OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – It’s been a little over a year since Oklahoma patients began applying for medical marijuana licenses, and state officials say hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans have taken part in the program.
Now, an organization announced that it will begin collecting signatures in an effort to get a state question that legalizes recreational marijuana in Oklahoma to a vote of the people.
The proposed ballot measure, which is labeled as State Question 806, would allow for the personal use of marijuana by adults.
Under the proposed ballot title, the measure “would generally legalize, regulate and tax marijuana for persons aged 21+ under state law. Specifically, it protects the personal use of marijuana for those 21+, while establishing quantity limits, safety standards, and other restrictions. It maintains prohibitions on impaired driving and distribution to, or use by, those under 21. It would not affect employers’ ability to restrict marijuana use by employees. Property owners generally may restrict marijuana on their property.”
The ballot title states that the Oklahoma Marijuana Authority would be in charge of licensing and regulating marijuana-related conduct. It would also impose a 15% excise tax on sales to fund the authority, localities where sales occur, schools, and drug-addiction treatment programs. However, organizers say medical marijuana would be exempt from the new tax.
“We have seen all across Oklahoma, from our cities to our rural areas, the widespread support among our voters to regulate and tax adult marijuana use,” said Amy Young, an Oklahoma voter who filed the petition. “The status quo wastes law enforcement resources that would better be spent fighting serious crimes. It’s time to let the people decide this issue.”
In all, 11 other states have legalized the recreational use of marijuana for adults.
“Other states have successfully legalized marijuana, and Oklahoma would greatly benefit from this change in policy as well. Our state is ready for this common-sense approach. We can remove marijuana from the unregulated market and put it behind the counters of regulated businesses,” campaign manager Michelle Tilley said. “For several months Oklahomans have been working on writing this petition. Now we are in the process of putting together a broad campaign to go through the petition process.”
The petition will need nearly 178,000 signatures to put the issue on the November 2020 ballot.
The Oklahoma Secretary of State will set the date for signature gathering to begin and supporters will then have 90 days to collect the required number of signatures in order to qualify for the ballot.