North Dakota


Participants sought for N.D. industrial hemp program

The U.S. farm bill wants to make it easier for farmers to grow industrial hemp. The North Dakota Department of Agriculture wants that, too.

The state ag deparment announced on Tuesday that it's seeking participants for an industrial hemp pilot program.

“Industrial hemp may only be grown in North Dakota through the North Dakota Department of Agriculture’s pilot program or by institutions of higher education,” state Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring says in a news release.


Fargo Man Fighting To Legalize Medical Marijuana In ND, "Be Compassionate”

After being disappointed with lawmakers, a local man is asking the community to help legalize medical marijuana in North Dakota. Ray Morgan, a Fargo man suffering from severe back pain is leading the fight.

He’s asking the community to sign a petition. He's formed a committee of 25 people, and if they get approval from the Secretary of State they can start collecting signatures. They need 13,500 people need to sign on. If they get that, you will be able to vote for or against legalizing medical marijuana on the November 2016 ballot.


Andrew Sadek's parents push for end to use of college students as informants

ROGERS, N.D. — Tammy and John Sadek raise cattle on the green slopes above Lake Ashtabula. On their ranch, early summer days bring the hard work of cutting hay, a job their 20-year-old son, Andrew, used to help with.

"He was my right hand as far as getting chores done," John Sadek said. "He was a good worker. Real good."

It's this memory of a son, who planned to carry the tradition of a ranch kept in the family since the 1930s, that makes this time of year hard to bear, despite crisp prairie skies and sun glittering on the dark blue lake.


Deaths From Drug Overdoses Rise Across America

What will slow the increase in overdoses?

Deaths by drug overdose have been on the rise in the United States, with a majority of states recording increases from 2009 to 2013, according to a study released on Wednesday. 

Across the country, 44,000 people died from drug overdoses in 2013, more than double the number in 1999, the study by the non-profit group, Trust for America’s Health found. Nearly 52 percent of the deaths were related to prescription drugs. The number of overdose deaths increased in 26 states in the four years to 2013, the study found, and decreased in only six states.


Oglala tribal member says he should be allowed to grow hemp

FARGO, N.D. (AP) - Alex White Plume thought his decade-long wait to produce industrial hemp on a South Dakota Indian reservation was ending when the federal government softened its stance on marijuana enforcement and lawmakers expanded the development of hemp under certain circumstances.

But federal prosecutors in South Dakota refuse to lift an injunction against White Plume that prevents the enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Nation from growing the crop.

“One thing that really hurts my feelings is to get treated as minorities,” White Plume told The Associated Press. “We have always been here. We have superior standing.”


Dakotas Tribal Leaders Pitching Pot As Economic Opportunity

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Marijuana companies in California and Colorado have tabbed prominent American Indian leaders from the Dakotas to help prod tribes across the nation into the pot business.

Tex Hall, the former chairman of the oil-rich Three Affiliated Tribes, and Robert Shepherd, former chairman of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate tribe in northeastern South Dakota and southeastern North Dakota, are trying to recruit and assist tribes in producing high-grade marijuana products.

“Those who want to get in early are the ones who will really succeed,” said Shepherd, the tribal relations officer for Denver-based Monarch America Inc.


After oil, ex-North Dakota Indian leader forms marijuana firm

WILLISTON, N.D. (Reuters) - The former chairman of a North Dakota Indian nation that controls one-third of the state's oil output has formed a marijuana company to help tribes around the United States produce and distribute the drug.

Tex "Red-Tipped Arrow" Hall, who until last fall led the Three Affiliated Tribes of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara (MHA) Nation, has formed Native American Organics LLC with California-based Wright Family Organics LLC, a medical marijuana company, the companies said in a statement.

Native American Organics said it will help Indian tribes grow and distribute marijuana to wherever legally possible, as well as offer expertise on hydroponics and genetics and advice on how best to work with state and federal officials.


Former tribal chairman joins marijuana company

BISMARCK -- Former MHA Nation Tribal Chairman Tex Hall has joined a company focused on producing marijuana on reservations.

Native American Organics LLC will help tribes who want to enter the marijuana products industry set up legal growing and distribution systems. The company is a partnership between Hall's Red Tipped Arrow LLC and Wright Family Organics LLC, a California-based medical marijuana research and operations company.

The company will work on regulation and compliance issues with tribes located in states where medical and recreational marijuana is legal, helping to break down barriers to entry. It will help tribes make law governing the industry on their reservations.


Hemp backers say bill gives momentum, especially for tribes

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) -- Some observers say a North Dakota bill passed this legislative session that sets guidelines for industrial hemp production should make it easier to grow and may help create an industry for Indian tribes, although it could take a while to sort out federal policies.

Hemp can be used to make clothing, lotion and many other products, but growing it has been illegal under federal law because it is type of cannabis plant and looks like marijuana. Unlike marijuana, people can't get high on hemp.

The measure sponsored by Republican Rep. David Monson is meant to put the state in line with the new federal farm bill that allows hemp to be grown through state agriculture departments and college research stations.


To the Bitter End: The 9 States Where Marijuana Will Be Legalized Last

We know the end is coming, but pot prohibition is going to have to be undone state by state. Here are the ones least likely to jump on the bandwagon.

Marijuana prohibition in the US is dying, but it isn't going to vanish in one fell swoop. Even if Congress were to repeal federal pot prohibition, state laws criminalizing the plant and its users would still be in effect—at least in some states.

And it's probably a pretty safe bet that Congress isn’t going to act until a good number of states, maybe more than half, have already legalized it. That process is already underway and is likely to gather real momentum by the time election day 2016 is over.


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