Oklahoma marijuana bill fails in Senate ahead of ballot vote
OKLAHOMA CITY – A bill that would legalize and regulate medical marijuana in Oklahoma has failed to pass in the Senate amid concerns over anticipating a vote by residents.
In June, Oklahoma voters will head to the polls to vote on State Question 788, which would legalize medical marijuana for some patients.
Under the state question, a person 18 years or older would need to apply for a medical marijuana license with the Oklahoma State Department of Health after receiving a note from their doctor. If approved, the patient would then have to pay $100 to obtain that license.
Patients would be allowed to legally possess up to 3 ounces of the drug, six mature plants and six seedlings.
At this time, there are no qualifying conditions and it would be taxed at 7 percent for all marijuana sales.
Although voters won't head to the polls for several months, an Oklahoma senator introduced a bill that would limit medical marijuana use for just serious health conditions.
Sen. Ervin Yen argues that the ballot question as written would essentially legalize recreational marijuana, whereas his measure would legalize and regulate medical marijuana.
However, his bill failed to pass in the Senate amid concerns that it could cause confusion ahead of a vote by the people.
Democratic state Senate Minority Leader John Sparks says it's bad policy to pre-empt the public's vote on a state question. He says it could create confusion if both the bill and the state question passed.
Voters will head to the polls to vote on State Question 788 on June 26.