Signature goal reached to put recreational marijuana on November ballot, group says

OKLAHOMA CITY - 'Green the Vote' has announced it has reached its goal for signatures to put recreational marijuana on the November ballot.

The group needed to collect 124,000 signatures of registered Oklahoma voters for its petition to add State Question 797 to the ballot. On Sunday, it said it reached over 132,000.

Green the Vote started to push for recreational marijuana and full medical cannabis after watching the process of State Question 788.

"796 and 797 both constitutional amendments; if we get them on the ballot, we'll get our people out and get them voted on, there you go," said John Frasure with Green the Vote.

However, is 135,000 signatures enough?

"I will never feel safe until we get it on the ballot. We need everyone to get out and sign these petitions," Frasure said.

Frasure is asking folks who may have signed invalid petitions to get out and sign again. He said signatures must be signed on the legal petition form with all 20 signature lines and petition information.

Invalid signatures might not be the group's only problem. Secretary of State James Williamson told News 4, a few weeks ago, after hiring counters to check all the signatures, the petition then has be approved by Gov. Fallin by August 27.

"It would then have to go to the Supreme Court to certify that there's a sufficient number of signatures and then, after that, there's a 10-day notification process by publication to give people who might want to protest 10 days to file objections to the signature count," Williamson said.

As for opposition, Oklahoma Faith Leaders Director Paul Abner said, in a statement:

"While we support access to genuine medical marijuana, we’re concerned that fully allowing recreational marijuana use would make pot far too accessible and, as a result, expand its use and misuse.

Oklahoma pastors and ministers spend a lot of time helping families who have been stricken with addiction. We know that marijuana is addictive. It is recognized as a gateway drug, associated with addiction to stronger drugs. Current campaigns to reduce or control addiction to opioids are directly aimed at reducing drug use. Why, then, should use of marijuana be sanctioned?

Marijuana and other drugs offer promises of happiness that they can't fulfill.

There's so much hope and so many amazing things that God has planned for us in this life to waste our time in the trivial pursuits of the instant gratifications found in drugs and drunkenness. Don't spend your life escaping, self-medicating, and sitting around."

Williamson said, historically, getting a petition on the ballot is a 60-day process.