Pot on the Ballot!
Four years ago, Oklahoma passed State Question 788 57% to 43% which legalized medical marijuana.
The poorly crafted initiative petition was vague and lacked detail about implementation and oversight. The state legislature has spent a great deal of time since 2018 putting meat on the 788 bones.
Legislation regulating growing and distribution has resulted in the Sooner state becoming a magnet for grow operations and dispensaries.
Oklahoma has more weed growers (9,000+) than California, a state with ten times the population. One reason is the cost of $2,500 to get a license in Oklahoma, as opposed to $100,000 in bordering Arkansas.
There is also no cap on the number of dispensaries or grow operations in the state, but that may be changing in the future.
About 12% of Oklahomans have a ‘medical marijuana’ card. Clearly, much of the pot grown in Oklahoma is being shipped out of the state — which is in violation of state and federal law. If all the weed grown by Oklahoma growers were being consumed by Sooner residents, the dispensaries would be selling it by the bale, not the joint.
Last week, proponents of State Question 820 delivered 120 boxes of signed petitions to the Oklahoma Secretary of State’s office. They claim they got over 164,000 signatures from Oklahoma registered voters asking S.Q. 820 to be added to the November ballot.
If approved, it would legalize adult-use recreational marijuana. The number of signatures required for an initiative petition is tied to the last governor’s race in Oklahoma.
The Oklahoma Secretary of State must verify a minimum of 95,000 signatures for the proposal to get on the November ballot.
First, if S.Q. 820 makes it to the November ballot, it will likely pass.
Twenty years ago, Oklahomans would not have embraced legal medical pot, but four years ago, they did. Added by an influx of people from more liberal areas of the U.S. into Oklahoma, and young voters, the measure passed easily.
The Sooner State has changed. Once staunchly conservative Oklahoma now has more slot machines and weed shops than any place in the world.
Misguided criminal justice reform by well-meaning, but clueless people, has resulted in decriminalizing former crimes and as a result, Oklahoma is a top ten state in growth of crime against property.
In reality, passage of S.Q. 820 really would not change much of what is actually being currently practiced in the state.
Oklahoma’s “medical marijuana” law is just a wink and nod from recreational pot use now.
Second, expect the S.Q. 820 crowd to sell passage of the measure to help education.
Oklahoma voters will probably buy the message. Through the years, Oklahomans have been told passage of pari-mutuel betting, a state lottery, casino gambling, and medical marijuana would provide more tax money for education.
For years, Oklahomans have been gambling, drinking, and smoking pot for the kids, yet test scores haven’t dramatically improved.
Third, Oklahoma could become a top ten state if S.Q. 820 passes.
The state will lead the nation in relaxation, paranoia, and the sale of junk food. Citizens will lose their inhibitions and their good judgment.
Worker production will decline, but with everybody high on dope, including the boss, no one will care. Oklahoma will lead the nation in poor motor skills and awareness of time.
Conservative Oklahoma has always leaned libertarian, but in recent years has become more antinomian (no law). That is not progress or improvement.
Vote no on S.Q. 820 if it makes it to the ballot.
Note: Steve Fair is Chairman of the Republican Party in the Fourth Congressional District of Oklahoma. Steve’s conservative commentaries appear regularly at the CapitolBeatOK.com news website. Contract Steve by email at email@example.com. His blog is stevefair.blogspot.com.