SUPPORTERS FOR RECREATIONAL MARIJUANA RELEASE FINANCIAL IMPACT REPORT
News 6 - February 3, 2023 6:51 am
TULSA, Okla. –
Supporters hoping to legalize recreational marijuana said it would become a billion-dollar industry that would help Oklahoma’s economy.
People against the plan said even if the state would see this kind of money, it’s still not worth it because of other problems it could create.
The group Yes On 820 released a financial report, saying the combined sales tax of medical and recreational marijuana would add $821 million in tax revenue over a five-year period.
“We’ve already seen the significant impacts monetarily and the number of jobs, tens of thousands of jobs in Oklahoma, and this will only increase with the onset of adult use and new opportunities,” said Andrew Livingston with Vicente Sederberg, LLC.
The report said from 2024 to 2028, recreational sales to adults will generate $434 million in state revenue.
Michelle Tilley with Yes On 820 said this will impact healthcare, education, public safety, and roads.
She said it will also add more jobs and benefit communities across the state.
“State Question 820 is set to generate 1.8 billion dollars in sales, and the creation of this billion dollar industry is going to give a lot of Oklahoma communities around the state a shot in the arm in terms of economic growth,” Tilley said.
Groups who are against recreational marijuana said the benefits are not worth the negatives.
Matt Carroll is with Adult and Teen Challenge of Oklahoma, a group helping people with drug and alcohol addiction.
He said there is decades of research showing marijuana leads to other drugs.
“The majority of our residents will tell you the first drug they started using was marijuana, which progressed to other drugs such as meth, heroin, unfortunately fentanyl,” Carroll said.
Carroll said while legally it would be for adult use only, he’s also worried teenagers and kids would have easier access to marijuana.
He said voting yes allows more addictive substances into our society.
“We believe that it’s time to stand up and say enough is enough, and to put more restrictions on marijuana, not less restrictions by legalizing it for recreational use,” he said.
Voters will decide on State Question 820 on March 7.