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Associated Press, Published September 20 2012

ND medical marijuana backer hopes issue isn't dead

BISMARCK — The chairman of North Dakota's campaign to make marijuana legal as a pain reliever says he's hoping the issue doesn't fade away.

Fargo state Rep. Steve Zaiser says he won't be leading another petition drive. But he says he believes other activists will take up the cause.

An initiative in favor of medical marijuana was kept off North Dakota's November ballot because of alleged petition fraud.

Zaiser appealed to the North Dakota Supreme Court, but the high court refused to intervene in his favor.

Medical marijuana is legal in 17 states, and it's going on the ballot elsewhere this fall.

Zaiser believes people across the country are becoming more accepting of the idea of using marijuana as a pain reliever instead of narcotics.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.