Update: Effort to get medical marijuana on the Oklahoma ballot falls short

UPDATE: Officials with the Secretary of State’s office say a push to get the issue of legalizing medical marijuana on the ballot fell short.

‘Oklahomans for Health’ needed 155,216 signatures to put the measure on the November ballot.

However, the group only collected 75,384 signatures that could be authenticated.

Authorities say 13 people spent days looking at each signature to make sure they were all valid.

 

OKLAHOMA CITY – It’s impossible for Amy Hilterbran to contain her emotions.

It’s been a long campaign to get medical marijuana on the November ballot for her 12-year-old son, Austin.

“Legalizing medical marijuana in Oklahoma will give me a chance to help my son,” said Hilterbran.

Austin suffers from catastrophic epilepsy and has multiple life-threatening seizures every day.

Hilterbran says prescription drugs and traditional treatments have not helped.

“If a plant can save a life, especially after a decade of trying prescriptions drugs. We’ve been on life support seven times, shock, respiratory failure, allergic reaction to pills. If we can offer an all natural alternative, then that’s what needs to happen in Oklahoma,” she said.

After a grassroots campaign, supporters marched into the Oklahoma State Capitol and submitted what they hope will be enough signatures to bring the issue to a vote.

“I feel hopeful. From the beginning, we knew it would be an uphill battle. We might not get it on the first time,” said Willy Jones.

‘Oklahomans for Health’ needs roughly 155,000 verified signatures.

On Friday, the organization submitted 37 boxes of signatures at 4:20 p.m., just 40 minutes before the deadline.

The Secretary of State’s office will begin scouring petitions for any “red flags,” like duplicate signatures, on Monday.

“Other things such as being legible. On previous petitions, we have seen signatures discarded because you could not make out the signature,” said Secretary of State Chris Benge.

It could take weeks, and possibly months to go through all these boxes.

Hilterbran is grateful for the support and prays this is the year her son gets the help he so desperately needs.