Group Seeks To Legalize Recreational And Medical Marijuana
The Oklahoma Secretary of State has given the go-ahead on a petition that could put two new measures on the November ballot.
A Tulsa group, called "Green the Vote" will now gather signatures to add State Questions 796 and 797, hoping to loosen pot laws in Oklahoma.
Question 796 calls for a constitutional amendment for the use of medical marijuana. Question 797 also calls for a constitutional amendment, but this time for the legalization of recreational marijuana for those over 21-years-old.
“We are trying to give Oklahoma tax money. It's not only just from the sales of cannabis. Just look at what it's going to do with jobs, farms, equipment. We're going to have special equipment. We're going to have to have people farm it,” says Green the Vote Spokesperson John Frasure.
However, this grass roots effort falls under a light cloud of criticism.
“I think the state question is poorly written, but it sounds like it will probably get enough votes, enough signatures to get on the ballot,” says Majority Floor Leader Senator Greg Treat (R).
Supporters will have to collect almost 125,000 signatures.
The petition must be turned in at least 70 days before the general election so that the Governor may issue a proclamation to voters.
“We can't say it's impossible. There is no drop done deadline for when signatures have to be turned in, but it is certainly going to be tight to get something like that for the general election ballot,” says Bryan Dean, Public Information Officer of the Oklahoma State Election Board.
If the measures are passed, the existing State Question 788, which also promotes medical marijuana, would essentially default to the new broader measures.
However, the Oklahoma State Election Board says the timely filing of the new petition will be extremely difficult, and cites language changes, legal battles as some of those reasons.