Oklahoma: Marijuana legalization won't appear on the 2022 ballot

A State Question 820 to decriminalize recreational cannabis in Oklahoma will not be involved in the statewide election ballot. The core reason is that the state Supreme Court declined an appeal by supporters of the Yes on 820 campaign to arrange for the measure to get voted in the November election ballot.

Although Oklahoma’s cabinet minister has already declared that the organizers of Oklahomans for Sensible Marijuana Laws (OSML) had gathered an adequate number of signatures for SQ 820 to be printed on the ballot, the decision made by the court was in favor of litigants who contended that the campaign failed to meet the procedural deadlines to make the 2022 November election.

Advocates for the initiative submitted more than 160,000 signatures to the cabinet minister’s office, prevailing with 94,910 signatures compulsory by law. The cabinet minister recently reported more than 117,000 verifications of signatures from OSML.

The cabinet minister’s office took lots of time to conclusively verify the supporters’ signatures. Previously, according to Oklahoman, the process of verification was expected to take two or three weeks. By the way, it was extended to approximately two months.

Then, the opponents of the initiative also filed a number of questionable licit challenges prosecuting particular aspects of the campaign. So, the initiative of marijuana legitimization for those aged 21 and older won’t be printed on the ballot this year. Hence, Oklahoma balloters failed their opportunity to vote on the issue in the near future.

However, there are two possible referendum dates for the SQ 820. First of all, voters could be eligible to vote in favor of the question in 2024 during the state referendum. Secondly, the governor, who is responsible for setting the date for the ballot, could call for a special election with the inclusion of this question.

In the end, the SQ 820 is aimed at the adoption of new laws under the Adult Use Marijuana Regulation Act. It is to make the down-mentioned acts lawful in the area:

  • A person older than 21 may possess and buy not more than 8 grams of cannabis in plain concentrated form or its products for personal use.

  • An adult is legally authorized to home-cultivate 6 cannabis plants for personal use.

  • Implementation of criminal justice reforms is also considered. It means that some drug offenders would have the right to petition. The law may reverse their marijuana convictions and expunge criminal records.

  • Sales of marijuana would be subjected to a %15 excise tax and more.

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