Pot Talk: Dueling recreational marijuana petitions aim for different regulations

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OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – The battle is on to give Oklahomans recreational marijuana.

On December 27, organizers filed a petition to get State Question 807 on the ballot.

Co-author of SQ807, Michelle Tilley said they did research around the state before writing the petition.

This comes after they withdrew SQ806 and made changes designed to better protections for the state’s medical marijuana industry.

Cannabis Party OK filed an intent to protest with State Question 808, also filed on December 27.

Tulsa resident, Paul Tay is the author.

“807 would actually create the super agency that is beyond the reach of the state legislature,” Paul Tay said.

Tay specifically refers to changing the name of the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority to just Oklahoma Marijuana Authority.

In it, organizers propose regulating marijuana for adults 21 and older by establishing quantity limits and imposing a 15% excise tax on sales.

That money would fund the authority, schools and drug addiction treatment programs to name a few.

Tay, however, takes issue with the proposed tax.

“Everybody has been told don’t put an exact percentage number in the state constitution,” Tay said.

He also added that people currently or formerly incarcerated for marijuana use should be exonerated.

“We owe all of those folks that went to prison and took it on the chin for us and we’re going to reparate them with a reasonable tax,” Tay said.

Organizers for both parties will have to collect nearly 178,000 signatures to get the state question 808 on a 2020 ballot.

Tilley said she’s confident SQ807 will get the signatures needed to get this on the ballot.

Tilley sent News 4 a statement saying,

“The language of SQ 808 is poorly drafted and therefore fatally flawed and will affect the rights of all Oklahomans, whether or not they choose to use or possess cannabis.  It contains no age restrictions, and due to drafting error limits the state’s ability to enforce general employment and criminal laws across the board regardless of relation to cannabis or cannabis use.
SQ 808 further makes it so that there can be no regulation of cannabis for consumer safety and requires the state to pay for and provide cannabis to all persons, regardless of their age.  This is not the way to legalize cannabis in Oklahoma.
SQ 807 is a responsible measure, that will expand access for all adults over 21 in Oklahoma, while protecting the existing medical marijuana program, Oklahoma’s current medical marijuana industry, and those who need medical marijuana as patients.  It creates a tax on recreational use that will generate millions of dollars for Oklahoma health care and schools.  It ensures security and protects consumer safety in line with what other states have already successfully done.”

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