The Oklahoman took a break from whining about marijuana in the editorial pages to report on it, and late yesterday they dropped a doozie. Has Canna Claus come early to Oklahoma?
An initiative petition to legalize recreational marijuana use for Oklahomans ages 21 and older was quietly filed Thursday with the secretary of state’s office.
The 14-page petition seeks to amend Oklahoma’s constitution to legalize recreational marijuana for most residents and impose a 15% excise tax on recreational cannabis.
The measure also includes a provision to nullify many prior drug convictions, which could make waves in Oklahoma’s criminal justice system.
The State Question 806 petition came as a surprise to leaders of the state’s medical marijuana industry, who may push back against the measure over concerns that it could hinder the state’s existing medical program.
Do we have a dank duel flowering in the Wild West of Weed — Medicinal OGs vs. Recreational Gs?
Among supporters of this 15-page petition to completely decriminalize marijuana in Oklahoma is Chris Moe, Oklahoma Cannabis Liberty Alliance co-founder. He told The Oklahoman,
“We’ve got a chance to turn the I-35 corridor into a money alley.”
No doubt the words of a man who pays by the hour. At least we are clear on Mo’s motivations. But what about medical marijuana OGs like Chip Paul, author of SQ 788 and co-founder of Oklahomans for Health? Well, he is salty about this petition, and he wasn’t shy about telling it to The Oklahoman:
“Since we were the original proponent of the medical marijuana law, you would think that, as a courtesy, when things like this are introduced, we would be checked with … We have subsequently found out that no other major marijuana-based nonprofits in Oklahoma were checked with, nor were lawmakers, nor were any of the traditional avenues.”
Yes, we definitely have a fight brewing. And suddenly I’m ready for tea.
What Happens Next?
Obviously, we will continue to follow this petition — pipe and popcorn in hand. If you want all the dirty details on what recreational marijuana in Oklahoma might look like under this scenario or you find the writing of lawyers to be a poetic thrill, read the full, quietly-filed petition. But we’ll hit you with the most critical part, if SQ 806 is to have a snowball’s chance in Inhofe’s talons:
Supporters of the measure will have to collect nearly 178,000 signatures to get it on the ballot in 2020.
Last year there was a similar push to legalize recreational marijuana — SQ 797 — and it failed, falling 20,911 short of the requisite number of signatures. I think everyone was gonna vote, Yes, but then they got high. Traded ballot box for hot box.