Attorney requesting Oklahoma Supreme Court to change language of medical marijuana question
OKLAHOMA CITY – A new filing with the Oklahoma Supreme Court is challenging changes made to a state question that deals with the legalization of medical marijuana.
State Question 788 would allow Oklahomans to vote on whether or not to legalize medical marijuana.
Before the question could go to a vote of the people, supporters needed to collect almost 66,000 signatures.
In August, state leaders announced that the group collected 67,761 signatures, nearly 2,000 more than needed.
However, there were still several steps that needed to be taken before the measure could be placed on the ballot.
After it was approved by the Oklahoma Supreme Court, the measure was sent to Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, who rewrote the title of the bill.
“This measure legalizes the licensed use, sale and growth of marijuana in Oklahoma. There are no qualifying medical conditions identified. Possession and use of marijuana is authorized through a medical marijuana license that is valid for two years, rather than by prescription. An Oklahoma board certified physician must recommend the license using the same acceptable standards for recommending other medications, and must sign the application for the license. The State Department of Health must issue a license to an applicant who:
- Submits a valid application;
- Is eighteen years or older, and
- Is an Oklahoma resident.
Applications for individuals under eighteen must be signed by two physicians and by a parent or legal guardian. The Department also issues seller, grower, packaging, transportation, research and caregiver licenses to those who meet certain minimal requirements. A 7 percent state tax is imposed on retain (sic) sales of marijuana. Unlicensed possession by an individual who claims to have a medical condition is punishable by a fine not exceeding $400. Local government cannot use zoning laws to prevent the opening of a retain marijuana store. This measure does not change federal law, which make use, sale, and growth of marijuana illegal.”
On Tuesday, Attorney David Slane filed a request with the Oklahoma Supreme Court to restore the original language to the bill.
Court documents claim that the original language complied with the law, adding that Pruitt’s rewrite would “mislead voters and or make argument against or show partiality. Specifically, he would lead voters to believe they are either legalizing marijuana for general purposes and/or would confuse voters by his language used rather than the original language of marijuana for medical purposes.”
The request also claims that Pruitt shows partiality with the statement at the end, saying, “the measure does not change federal law, which make use, sale and growth of marijuana illegal.”
The original language of the bill was as follows:
“This measure amends the Oklahoma State Statutes. A yes vote legalizes the licensed use, sale, and growth of marijuana in Oklahoma for medicinal purposes. A license is required for use and possession of marijuana for medical purposes and must be approved by an Oklahoma Board Certified Physician. The State Department of Health will issue medical marijuana licenses if the applicant is eighteen years or older and an Oklahoma resident. A special exception will be granted to an applicant under the age of eighteen, however these applications must be signed by two physicians and a parent or legal guardian. The Department will also issue seller, grower, packaging, transportation, research and caregiver licenses. Individual and retail businesses must meet minimal requirements to be licensed to sell marijuana to licensees. The punishment for unlicensed possession of permitted amounts of marijuana for individuals who can state a medical condition is a fine not exceeding four hundred dollars. Fees and zoning restrictions are established. A seven percent state tax is imposed on medical marijuana sales.”