**Can You Smoke Weed in Public in Oklahoma? **
Medical marijuana is legal in Oklahoma according to Title 63 Section 420 of the Oklahoma Statutes, while recreational marijuana is illegal. However, House Bill 2154, signed into law in April 2015, permits cannabidiol (CBD) oil legally without a license. According to House Bill 2154, licensed medical marijuana patients can consume cannabis legally and:
Per Section 426, Title 63 of Oklahoma Statutes, medical marijuana is subject to a 7% sales tax. Marijuana is a Schedule I Controlled Substance. Hence, it is illegal under the Controlled Substance Act of 1970. Consequently, Oklahoma residents are prohibited from using cannabis on federally owned properties in the state. The federal ban on cannabis limits marijuana businesses' financial transactions to local sources. In addition, cannabis businesses cannot generate capital through investors or enjoy federal income tax returns. This limitation poses a significant drawback to business growth.
In Oklahoma, medical cannabis is legal while recreational marijuana remains illegal as of 2023. Different recreational marijuana activists and groups are working towards adult use legalization through ballot initiatives. One of the groups proposed two constitutional amendments, State Question 818 and State Question 819. Known as the Oklahomans for Responsible Cannabis Action (ORCA), the group filed SQ 818 to create the State Cannabis Commission. The second initiative, SQ 819 is titled the Oklahoma Marijuana Regulation and Right to Use Act and it would legalize cannabis for persons above 21.
Although both initiatives did not make it to ballot, a different initiative, State Question 820, proposed by another group, is now certified to appear on the 2024 ballot. Proponents of SQ 820, the Oklahomans for Sensible Marijuana Laws (OSML), submitted 164,000 signatures to the Oklahoma Secretary of State on July 5, 2022. After several delays and vetting, the secretary of state was able to validate 117,257 votes, which was forwarded to the Oklahoma Supreme Court in August. In September 2022, the Supreme Court ruled that SQ 820 will not be placed on the 2022 ballot due to statutory deadlines for ballot inclusion. However, in October 2022, the Governor ordered a special election ballot for the initiative to be held on March 7, 2023. The initiative failed at the ballot after 60% of voters rejected it.
Medical marijuana was legalized in June 2018 after the approval of State Question 788 of the 2016 ballot. Some amendments to medical marijuana laws in 2021 and 2022 include:
Before the approval of Senate Bill 1033, the OMMA's resources were used solely for administrative functions. SB 1033 authorizes the OMMA and the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs (OBNDD) to enter agreements concerning resources. Through the agreement, both agencies can establish a special enforcement unit dedicated to fighting unlawful drug activities in the state. The bill authorizes the OTC to charge the OMMA a 1.5% fee of the 7% medical marijuana tax collected by them.
The US has already made a law in 2018 to allow use and cultivation of CBD oil, hemp, and other low-THC products. However, marijuana remains illegal. With marijuana now legal in several states, US legislators are also making efforts to end marijuana decriminalization. In 2019, the US House of Representatives presented the Marijuana Opportunity, Reinvestment, and Expungement (MORE) Act in a bid to legalize recreational and medical marijuana. The 2019 MORE Act was passed by the House in 2020 but failed to gain approval from the Senate. Another MORE Act was introduced in 2021 and has now been passed in 2022. If the Act is approved and signed into law by the US president, it would:
Meanwhile, the US Senate is also working on its own marijuana legislation bill known as the Cannabis Administration and Opportunity Act (CAOA). Like the MORE Act, this bill will delist cannabis from the DEA’s Schedule 1 drugs and allow states to legalize marijuana without federal interference. The CAO Act will also resolve a number of issues that are currently plaguing legislated state cannabis markets. Examples of those issues include:
If enacted into law, the bill will promote inclusion and diversity among licensed business owners in supervised cannabis markets and designates cash to be reinvested in regions that have been unduly disadvantaged by the War on Drugs.
The US President has also helped increase the prospect of federal legalization by issuing a marijuana reform executive order in October 2022. The executive action will pardon persons convicted of simple marijuana possession and other states to carry out similar state pardons. President Biden also asked the Secretary of Health and Human Services and the Attorney General to review how cannabis is scheduled under the Controlled Substances Act.
Only medical marijuana patients can use cannabis in Oklahoma, and they must have their debilitating medical conditions certified by a physician. This involves the issuance of written certification by the physician recommending cannabis use. A qualifying patient will then use the written certification to apply for a medical marijuana card from the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA). It is illegal for anyone that does not have a medical marijuana card to use cannabis.
The use of cannabis was banned in Oklahoma in 1933. However, opposition against marijuana began to intensify in the U.S. from the periods of the Mexican Revolution in the 1910s when many states banned the use of marijuana. The federal government removed industrial hemp from the definition of cannabis in the Controlled Substance Act with the passage of the Farm Bill into law in December 2018. Industrial hemp (Cannabis Sativa L.) is a species of cannabis with a very low concentration of THC, usually less than 0.3% of dry weight. The use of cannabidiol oil (CBD oil) derived from industrial hemp is not considered illegal because of its extremely low level of psychoactive substance. Recreational marijuana cannot be used or possessed in Oklahoma as it is illegal.
In Oklahoma, only licensed medical marijuana dispensaries can sell cannabis and cannabis products legally. It is illegal to sell or use recreational marijuana in the state, and anyone caught with illegal cannabis risks legal repercussions. To legally purchase medical marijuana, a buyer must be a licensed patient, caregiver, or legal guardian (named on a qualified minor's license). As provided in State Question 788 of the 2016 ballot, a medical cannabis patient or caregiver must be 18 years and older before they can purchase the drug at a dispensary. If a medical marijuana patient is under 18 years, a caregiver must buy cannabis for them.
The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA) issues four types of medical marijuana licenses to businesses. These are cultivator, processor, dispensary, and transportation licenses. According to Title 63 Section 420 of the Oklahoma Statutes, licensed cannabis growers can sell marijuana to licensed processors and retailers. These sales are not subject to tax because they are considered wholesale. However, medical marijuana cultivators are prohibited from selling cannabis directly to licensed marijuana patients.
Licensed marijuana retailers can sell cannabis to persons with research licenses. Typically, cannabis dispensaries in Oklahoma prefer cash payments when selling medical cannabis to qualified persons. This is because depository financial institutions only offer limited services to marijuana businesses due to the federal prohibition on cannabis.
The OMMA is the state agency that regulates and licenses marijuana businesses. Marijuana dispensaries can sell mature cannabis plants, seedlings, flowers, concentrates, edibles containing marijuana, and paraphernalia to licensed patients. However, hashish is illegal in Oklahoma. Hence, medical dispensaries are not permitted to have this form of cannabis on their premises or sell it to patients. House Bill 2154 permits the legal sale of cannabidiol (CBD) oil, a marijuana-derived product, without a license. Consequently, Oklahoma residents can easily purchase CBD oil over the counter in various shops across the state without a license.
Although medical marijuana is legal in Oklahoma, its recreational use and possession are illegal. The state has stringent regulations concerning marijuana use. The following are some cannabis-related offenses in Oklahoma and their penalties:
According to Oklahoma Statutes Title 63 §2-101 (Uniform Controlled Substances Act), a person caught with marijuana commits a misdemeanor. They risk a minimum jail term of one year and a $1,000 fine if convicted, although first-time offenders could be released conditionally. However, this restriction does not apply to licensed medical marijuana patients (18 years and older) and their caregivers.
Per State Question 788's provisions, an unlicensed medical marijuana patient in possession of marijuana commits a misdemeanor offense. If caught with up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis, they risk up to a $400 fine. Furthermore, it is unlawful to possess marijuana within 1,000 feet of schools (public and private), public parks, or in the presence of minors (under 12 years). Offenders risk a $2,000 fine, two years imprisonment, or both. However, the offender must serve a mandatory sentence of one-year incarceration, a $1,000 fine, or both. Also, they must pay a $100 fee for special assessment trauma care (deposited into the Trauma Care Assistance Revolving Fund).
Owning marijuana paraphernalia is also a violation of Oklahoma marijuana possession laws, which attracts a misdemeanor punishable. Offenders may face up to a $1,000 fine, one-year imprisonment, or both. Second-time offenders risk up to a $5,000 fine, maximum jail time of one year, or both. Third time and subsequent offenders risk up to $10,000 in fines, up to a one-year maximum prison sentence, or both.
Smoking marijuana in the public is generally considered harmful to public health. As such, marijuana consumption on the premises open to the public is prohibited. Examples of public premises where marijuana consumption is prohibited includes zoos, public transportation, and indoor workplaces often visited by the public. Eligible patients can consume (smoking or vaping) cannabis private residences, stand-alone taverns, stand-alone bars, cigar bars, and workplaces not open to the public. Offenders consuming marijuana in public may face further punishments together with other penalties associated with the weight of the cannabis found with them.
Under Oklahoma marijuana distribution laws, marijuana possession with intent to distribute attracts a compulsory jail term of two years and a $20,000 fine. Also, per Title 63 Section 401 of the Oklahoma Statutes, it is unlawful to sell cannabis in the state without a license. Persons caught selling less than 25 pounds of cannabis risk facing between two years imprisonment to life imprisonment and a $20,000 fine. Also, giving between 25 pounds and 1,000 pounds of cannabis to another individual is punishable by a fine ranging between $25,000 and $100,000. Alternatively, the offender could face jail term ranging between four years and life imprisonment, or both fine and incarceration. Selling up to 1,000 pounds of cannabis or more is an offense punishable by a $500,000 maximum fine, imprisonment between four years to life, or both.
Furthermore, selling cannabis to minors (18 years and under) is a crime in Oklahoma. The extent of punishment offenders risk depends on the quantity of cannabis they sell:
Additional limitations include selling cannabis within 2,000 feet of a school, public housing, or public park, which is a crime in Oklahoma. Penalties depend on the quantity of marijuana that offenders sell, and offenders risk similar punishment as those described for selling to minors. However, convicted offenders must serve at least half of the imposed sentence.
Title 63 Section 401 of the Oklahoma Statutes stipulates that it is illegal to grow marijuana for recreational use. Cultivation of up to 1,000 marijuana plants for non-medical use is a felony punishable by a $50,000 fine and prison sentence between 2 years and life imprisonment. Persons who cultivate cannabis plants on their properties risk a jail sentence between 2 years and life imprisonment and a $50,000 fine. However, licensed medical marijuana patients (18 years and older) and their caregivers can cultivate up to six cannabis plants and six seedlings at home for medical purposes. Home growers are required to restrict the entry of other persons, especially minors (below 18 years), into cultivation areas.
Yes. Sharing marijuana with another person in Oklahoma is illegal, even if the recipient is an adult. However, it is legal to give out CBD oil in the state. Persons caught gifting cannabis in Oklahoma could face up to 2 years imprisonment and a $20,000 fine. Adults caught gifting cannabis to minors (under 18 years) risk up to 4 years imprisonment and up to a $40,000 fine.
It is unlawful to drive under the influence of cannabis in Oklahoma. Persons convicted of Driving Under the Influence (DUI) of cannabis risk the following penalties:
If an adult (18 years and older) is convicted of driving under the influence of marijuana while carrying a minor in the vehicle, they risk paying a double fine for their DUI violation.
As stipulated in Title 63 Section 509 of the Oklahoma Statutes, manufacturing or attempts to manufacture hash or concentrates from marijuana is a crime.
Also, possessing hash and concentrates with the intent to distribute is punishable by a maximum fine of $20,000 and a jail sentence between two years and life imprisonment. Possession of hash or concentrates is a misdemeanor, and offenders risk the following punishments:
It is illegal to possess hash or cannabis concentrates within 1,000 feet of schools, public parks, recreation centers, or in the presence of minors under 12 years. Violators risk a $2,000 maximum fine, maximum jail term of 2 years, or both, for first violations. Subsequent offenses can attract up to a $10,000 fine, jail sentence between 4 and 20 years, or both.
Transportation of marijuana is only legal for businesses who have OMMA transporter licenses and individuals with transporter agent licenses. Without these licenses, individuals carrying medical marijuana around the state may face charges similar to possession with intent to distribute. Note that cannabis is still illegal across the US and so, transporting weed from Oklahoma to another state is a federal crime.
Law enforcement agencies have the power to confiscate assets proven to be involved in the violation of Oklahoma marijuana trafficking laws. According to OK Statutes §63-2-503, possessions subject to confiscation of assets include cash, houses, and other valuable goods traced to be part of a marijuana crime.
Individuals accused of violating Oklahoma marijuana limitations can negotiate with the prosecutor to lessen the penalties or prove their innocence in court. With the help of an experienced lawyer, defendants can argue that the search conducted by the arresting officer was illegal. Defendants can also prove that someone else owns the marijuana or that they did not know the content of the drug. If the evidence presented by the prosecutor is not sufficient, the defense lawyer can question the credibility of the charges.
Other possible remedies for defendants of violating Oklahoma marijuana laws involve applying for drug diversion programs available to them. For instance, DUI/Drug Courts, available in Oklahoma County and 72 counties, are open to offenders proven to have a drug problem. According to the Oklahoma Drug Court Act, eligible offenders must plead guilty to the charges and pay court fees, supervision fees, and treatment fees before starting the program. Defendants who meet the program requirements may have their charges dropped and their criminal records expunged. Other similar alternative sentencing programs for marijuana violators in Oklahoma include Delayed Sentencing Program for Young Adults and Community Sentencing.
Oklahoma actively opposed the marijuana industry in the 20th century. In 1933, the state prohibited cannabis use, hence leading to widespread arrests and prosecution of offenders. However, in April 2015, Governor Mary Fallin signed House Bill 2154 into law. This bill permitted the medical trial of CBD oil, an extract of marijuana for treating epileptic seizures in children. Consequently, there was an unrestricted sale of CBD oil over the counter throughout Oklahoma.
In 2016, State Question 788 was scheduled for introduction into the 2016 Ballot. However, some legal dispute over the original language used in the initiative led to its rescheduling for 2018. In January 2018, the Governor fixed June 26, 2018, as the new ballot date for the initiative. On June 26, 2018, State Question 788 was passed into law following a 57% majority vote, legalizing medical marijuana in Oklahoma. As provided in SQ 788, the regulatory body, Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA), was established in 2018 to oversee medical marijuana licensure in the state. In October 2018, the agency appointed its first director.
Despite the several bills introduced to the House to legalize recreational marijuana in Oklahoma, it remains illegal. For instance, House Bill 1961 was introduced on January 20, 2021. It proposed that the legalization of recreational marijuana be included as a state ballot initiative during the 2022 elections. However, the bill died in the House committee.
After failing to meet the deadline for appearing on the ballot in the 2022 elections, the Oklahoma State Question 820 was put on the ballot in the March 7, 2023 special election. Part of its proposal was putting the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority in charge of regulating the adult-use marijuana market. However, it failed at the polls with 60% of voters rejecting the measure.
Although medical marijuana is legal in Oklahoma, there are several limitations to its use. Restrictions apply to persons authorized to use, cultivate, possess, and transport cannabis. Marijuana restrictions in Oklahoma include the following: