OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – A group of Oklahoma cannabis advocates are working to put recreational marijuana on the ballot.
Beginning Tuesday, Oklahomans for Sensible Marijuana Laws will begin collecting the signatures needed to put recreational marijuana on a future state ballot.
The organization will have 90 days to collect almost 95,000 signatures necessary to get State Question 820 on the ballot.
If passed, it would legalize adult use cannabis for anyone 21-years-old and older. It would also impose a 15% excise tax on all recreational marijuana sales.
Proponents of SQ820 said the state could benefit from the legalization.
“We’ve seen it go recreational in many states and the influx of business the influx of people who have been let out of jail because of it. And the tax money that gets brought into the state is definitely a benefit for all of us,” said Raymond Brown, owner of High Decibel Alternative.
Brown wants people to view marijuana more as a common way to cure ailments and less of a drug with a negative connotation.
“The industry has its taboos and some people are still shying away from the industry itself, not happy with how things are going,” remarked Brown.
Michelle Tilley, director of Oklahomans For Sensible Marijuana Laws, said SQ820 will also work to expunge the crimes of many in jail now.
“Thousands of Oklahomans still in jail for minor marijuana crimes that have you know, that are sitting there. And we just think those are outdated laws,” said Tilley.
For this state question to make it this far, Tilley said they needed a court to approve the petition.
She didn’t mind going through the hoops of democracy. And it was the grassroots support from the 2018 medical law that encouraged her to try for recreational.
Oklahoman voters passed State Question 788 in the summer of 2018. Tilley said SQ820 is similar to that medical law to make approval easy.
The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority said being recreational or medical does not change how they will apply the law.