Recreational Marijuana Petition Gathers Sufficient Signatures, Group Says

Monday, July 30th 2018, 2:04 pm
By: Emory Bryan

After a surge this weekend - a petition drive for "recreational" marijuana reached a milestone. Organizers say it has enough signatures to go on the ballot this fall.

Several petition workers said people who who didn't like the state tinkering with the medical marijuana law were eager to sign the petition for recreational use

Petition workers are dropping off paperwork that could get recreational marijuana on the November ballot. The people gathering signatures say it's been easy work - especially in the last few weeks.

7/29/2018 Related Story: Recreational Marijuana Petition Reaches Signature Count

The group plans to turn in their signatures to the state next week. They say they have reached their goal to get at least one of two state questions on the November ballot. The group has been gathering signatures for the last several months to both declare marijuana as a medicinal plant in the state constitution and to open up recreational marijuana use. 

They say they have gathered 132,527 signatures to put recreational marijuana on the ballot. 

"I've had a lot of people who voted no on 788 but because of all the controversy with the Health Department and those things, they've stepped forward and said you know what, our voice need to be heard and if they're going to ignore us on that, they need to hear it now," said Lisa Roberts, petition worker.

The petition organizers say they have enough signatures - but they want more than enough.

"That's great and reason to celebrate, but we still have a lot of work to do to meet our goal of 150,000 in this last week of gathering," said Isaac Caviness of Green the Vote.

Isaac Caviness says there are people working statewide on signatures, and they'll turn them in next week.
"The metro areas, Oklahoma City and Tulsa, overwhelmingly voted for 788 and all the rural counties voted no. That's the same thing we're seeing as we're gathering signatures," he said.

The success on the recreational marijuana petition surprised even the backers of the medical marijuana law.

“We did this, right. So, we know how hard it is. We did it in 2014 and we tried to do the constitutional amendment in 2014. And we backed off of that when we actually did our petitioning in 2016 because we thought it was too hard. So the fact that they’ve been able to do that is just a spectacular testament I think to the awareness that people have around the whole marijuana issue in Oklahoma,” said medical marijuana petition author Chip Paul. 

If successful, it would be State Question 797 to open recreational marijuana on the November ballot

The signatures, however, still need to be validated by the state.