Next Month Oklahoma Voters Have Opportunity to Legalize Recreational Marijuana

A citizens’ initiative that would legalize marijuana for everyone 21 and older will be voted on in Oklahoma next month on March 7th.

In October Governor Stitt issued a proclamation setting a special election on marijuana legalization for March 7, 2023, now just a month away. On that date voters will decide the fate of State Question 820. The initiative didn’t make it on the November ballot despite getting the required number of signatures signatures to do so due to a delay in signature counting at the Secretary of State’s Office.

State Question 820 would allow those 21 and older to possess, consume, cultivate and purchase marijuana for any purposes. The possession limit would be set at one ounce of marijuana, eight grams of marijuana concentrates and eight grams of marijuana-infused products. The cultivation limit would be set at six mature plants and six seedlings.

If the initiative is approved the Oklahoma Tax Commission will collect a 15% excise tax on recreational use sales, with taxes going to public school programs (30%), the General Revenue Fund (30%), drug addiction treatment programs (20%), courts (10%), and local governments (10%).

Under the law local governments will have the ability to prohibit and restrict recreational marijuana use on city property and set limits to regulate “the time, place, and manner of the operation of marijuana businesses within its boundaries.” They cannot, however, limit the number of, or completely prohibit recreational marijuana businesses.

The law also allows property owners to prohibit or regulate marijuana-related conduct, however, it will not allow lease agreements to prohibit a tenant from lawfully possessing and consuming marijuana by means other than smoking. Employers may still choose to restrict employees’ consumption of marijuana.

Medical marijuana patients or licensees will not be affected, however, for the first two years new recreational business licenses will only be available to those who already have their medical business license and have been open for a minimum of one year.

According to State Question 820, the passage of the law will require “resentencing, reversing, modifying, and expunging certain prior marijuana-related judgments and sentences unless the State proves an unreasonable risk to a person.”

Upon passage, the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority will administer and enforce all aspects of the law.

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