OKLAHOMA CITY (KFOR) – State Question 820 was rejected by Oklahoma voters Tuesday, so what does that mean for the recreational marijuana movement in the Sooner State?

The Associated Press projects the state question failed.

SQ 820 sought to legalize marijuana purchases for adults in Oklahoma 21 years old and older, regardless of medical marijuana license possession.

“We’re pleased and excited that Oklahomans recognize the dangers of marijuana to our kids, to our families,” said Pat McFerron, with Protect Our Kids NO 820 during a Zoom interview with KFOR Tuesday night. “What [voters] said was, we don’t want to go further. We’ve seen the ills of unfettered marijuana use in our state. We’ve heard those stories from other places, and we don’t want to travel down that road.”

In addition to marijuana legalization, the measure would also allow Oklahomans previously convicted of marijuana-related crimes to apply for resentencing, reversing, modifying, and expunging of those convictions.

Photo courtesy KFOR, State Question 820

Critics argued that the state needs to place more restrictions on the marijuana industry, not less.

McFerron added that he hopes this vote leads to the legislature reforming the medicinal marijuana program that’s currently in place.

During a speech Tuesday night, members of the Say Yes on 820 campaign said the election was about much more than just legalizing recreational marijuana.

Image: KFOR

“This was about keeping Oklahomans out of the criminal justice system,” said Ryan Kiesel, Say Yes on 820. “As recently as 2021, 4,500 Oklahomans were arrested and put in jail for small amounts of marijuana. The idea that you cannot get into the criminal justice system for marijuana in the state of Oklahoma is not based in reality at all.

Supporters of the measure also said the move would generate nearly half a billion dollars in new marijuana tax revenue for schools, health care and local governments, as well as free up law enforcement resources currently used for marijuana criminalization.

Kiesel adds that this fight is far from over.

“This is not the end of the effort to end prohibition in the state of Oklahoma. This is halftime,” said Kiesel.

In Oklahoma, a measure rejected by voters cannot be initiated again for three years unless proponents can gather signatures equal to 25 percent of the total vote cast for governor in the last gubernatorial election – meaning recreational marijuana proponents would have to obtain 288,321 signatures in order to get on the ballot before 2026.