Oklahoma Governor Sets March Special Election for Weed Legalization Initiative

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt announced Tuesday that he will hold a special election in March to vote on an initiative to legalize recreational marijuana in the state. Voters will go to the ballot on March 7, 2023 to determine State Question 820, which legalizes the use of cannabis by adults 21 and older and permits the cultivation and sale of commercial cannabis.

Wise Marijuana Law Oklahomans, a group campaigning for passage of SQ 820, hoped the initiative would show up on ballots in next month’s midterm elections. State officials have declared that the bill will not be included on ballots in the November election, and the state Supreme Court upheld the decision last month.

“After all the delays caused by the new signature tallying process, we are delighted to finally be able to vote on March 7, 2023. This will allow the people of Oklahoma to respond to state questions without further delay. “We want to sign the petition and vote to legalize adult recreational marijuana in Oklahoma,” Oklahoma Wise Marijuana Law said in a public statement following Stitt’s announcement. We are grateful that the voices of over 164,000 Oklahomans have been heard.”

The group said it was energized for a five-month campaign to pass SQ 820, stating that “Republicans, libertarians, Democrats and independents alike are wasting law enforcement resources. I’m thrilled to stop doing it and start making hundreds of millions of dollars in the economic gains associated with legalizing, regulating and taxing recreational marijuana for adults in Oklahoma.”

Arshad Rashi, CEO of Tulsa cannabis dispensary The Nirvana Group, said: high times “It is exciting that state governments have decided to move forward with the potential for adult-use legalization of cannabis. and, of course, opening up new areas of our industry to a wider demographic.”

Voters Deciding State Question 820

If Oklahoma voters pass SQ 820 in March, the initiative will legalize cannabis for adults 21 and older. The ballot initiative will also task the state’s existing Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority with drafting and implementing rules to regulate the new recreational cannabis industry. The measure also includes provisions that allow those who have been previously convicted of some marijuana offenses to petition the courts to overturn their convictions and expunge their convictions.

State Question 820 sets a 15% tax on the sale of recreational marijuana. This is more than double the 7% tax rate charged on the sale of medical cannabis. Taxes generated by the sale of recreational cannabis are passed between the state’s General Revenue Fund, local governments that allow licensed adult-use cannabis businesses to operate in their jurisdictions, state court systems, school districts, and drug treatment programs. is divided by

Stitt says he supports federal legalization of marijuana. However, he opposes SQ820 and maintaining the patchwork of cannabis policies that have resulted from state legalization efforts is problematic.

“Do you want the federal government to pass legalized marijuana? Yes. I think that would solve a lot of problems in different states,” Stitt recently told The Associated Press. “But in our state, I don’t think it’s good for Oklahoma to just try to defend our state now.”

Supreme Court Nixes State Question 820 From midterm ballot

In July, Oklahoma, calling for sensible marijuana laws, submitted a petition containing more than 164,000 voter signatures in favor of legalization initiatives. But election officials said the secretary of state, who used a new system to verify signatures, proved more signatures than in previous elections. It took much longer to do so, and there was not enough time to include the question in the November poll.

The SQ 820 campaign challenged the decision to delay the vote, arguing that the group met deadlines to submit all state guidance and proposals to state officials. , and ruled that the measure would not be included in voting in next month’s midterm elections.

“There is no way to force the inclusion of SQ820 in the November 2022 general election ballot.” Justice Douglas Combs wrote: in majority opinion. “SQ820 will be voted on by Oklahomans in either the next general election on November 8, 2022, or a special election set by the governor or legislature.”

Following Stitt’s announcement on Tuesday, Oklahomans for Sensible Laws announced it will undertake a five-month drive to advance passage of SQ 820. Yeson820.com or follow our social media accounts @Yes On820.

Oklahoma’s special election in March to decide whether to legalize recreational marijuana will see similar votes in five states next month. Voters in Arkansas, Maryland, Missouri, North Dakota and South Dakota will all see adult-use legalization measures on their ballots in the November 8 midterm elections.

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