Measure 3: Stolen sign leads to criminal complaint

WEST FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - "When we went in the house last night, it was about dark – the sign was still there," says Gary Speich. "Today it's gone. So what time of the night they came – I can't tell you. My wife, I think, was unnerved. I think I was more upset."

Two days was all it took for thieves to steal Speich's yard sign opposing Measure 3 - and he says the problem goes beyond his yard.

"There was one taken off property on Sheyenne Street," Speich says. "If there was any doubt in my mind prior to this event, there isn't anymore. When you attempt to silence somebody else's voice, I think there's more going on than meets the public eye."

Speich says the theft is an effort to silence his voice, but Measure 3 supporters say they understand his frustration - because they're being targeted too.

"We're getting reports of 'Vote Yes on Measure 3' signs being lifted across the state. It's a very unfortunate circumstance – and certainly one that I, myself, condemn and Legalize ND condemns. That's dirty politics. It's not fair, and it really disenchants voters," says Cole Haymond, an adviser with Legalize ND.

Speich says he contacted police about his stolen yard sign. The criminal penalties could include having to pay damages for stealing the sign, which is something Legalize ND supports.

"We certainly support if someone were to get caught that they face the ramifications that are on the books here in North Dakota," Haymond says.

So while they may not agree on recreational marijuana, Measure 3's supporters and the opposition are quick to support each others' rights.

"They have their right to put the signs up in favor of the measure. And I have the right to my opinion on it," Speich says.

"I think it's important that every North Dakotan and every U.S. citizen exercises their right to vote regardless of who they end up supporting," Haymond adds.

Measure 3 is up for a vote in the November election. Supporters say the measure benefits families by decriminalizing marijuana, while critics say the bill doesn't set clear limits on who can grow or sell marijuana.



 
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