Oklahoma City, OK: A majority of Oklahomans voted on Tuesday to enact State Question 788 – a statewide voter-initiated measure that permits doctors to use their discretion to recommend medical cannabis to patients who may benefit from it. Oklahoma is the 31st state to legalize and regulate the use of medical cannabis under state law.
State Question 788 permits licensed medical marijuana patients to cultivate up to six mature plants and to possess personal use quantities of marijuana flowers, edibles, or infused concentrates. It also establishes a regulatory framework for the retail production and dispensing of medical cannabis at licensed facilities. Under the act, the state Department of Health has a 30-day timeline in which to establish an online license application process for eligible patients.
Oklahoma voters endorsed the plan despite organized opposition from law enforcement, political leaders, and other groups. Opponents of the measure spent an estimated $500,000 in the final week of the campaign on an advertising blitz that falsely claimed that “SQ 788 was not about medical marijuana,” a mischaracterization that was previously determined to be purposely misleading by the state Supreme Court.
Republican Gov. Mary Fallin, who publicly opposed SQ 788, said that she intends to call lawmakers back for a special session to address the law’s implementation and to consider changes to some of its provisions.
Under existing Oklahoma laws, the possession of any amount of cannabis is classified as a criminal offense – punishable by up to a year in prison. Engaging in cannabis cultivation or sales may be punishable by up to life in prison. According to a study released earlier this month, Oklahoma’s incarceration rate is 1,079 per 100,000 people – the highest rate in the United States.
For more information, contact Justin Strekal, NORML Political Director, at (202) 483-5500.