Medical Marijuana State Question on June Ballot
By: Constitution Staff
There will be one state question on the June 26 primary election ballot. State Question 788 was the second effort by Oklahomans for Health to place a medical marijuana question before voters. The same group made an attempt two years earlier, but failed to gather enough signatures. In the second effort, the group did not seek to change the state Constitution, but instead proposed a change to statutes. A statutory change could be repealed by the Legislature, while amending the state Constitution would make it harder for future legislatures to repeal the changes. For an initiative petition not requiring a constitutional change, petitioners had to gather only 65,987 signatures rather than the 123,725 required for a constitution change. In this second attempt, supporters gathered enough signatures in 2016 and hoped to get the proposal on the November ballot, but it was delayed that year because of the timing of elections and then Attorney General Scott Pruitt’s attempted rewording of the ballot title. After a court challenge, the original language of the petitioners was restored.
If approved by voters, the measure would permit doctors to recommend a patient for a state-issued medical marijuana license. A license holder would be allowed to legally possess up to 3 ounces of the drug, six mature plants and six seedlings. These limits can be increased by individual counties or cities. A 7 percent tax would be applied to retail sales, with the money going first to finance regulatory expenses. Then, 75 percent of excess funds would go to common education and 25 percent to drug and alcohol rehabilitation. There are currently 29 states that have medical marijuana programs.
There are currently 29 states that have medical marijuana programs. However, most of those states limit the use to a specific list of qualifying medical conditions for which a doctor could prescribe medical marijuana, this proposal leaves it to the doctor’s discretion. Here is how the measure will appear on the ballot:
BALLOT TITLE FOR STATE QUESTION NO. 788
This measure amends the Oklahoma State Statutes. A yes vote legalizes the licensed use, sale, and growth of marijuana in Oklahoma for medicinal purposes. A license is required for use and possession of marijuana for medicinal purposes and must be approved by an Oklahoma Board Certified Physician. The State Department of Health will issue medical marijuana licenses if the applicant is eighteen years or older and an Oklahoma resident. A special exception will be granted to an applicant under the age of eighteen, however these applications must be signed by two physicians and a parent or legal guardian. The Department will also issue seller, grower, packaging, transportation, research and caregiver licenses. Individual and retail businesses must meet minimal requirements to be licensed to sell marijuana to licensees. The punishment for unlicensed possession of permitted amounts of marijuana for individuals who can state a medical condition is a fine not exceeding four hundred dollars. Fees and zoning restrictions are established. A seven percent state tax is imposed on medical marijuana sales.
SHALL THE PROPOSAL BE APPROVED?
FOR THE PROPOSAL – YES
AGAINST THE PROPOSAL – NO
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