Oklahoma activists met a major milestone of their efforts to legalize leisure hashish this week with the submission of greater than 164,000 signatures on petitions to qualify an adult-use weed legalization poll initiative for this 12 months’s normal election. Oklahomans for Smart Marijuana Legal guidelines submitted the signatures for State Query 820 to the Secretary of State’s workplace on the state Capitol on Tuesday, almost a month earlier than the deadline to qualify for the November poll.
If handed, State Question 820 would legalize hashish for adults 21 and older. The statutory initiative would additionally activity the state’s present Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority with drafting and implementing rules to control the brand new adult-use hashish trade.
Representatives of the marketing campaign stated that accumulating signatures for the poll measure was brisk all through the state and polling knowledge confirmed sturdy help for the initiative. Oklahomans for Smart Marijuana Legal guidelines had till August 1 to submit 94,910 to qualify the measure for this 12 months’s poll, with Tuesday’s submission eclipsing that whole by almost 70,000 signatures.
“The overwhelming variety of signatures we have now acquired demonstrates that our marketing campaign has the momentum and that Oklahomans are able to vote to legalize leisure marijuana for adults,” marketing campaign director Michelle Tilley in an announcement quoted by The Journal Record.
Senior marketing campaign adviser Ryan Kiesel stated that he expects the initiative to be well-liked with voters once they go to the polls in November.
“We’re anticipating Oklahomans to say sure to this,” he told local media.
Initiative Contains Expungement Provisions
State Query 820 additionally consists of provisions to permit some individuals with previous hashish convictions to petition the courts to reverse their conviction and have their legal file expunged. Marketing campaign representatives consider that tens of hundreds of individuals may benefit from having their information cleared below the hashish legalization initiative.
“Oklahomans don’t suppose that folks needs to be frequently punished for one thing that’s not a criminal offense,” Kiesel stated.
State Query 820 would set a 15% tax on adult-use hashish gross sales, greater than twice the 7% tax fee levied on gross sales of medical hashish. Taxes generated by the sale of leisure pot could be divided among the many state’s Normal Income Fund, native governments that enable licensed adult-use hashish companies to function of their jurisdiction, the state court docket system, faculty districts and drug remedy applications. Kiesel famous that legalizing leisure hashish offers the state a brand new supply of serious income.
“To be clear, medical marijuana was by no means actually meant to be a income generator for the state, it’s about medication,” Kiesel said. “While you transfer over to leisure, it’s a income generator. The income that we’ve seen generated with medical marijuana, we anticipate will likely be even bigger with leisure.”
Whereas petitions supporting the measure acquired sturdy help within the state’s metropolitan areas, Kiesel famous that Query 820 was additionally well-liked with voters outdoors Tulsa and Oklahoma Metropolis.
“From Woodward to Ardmore and Damaged Bow to Tulsa, our marketing campaign has been all over the place,” Kiesel stated. “We’ve been overwhelmed by the super outpouring of help for State Query 820 and the momentum of our marketing campaign. The large variety of signatures we collected signifies that Oklahoma voters are able to take the subsequent step in commonsense marijuana legal guidelines and make main investments in crucial state companies.”
Constitutional Modification Initiative Would Additionally Legalize Leisure Pot in Oklahoma
A separate group, Oklahomans for Accountable Hashish Motion, is campaigning to go a state constitutional initiative that will legalize leisure marijuana for adults. As a result of the measure, State Question 819, would amend the Oklahoma Structure, the group was given 90 days to gather 177,957 signatures in favor of the initiative to qualify for the November poll.
As a constitutional modification, State Query 819 could be topic to solely minor modifications of its provisions by the state legislature if handed, with extra substantial modifications requiring one other vote of the individuals. State Query 820, nevertheless, is liable to extra vital modifications by lawmakers as a result of it’s a statutory initiative.
Jed Inexperienced, director of Oklahomans for Accountable Hashish Motion, stated that leisure pot legalization needs to be enshrined within the state structure to guard it from being rolled again by a state legislature that has refused to legalize hashish to be used by adults.
“The issue we’ve received with the statutory measure in place is the legislature is making use of the Oklahoma double customary to our companies,” Inexperienced stated. “They got here in and, abruptly, jacked up a bunch of charges and threw a bunch of additional rules on us.”
In 2018, Oklahomans legalized medical hashish with the passage of State Query 788. As a result of that initiative can be a statutory measure, Oklahomans for Accountable Hashish Motion can be campaigning for passage of State Question 818, which might amend the state structure to guard the legalization of medical hashish. The group has till August 22 to gather signatures for each proposed initiatives.