State marijuana laws vary quite a bit from one state to the next, with some states continuing to put people in jail for simple possession and others fully legalizing its recreational use. Regardless, marijuana remains illegal under federal drug laws that often run counter to state decriminalization efforts. Federal marijuana laws are likely to change, however, since there is more support among voters and because the federal government has decided not to interfere with state decriminalization laws.
Marijuana Criminal Laws
In North Dakota the criminal laws relating to marijuana are relatively severe, and even the possession of less than half an ounce of the herb is punishable by up to 30 days in jail and/or a fine of up to $1,000. Possession of more than one ounce bumps the charge up to a felony, while the sale of more than 100 pounds can result in a prison term of up to 20 years.
Medical Marijuana in North Dakota
In November 2016, voters in North Dakota passed a ballot initiative, Statutory Measure No. 5, legalizing the use of marijuana for specific medical conditions such as:
- Hepatitis C;
- Glaucoma; and
Under the law, North Dakota residents can use medical marijuana if they obtain identification cards and certificates of registration requiring approval by a physician. Once eligibility is established, patients can obtain up to 3 ounces of usable marijuana and, in some instances, could even grow the marijuana at their residence.
North Dakota Marijuana Laws at a Glance
Additional details about North Dakota's current marijuana laws are listed in the following table. See FindLaw's Drug Charges and Patient Rights sections for more information.
||North Dakota Century Code Section 19-03.1-01, et seq. (Uniform Controlled Substances Act)
Under 0.5 oz.: Class B misdemeanor (30 days and/or $1,000).
Under 0.5 oz. while operating a motor vehicle: Class A misdemeanor (up to 1 yr. and/or $1,000 -- but may be expunged from record if no further conviction for 2 yrs.).
Under 1 oz.: Class A misdemeanor punished as described above.
More than 1 oz. but less than 500g: Class C Felony (5 yrs. and/or $5,000).
More than 500g: Class B Felony (10 yrs. and/or $10,000).
|Sale, Cultivation, or Intent to Sell
Up to 100 lbs.: Class B felony (10 yrs. and/or $10,000)
100 lbs. or more: Class A felony (20 yrs. and/or up to $10,000)
Charges for cultivation are based on possession.
|Is Drug Court an Option?
||Yes (see North Dakota Parole and Probation Services)
Anyone convicted on a drug charge must submit to a mandatory drug addiction evaluation.
Juveniles can lose their driver's license for up to six months.
Juveniles possessing one-half oz. or less may be sentenced to participate in an evidence-based alcohol and drug education program for a first offense; must be sentenced to such a program for a second offense or more
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.
North Dakota Marijuana Laws: Related Resources
Facing Cannabis Charges? Talk to a North Dakota Defense Lawyer
Although recreational use of marijuana is still illegal in North Dakota, with the recent legalization of medical marijuana, the laws could be changing in the near future. This could have a significant impact on you especially if you're facing criminal charges. Let an experienced defense attorney familiar with North Dakota marijuana laws advise you and protect your rights going forward.