A new move is afoot to legalize marijuana for adult use in Oklahoma. And on Thursday, a group called Oklahomans for Responsible Cannabis Action (ORCA) filed a pair of petitions.
“It is exactly how the push for medical marijuana started, with a petition,” reports KOCO. “And then Oklahomans voted and approved it.”
ORCA filed the two petitions on Oct. 7, according to the Oklahoma Secretary of State’s website.
State Questions 817 and 818
State Question 817 would make recreational marijuana legal, reports Fox 23. The tax rate on weed is also set at 15%. The revenue would pay for local education military veterans’ mental health programs and other social programs. This petition also includes an expungement of records for those who have prior marijuana convictions.
State Question 818 would create the Oklahoma State Cannabis Commission. The commission would also be separate from all other agencies. The new commission would additionally replace the state’s current medical marijuana oversight agency, reports Tulsa World.
‘Recreational Marijuana Is An Inevitability’
The adult-use petition, called the Oklahoma Marijuana Regulation and Right to Use Act, is State Question 817. Adults may possess 8 ounces of Cannabis from legal retailers. Adults may also grow up to 12 marijuana plants. And those 12 plants would not count toward the aforementioned 8-ounce threshold.
The initiative also outlines a path for those who have convictions for Cannabis-related offenses to obtain expungements. And they can also seek judicial reviews.
“Recreational marijuana is an inevitability,” said co-founder Jed Green of ORCA.
Medical Marijuana Enforcement and Anti-Corruption Act
The medical petition is State Question 818. It is the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Enforcement and Anti-Corruption Act. It would amend the Oklahoma Constitution to create, within a year, the Oklahoma State Cannabis Commission for medical marijuana businesses and patients.
The State Health Department would still, at the discretion of the OSCC’s board, retain oversight power on food permit and safety issues with Cannabis products.
Meanwhile, Green said, lax enforcement for the medical marijuana industry has made Oklahoma a popular site for illegal activity. “What we’ve seen with that not being done is a big problem,” Green said.
He added the proposed Cannabis Commission board would include representatives from state agencies that have some form of authority over any aspect of a marijuana business.
178K Signatures Needed For Either To Qualify
Either of the two petitions must get 178,000 valid signatures to qualify for the 2022 ballot.
In the meantime, Oklahomans for Responsible Cannabis Action will keep a list of signature-gathering locations at orcaok.com.