January 09, 2018 Oklahoma
Republican governor of Oklahoma, Marry Fallin, has announced that the voter’s will finally have their say on the legalization of medical marijuana in the next primary election. It’s now on Oklahomans to decide the fate of medical cannabis in the state by approving or rejecting it. Fallin had two options (June’s primaries and the general election of November) to set the date for vote on MMJ. She went with earlier date by setting the vote for the primary election, which is going to take place on June 26.
Fallin said in a statement that she was fulfilling her duty as governor and approved the voting on the matter by going through the standard procedure. Fallin authorized to take the issue to the public voting after petition submitted for the cause got more than the required signatures.
If the legalization of medical cannabis gets approved by the state’s voters, then physicians will be able to recommend a state-authorized medical cannabis license for patients 18 years and older. As per Oklahoma’s Question 788, any license holder will be allowed to legally possess six mature strains of cannabis, the same number of saplings and up to 3 ounces of cannabis flower.
These possession limits are also subjected to local jurisdictions. Therefore could be varied in each city and county of the state.
The petition asking Oklahomans to legalize medical cannabis got enough signatures in 2016 to plan a referendum throughout the state on the measure. However, the initiative got dragged in the state’s Supreme Court over the language of the title of the ballot.
According to the spokesperson of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws, the court ruled the decision in ballot’s favor by 7 to 1. The verdict says that the state attorney general’s rephrasing of the ballot is ambiguous. Hence, the court ordered to reinstate the ballot measure in its original language.
As of now, the growing, distribution and retail of any type of marijuana strain in the state is categorized as a criminal offense liable to be punished by up to a life sentence.
It is worth mentioning that the legalization initiative was introduced by a cannabis advocate group, Oklahomans for Health two years ago. They did a successful convincing to get their petition enough signatures to give the Oklahomans voters right to determine the fate of medical cannabis through Question 788.
Co-founder of Oklahomans for Health, Chip Paul, is pleased with Fallin’s decision to pick the earlier date for the vote. He thinks that getting the voter’s verdict as soon as possible is important to set the future course.
Paul is also hoping that the stringent federal policies won’t sabotage the efforts for the legalization of medical cannabis in the state. He aired his thoughts in the backdrop of recent annulment of three memos by Jeff Sessions which has increased the chances of federal crackdown in the states with adult-use legalization of marijuana.