December/30/2019

In Oklahoma, two groups of marijuana advocates are competing to enter the measure of legalizing recreational marijuana in the November 2020 elections. 

A group of marijuana advocates filed a new petition calling for the legalization of recreational cannabis with the Secretary of State after withdrawing a similar proposal, which called for the legalization of adult-use marijuana for persons who are 21 years and above. 

According to Tulsa World Report, the original petition, also referred to as State Question 806, was withdrawn after the medical community in Oklahoma criticized the measure and said that they were not consulted, and the request was not fully vetted. 

In a public statement, the spokeswoman for filers, Michelle Tilley, said that the new initiative puts weights on the language of the initial petition by ensuring that the program does not affect the current medical marijuana industry in Oklahoma. 

The Tulsa World reported that the new petition was signed by Tilley, who is a political consultant in Oklahoma and the former state representative and executive director of American Civil Liberties Union affiliate in Oklahoma, Ryan Kiesel. The new ballot initiative was assigned a State Question 807. 

The new measure would legalize possession of marijuana and the cultivation of adult-use marijuana. Adults who are 21 years and above can possess up to one ounce of cannabis. They can also grow a maximum of six mature marijuana plants and six seedlings at their homestead for personal use. Recreational marijuana would be subjected to a 15% sales tax. 

The competing recreational petition was assigned State Question 808 and was filed by Tulsa’s Paul Tay. 

According to Tulsa World, the competing petition file by Tay, most of the taxation and regulation decisions are left to the state. However, his proposals require the state to pay reparations to people who are jailed for marijuana-related charges. 

State Question 807 has a provision allowing people incarcerated for marijuana-related charges to have their charges reduced and their records expunged. 

According to the news outlet, the petitions are subjected to a ten-day challenge duration, after which the supporters can start collecting the 178, 000 signatures required for them to be entered in the ballot.