Initiative filed to allow recreational marijuana use in Oklahoma
Ponca City Now - December 16, 2019 3:10 pm
OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahomans who believe that voters should decide the state’s marijuana laws have filed a constitutional ballot initiative to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana for adults aged 21 and older in Oklahoma.
The proposed ballot measure was filed last week with the Oklahoma Secretary of State. It would allow for the personal use of marijuana by adults, tightly regulate the marijuana business, and create a tax on marijuana sales. The new tax would not apply to medical marijuana.
Revenue from marijuana sales would be used to provide new funding for schools and other public services in Oklahoma.
“We have seen all across Oklahoma, from our cities to our rural areas, the widespread support among our voters to regulate and tax adult marijuana use,” said Amy Young, an Oklahoma voter who filed the petition. “The status quo wastes law enforcement resources that would better be spent fighting serious crimes. It’s time to let the people decide this issue.”
Eleven other states have successfully legalized adult use of marijuana, generating over $1 billion in new tax revenue to fund vital services in those states.
“Other states have successfully legalized marijuana, and Oklahoma would greatly benefit from this change in policy as well. Our state is ready for this common-sense approach. We can remove marijuana from the unregulated market and put it behind the counters of regulated businesses,” campaign manager Michelle Tilley said. “For several months, Oklahomans have been working on writing this petition. Now we are in the process of putting together a broad campaign to go through the petition process.”
The petition will need nearly 178,000 signatures to put the issue on the November 2020 ballot.
“We are exploring the initiative petition process right now to determine the feasibility of letting Oklahomans vote and decide this important issue as early as next year,” Young confirmed after filing the initiative. “Allowing adult use of marijuana, and regulating and taxing it, is a good policy decision for the State of Oklahoma and voters should now have the opportunity to decide this issue at the ballot box.”
The Secretary of State will set the date for signature gathering to begin and supporters will then have 90 days to collect the required number of signatures in order to qualify for the November 2020 ballot.