Tomorrow Oklahoma Voters Decide the Fate of an Initiative to Legalize Marijuana

Tomorrow, March 7, voters in Oklahoma voters will decide the fate of an initiative to legalize recreational marijuana, potentially making their state the 22nd to do so.

State Question 820 is on the March 7 special election ballot, placed there by the state’s governor after the secretary of state missed the signature counting deadline that would have seen the measure voted on in November.

State Question 820 would allow those 21 and older to possess, consume, cultivate and purchase marijuana for any purpose, be it medical, recreational or therapeutical. 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 approved by voters the proposal would set an excise tax on marijuana sales at 15%. Taxes garnered would go 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.”

More information on this initiative can be found by clicking here.

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