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Oklahoma could soon vote to legalize recreational marijuana

by Mike Creef, Staff Writer
Oklahoma could soon vote to legalize recreational marijuana
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Oklahomans could soon be voting on whether to legalize recreational marijuana after SQ820 received over 160,000 signatures.

The Oklahomans for Sensible Marijuana Laws presented 164,000 signatures to the Secretary of State on Tuesday, well over the 95,000 threshold, in hopes of getting the State Question to appear on November ballots.

The group was required to collect at least 95,000 signatures by August 1. With today’s submission, there will now be a 10-day waiting period where a protest can be made to challenge the State Question.

Speaking with The Oklahoman, Senior consultant to the campaign, Ryan Kiesel, said SQ820 “would provide millions of dollars of revenue for critical state services.”

 

Push for Legal Recreational Marijuana

The group obtained almost 70,000 more signatures than required in order to get the State Question on the November ballot. 

“The overwhelming number of signatures we have received demonstrates that our campaign has the momentum, and that Oklahomans are ready to vote to legalize recreational marijuana for adults,” said Campaign Director Michelle Tilley. “We are grateful to the thousands of Oklahoma voters who signed State Question 820 and believe in responsible marijuana policy.”

According to Marijuana Moment, legalizing marijuana for adult use is associated with decreased use of prescription drugs for the treatment of conditions such as anxiety, sleep, pain, and seizures.

A new study found that on average recreational cannabis legalization seems to be associated with reductions in prescription drug utilization for depression (-11 percent), anxiety (-12 percent), pain (-8 percent), seizures (-10 percent), psychosis (-11 percent) and sleep (-11 percent).

Racial Discrimination with Marijuana

In Oklahoma, where Black and Brown people are disproportionately incarcerated compared to White people, legalizing recreational marijuana would have a large impact on the prison system.

According to the ACLU, Black people are 3.73 times more likely than White people to be arrested for marijuana. Oklahoma has one of the highest incarceration rates not only in the country but the world. And with the legalization of medicinal marijuana some White people are becoming millionaires in an oversaturated dispensary market while Black and Brown people sit in jail for simple possession.

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