OKC, Ok July, 17 ( The Oklahoma Post) –
Oklahomans have submitted the signatures required to Oklahoma election officials that will place legalization proposals on the 2022 ballot. Oklahoma will join eighteen (18) other states, including Montana, Arizona, California, Michigan, Alaska, and Colorado have all legalized recreational cannabis laws for adults.
The advocacy group Oklahomans for Sensible Marijuana Laws announced that they had turned in over 164,000 signatures to the Secretary of State’s office on July 5, 2022 in an effort to place a statewide marijuana legalization initiative for “recreational cannabis” on the November ballot. The total number of signatures received was significantly more than the number of signatures necessary (94,911) to set the question for the 2022 ballot.
The initiative will be on the Nov. 8th, 2022 ballot as State Question 820.
|820||Initiative||434||New Title 63, Sections 431 through 446, Oklahoma Statutes||Adult Use Marijuana Regulation Act||SIGNED PETITION PAMPHLETS FILED WITH SOS; SOS received 118 boxes of signed petition pamphlets, in support of SQ820; Next Steps – SOS to begin the signature verification and counting process (completion date to be determined); Ballot title review received from the Attorney General’s office – does not comply; AG’s office to file a rewritten ballot title|
- State Question 820 would legalize cannabis for adults 21 years old and older.
- The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority would be responsible for cannabis business licensing and regulations.
- The initiative would also provide a process for individuals to seek the expungement or modification of certain previous cannabis-related convictions or sentences.
- Under the initiative, individuals could possess up to six mature plants and up to six seedlings.
- Individuals would be allowed to possess, transport, and distribute up to one ounce (28.35 grams) of cannabis, eight grams of cannabis in a concentrated form, and/or eight grams or less of concentrated cannabis in cannabis-infused products.
- It will generate revenue for important priorities for Oklahomans, including schools, health care, and local governments through taxation.
Tax revenue generated from marijuana sales would be used to finance the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority’s implementation of the initiative with the remaining funds to be appropriated as follows:
- 30% to the state general fund;
- 30% to grants for public school programs to support student retention and performance, after-school and enrichment programs, and substance abuse prevention programs;
- 20% to grants for government agencies and not-for-profit organizations to fund drug addiction treatment and overdose prevention programs;
- 10% to the state judicial revolving fund; and
- 10% to the municipalities or counties where the cannabis was sold.
“Shall the following proposed law be approved?
An Act relating to adult use marijuana: creating the Adult Use Marijuana Regulation Act; defining terms; specifying limitations on application of the Act; establishing legal protections for personal use of marijuana; setting age, quantity and other limitations; establishing penalties for use, possession, cultivation, production, transportation, delivery or distribution in violation of the Act; vesting authority to license, administer, enforce, and regulate under the Act in the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority; providing for the issuance of rules and regulations related to adult use marijuana; setting requirements for and limitations on such licensing, administration, enforcement and regulation; establishing protections for licensees and contractors; establishing license eligibility requirements; establishing restrictions regarding cultivation, processing, testing, storage, transfer, import and export, security, and location; providing for local government regulation within limits; establishing the Oklahoma Marijuana Revenue Trust Fund; establishing an excise tax, and providing for collection and distribution of proceeds thereof; requiring annual reporting; providing for retroactive application; establishing a judicial process for resentencing, reversal of convictions, or modification of judgment and sentence for individuals previously convicted of certain marijuana-related offenses; establishing rules of construction; providing for codification, severability, and an effective date. “
- The current approach is wasteful of public resources.
- Cannabis use should be further destigmatized and publicly legal for recreational use as a natural product.
- The law will prevent unnecessary arrests and allow people to clean their records.
- The change will allow for more tangible tax revenue for municipalities.
- Fewer arrests also mean our courts aren’t clogged with marijuana cases.
- For many Oklahomans with health conditions, including veterans with PTSD and cancer patients, marijuana is the only medicine that relieves their pain and suffering without debilitating side effects. This measure will remove barriers and make it easier for patients to alleviate their health conditions without patients having to join a government registry.
(Writing by Gregory Moyer; Editing by Robbie Robertson)
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