Oklahoma on Verge of Legalizing Recreational Marijuana

KOKH - April 13, 2022 9:47 am

The state is on the verge of having legal recreational marijuana.

Right now there are two state questions that aim to make the legalization of recreational marijuana happen: State Question 820 and State Question 819.

State Question 820 would be a statutory amendment and it’s already been passed by the state supreme court.

And then there’s State Question 819 a constitutional amendment currently being held up by the state supreme court.

Both of the groups behind these state questions want recreational marijuana but can’t agree on how to do it.

“We believe that people’s rights and freedoms are not rights and freedoms unless they’re guaranteed in the constitution,” said Jed Green, the Director of Oklahomans for Responsible Cannabis Action (ORCA).

Green doesn’t want to see the same mistakes that were made before medical marijuana became legal.

“We’ve seen historically when they’re in that situation, they do something, they get sued, it all gets locked up,” Green said. “We’re still dealing with that right now. This is such a concern. If we’re going to take the step, let’s take a solid step.”

Green said if State Question 819 passes, Oklahoma would have recreational marijuana after just two months. But he said with State Question 820, the state legislature could delay implementation for up to four years.

Campaign Manager Michelle Tilley said that with the “yes” vote on State Question 820, this is not the case.

“We believe the legislature, as they learn more and more about this industry, they have shown themselves capable of adapting this into the rest of our government,” Tilley said.

Ultimately both of these groups want the same thing, they just disagree on how to get there.

“We’re not beating up on these folks, we’re not beating up on our friends here, we just have a difference of opinion,” Green said. “They have a different approach and we think it’s the wrong approach. The market is here. It has been here. It’s going to be here. Marijuana has been the number one cash crop for a long time and so it’s an inevitability.”

State Question 820 is now in the hands of the secretary of state.

State Question 820 organizers will have 90 days to get 95,000 signatures.

If they make it through the 10-day signature challenge period, recreational marijuana will be on the November ballot this year.

 

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