Oklahoma Voters Approve Medical Marijuana Initiative
Statement from the Marijuana Policy Project, the nation’s largest marijuana policy organization
Voters approved State Question 788 on Tuesday, making Oklahoma the 30th state in the nation to adopt an effective medical marijuana law. The measure was leading 56-44 with 85 percent of precincts reporting when the New York Times called the election.
The Oklahoma State Department of Health has already begun drafting rules for a Medical Marijuana Control Program, according to StateImpact Oklahoma, and earlier this month Gov. Mary Fallin said she would convene a special legislative session if the ballot measure passes so lawmakers can create a legal framework for regulating medical marijuana.
State Question 788 is the fourth medical marijuana initiative in a row to win in a state that went for Donald Trump, and that number could grow to as many as six by the end of the year. They were approved in Arkansas, Florida, and North Dakota in 2016, and they will appear on ballots in Missouri and Utah this November.
Effective medical marijuana laws have been adopted in 30 states, including Oklahoma, as well as in D.C. and the U.S. territories of Guam and Puerto Rico. Nineteen other states have adopted medical marijuana laws that are ineffective because they are either unworkable or exceptionally restrictive. Idaho is now the only state without any form of medical marijuana law.
Statement from Karen O’Keefe, director of state policies for the Marijuana Policy Project:
“The passage of State Question 788 highlights the strength and diversity of public support for laws allowing the medical use of marijuana. Most Oklahomans agree that patients should be able to access medical marijuana safely and legally if their doctors recommend it. It is noteworthy that this measure passed in such a red state during a primary election, when voter turnout tends to be older and more conservative than during a general election. Support for medical marijuana is overwhelming, and it spans the political and demographic spectrums.
“We are pleased to see state officials are already working on developing a regulatory framework for medical marijuana, and we hope they will include patients, advocates, and other stakeholders in the process. It is important that patients have reliable access to the products that work best for their conditions. Oklahoma officials can learn a lot from the successes and shortcomings of other states’ programs, and hopefully they will create a system that will serve as an example for other states in the region.”
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