OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – Oklahoma voters are just a couple of weeks away from voting on legalizing recreational marijuana in the Sooner State.

Supporters and opponents alike are gearing up for the upcoming Oklahoma Special Election on recreational marijuana.

Advocates for the proposed law are arguing from an economic standpoint

The “Yes on 820” group told KFOR the law would regulate and tax marijuana for adults 21 and older. 

The group said it has strict safety requirements for labeling, childproof packaging and quantity limits. 

“We know Oklahomans can responsibly use this product [and] State Question 820 is a sensible next step in Oklahoma’s marijuana policy,” said Ryan Kiesel, Senior consultant on State Question 820 campaign.  

A 15 percent excise tax on recreational sales would be imposed, and proponents say it will generate millions of dollars for Oklahoma schools and health care, plus free up police resources to focus on serious violent crimes. 

“Based on some economic analysis that we’ve seen conservatively; we believe that that will bring in around $821 million in new revenue to the state of Oklahoma. That’s combined medical and recreational over the next five years. And then beyond that, a conservative estimate shows $100 million in annually recurring revenue from there on out,” said Kiesel.

However, not everyone is on board with the idea.

The Executive Director of a local Christian recovery center in Stillwater said no profit is worth the devastating effects Marijuana leaves behind.

“They say it’s not addictive, but they forgot to tell me that, because when I started, I couldn’t stop,” said Todd Adams, Adult & Teen Challenge of Oklahoma.

“I’ve seen it ruin so many people’s lives [and] you can’t put any dollar amount on a ruined life,” he added.

Those feelings chased public sentiment delivered Thursday by members of the Oklahoma Faith Coalition at the Capitol.

Oklahoma Faith Coalition (OFC) is a “multi-faith, action-focused organization that aims to foster sound public policy that advances the cause of religious freedom in Oklahoma”. 

The group came together to ask Oklahomans to vote against the measure in March, while saying no anticipated financial incentive will justify the cost of Cannabis.

“We’ve seen that recreational marijuana creates easy access to mind altering, addictive substances [and] we’re concerned that this measure comes with empty promises and disguised consequences even as the voters go to the polls on March 7th,” said Brian Hobbs, Oklahoma Baptists.

The group expressed concerns that marijuana promotes drug dependency and endangers the overall health and security of families without the financial benefits supporters are claiming.

“If you want to increase tax revenue find another way. This bill is poorly written [and] creates challenges for our schools [and] obstacles for our overly taxed law enforcement,” said Rev. Darryl Wooten, Oklahoma Assemblies of God.

“These sin taxes as they’re called have hardly been a windfall for Oklahomans,” added Rev. Stephen Hamilton, Archdiocese of Oklahoma. 

The group said they’re relying on paid advertisements and social media to get the word out against the question. 

Oklahomans will cast their ballot to vote on State Question 820 on March 7th.

To become law, it will need more than 50% of the vote.