Oklahoma medical marijuana measure likely won’t make it to November ballot

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OKLAHOMA CITY - The group 'Oklahomans For Change' rallied at the state capitol, hoping to get the attention of state leaders.

They said there is widespread support for legalizing marijuana for medical purposes.

But, it appears several delays will keep the state question off the general election ballot in November.

Proofreaders at the state election board are preparing November's ballot for printing.

The deadline for state question changes was last week.

For Graceyn Kennedy, 8, medical marijuana may hold the key to a debilitating seizure disorder.

"We've done everything we can do legally, and we're still having seizures," said Graceyn's mom, Mindy Kennedy. "If we can help her and help other kids, why would we not?"

There is serious doubt the state question to bring medical marijuana to Oklahoma will make it on the ballot.

The required signatures have not been verified.

Legal challenges have not yet been exhausted.

The ACLU may get involved in this case, because they believe Attorney General Scott Pruitt's re-written language muddies the water when it comes to the difference between medicinal and recreational marijuana.

"This is a step in the right direction for a sensible drug policy, and the attorney general has inserted his own political agenda into this language by attempting to confuse Oklahoma voters about what this ballot measure is about," said Allie Shinn, the director of strategies initiatives at the Oklahoma affiliate of the ACLU.

"I think it's the opposite of politicization," Pruitt said. "People have created the narrative that we've taken steps to prevent this from getting on the ballot. That's just simply not the case."

Pruitt said he changed the language to explain this type of marijuana legalization.

He said so-called medicinal marijuana is only loosely monitored by medical professionals.

Pruitt said his political positions never play a role in the way his office re-write a state question.

"We have an obligation to explain the effect of a measure. And, the fact that explaining the effect of a measure sometimes causes people to look at it as unwise doesn't mean it's partial. Sometimes, a bad idea is just a bad idea."

Oklahomans For Health is expected the challenge Pruitt's re-write.

Initiative Petition Timeline
  • Once the AG receives a ballot title from the Secretary of State, the AG’s office has 5 business days to review the ballot title.
  • If it is found non-compliant, the attorney general has 10 business days to submit a rewritten ballot title.
  • The rewritten ballot title must then be published so that any member of the public can, within 10 business days, challenge the signatures and/or the proposed ballot title.
  • The Supreme Court makes a determination of the numerical sufficiency or insufficiency of the signatures counted by the Secretary of State.
  • Once the measure has cleared any challenges the governor can issue a proclamation placing the initiative petition on the ballot.
*Some steps happen simultaneously
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