The measures were submitted formally to the Secretary of State office. This is a key step that sets the stage for signature gathering to qualify the proposed constitutional amendments.
Oklahomans for Responsible Cannabis Action (ORCA) made an announcement last month that it was close to soliciting feedback from a wide range of stakeholders and advocates.
Jed Green, the director of ORCA released an official press release stating that the initiatives would fix the issues that are being witnessed currently in the state’s medical cannabis program. It is also said that it will result in the creation of a new industry opportunity with the legalization of adult-use cannabis.
As per the recreational legalization proposal, individuals 21 and older would be able to possess about eight ounces of marijuana that they can purchase from retailers and also from whatever they yield from growing up to 12 plants for personal use.
The sales would be subjected to 15 percent excise tax. The initiatives currently outline various programs that would benefit from the revenue collected in the form of taxes over the sale of recreational cannabis.
The money would initially be used to cover the implementation costs and would also be divided to support people with disabilities, cannabis research, law enforcement training, and substance misuse treatment.
Oklahoma voters approved the legalization of medical cannabis at the ballot in 2018. Unlike several state medical cannabis programs, it does not require the patients to have any specific health conditions to benefit from its use. Doctors can recommend it to any condition they find to be an appropriate recommendation.
While the new initiatives would appear separately on the ballot if they qualify, the activists however view them as complementary. The second new measure would establish the Oklahoma State Cannabis Commission (OSCC) to oversee all areas of the medical marijuana system.
It temporarily maintains a seven percent excise tax on medical cannabis sales with revenue supporting urban waste remediation, rural impact, marijuana research, mental health response programs, agriculture development, substance misuse treatment, and more.
Furthermore, the adult-use initiative consists of an appeal to lower medical marijuana tax gradually. Also, from just 60 days of enactment, the state’s medical cannabis dispensaries would be permitted to sell to the recreational market.
Previously, Oklahoma activists had filed an attempt to qualify a legalization measure for the 2020 ballot. They filed a petition to legalize cannabis for adult use in December 2019. But they fell short of signature due to the coronavirus pandemic and procedural delays.
For the newly filed initiatives, the activists will need to collect at least 177,958 signatures from registered voters to qualify them for the ballot.
Oklahoma is one of the growing numbers of states where activists are working to place a solid drug policy reform before the voters next year. It is not just the marijuana measures that the activists are working towards.
Recently a campaign was cleared to begin collecting signatures for an initiative to legalize psilocybin. Advocates in the Washington State have announced a proposal to decriminalize all drugs before voters. Meanwhile, voters from several Ohio municipalities will decide on ballot measures to decriminalize marijuana next month.