony. If caught, a person's record is "stained" for the rest of their lives. They won't be able to get good jobs, and with reduced opportunities, many of them also have to request welfare in order to manage. None of this would happen if marijuana were not prohibited by draconian federal laws. Everyone would be given a chance to accomplish their full potential, while the money that is currently used for welfare could be diverted to other, more pressing matters.

Medicinally, people would also be allowed to use marijuana for various ailments and diseases. Besides new jobs, this industry would also generate a considerable amount in taxes. Marijuana is estimated to bring anywhere from $80 million to $100 million per year for a 20% levy, and marijuana taxes provided Colorado with nearly $140 million in 2015. Four states have legalized it for both medicinal and recreational use and have seen endless benefits with little to no downside. It's high time we admit that the main difference between marijuana and drugs approved by society, like alcohol or cigarettes, is that marijuana actually cures disease and has never caused a single death. Unlike smoking, moderate consumption of this plant does not take valuable years of your life. In fact, it might make them better.

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