Voters in Oklahoma on Tuesday rejected a ballot measure that would legalize recreational marijuana in a state that already has one of the strongest medical marijuana programs in the country. But State Question 820 supporters vow to continue efforts to legalize cannabis for adults in Oklahoma.
“Our mission from the beginning has been to create a more prosperous, just and safer state,” Yes on 820 campaign director Michelle Tilley said in a statement after Tuesday’s election results. “We want more income in schools, we want more resources for law enforcement, we want more jobs and investment in communities across the state. Mom and Dad, unfortunately we weren’t enough tonight.”
Voters in Oklahoma have beaten the legalization initiative by a wide margin, with nearly 62% opposed and just 38% in favor as of Wednesday morning, with more than 95% of voters in all 77 counties in the state. Votes were tallied. according to the information from New York Times. The loss came after strong opposition from law enforcement and Republican politicians, including Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt.
Oklahoma Supporters vow to continue legalization efforts
Supporters of SQ 820 originally planned to put the ballot measure before voters during last year’s presidential election, but delays in validating the bill meant that the initiative would not be included in the November ballot. I could not do it. In October, Stitt announced that he would hold a special election for voters to go to the polls on his March 7th and vote on the bill.
Brian Vicente, a founding partner of cannabis law firm Vicente LLP and a member of the steering committee of the Yes on 820 campaign, said the ballot measure failed to gain approval in Tuesday’s poll, and that he wanted to reform cannabis policy. said the effort is not over. Oklahoma voters legalized medical marijuana in his 2018.
“We knew from the start that this would be an uphill battle, with no other voting issues in the March special election,” Vicente said. high times“The results still show strong support for legalizing and regulating cannabis for adult use, and we expect that to continue to grow until similar legislation is passed in the near future.”100 Overcoming years of anti-marijuana propaganda is no easy task, and more work remains to be done.”
If it were passed, SQ 820 would have legalized cannabis for adults over the age of 21 and established a regulatory framework for the commercial production and sale of recreational marijuana. The measure also included a provision allowing those previously convicted of some marijuana offenses to petition the courts to have their convictions cleared. Pro-820 campaign senior adviser Ryan Kiesel, who helped draft the ballot language, said the bill’s defeat would continue Oklahoma’s disproportionate enforcement of the marijuana ban.
“Thousands of families are torn apart and thrown into chaos each year because a mother or father has small amounts of marijuana. We want to put an end to these unjust and wasteful arrests and give those who have arrests or convictions on their records a clean slate to seek expungement. We must continue our efforts to provide the tools to start with.”
Jeffrey M. Zucker, co-founder and president of cannabis consultancy Green Lion Partners and vice-chairman of the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) board of directors, pledges further efforts to end cannabis prohibition in Sooner State Did.
“Today’s decision in Oklahoma is heartbreaking, especially given the many challenges this bill faced leading up to the vote and how much effort its supporters have put in,” Zucker said in a statement. “We have a long way to go to undo the damage of the war on drugs, especially in states where more than 4,500 people are arrested each year for cannabis possession.”
Tuesday’s SQ 820 loss continues a series of setbacks in the cannabis policy reform movement in traditionally conservative states. It voted against the marijuana ballot measure, but similar proposals were successful in Maryland and Missouri.