Aug. 14 (UPI) -- North Dakota will vote on whether to legalize marijuana for recreational use after a measure was approved for the November ballot on Monday.
The ballot will come before voters about two years after they overwhelmingly voted to legalize marijuana for medicinal use, which was the result of a campaign that Owen was also a part of.
If approved, recreational marijuana would be similar to other states. Legal use would be limited to people over the age of 21 and regulation would be similar to alcohol.
Despite voter enthusiasm to legalize a substance many people use, law enforcement authorities are already speaking out against the measure.
North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem said legalized marijuana could lead to a rise in crime in other areas.
"It could put pressure on the treatment providers because there are a number of people who are in treatment where marijuana is their No. 1 drug of choice, so I think it just might shift the law enforcement issues from one place to another," he told reporters, according to The Bismarck Tribune. "I've said for a long time that I don't think, if marijuana is legalized in North Dakota, we will be healthier or safer."
Bit Owen, who said his grassroots effort has taken off with just around $8,000, said it would be a mistake to continue criminalizing people for using marijuana.
"Because of a plant ... they are now barred for the rest of their life from ever really achieving what they could be," he said. "And that is the real crime of the war on drugs."
Currently, nine states and the District of Columbia have recreational marijuana laws on the books.