Oklahoma accepting medical marijuana applications!
Last update: October 2, 2018
On June 26, 2018, Oklahoma voters made their state the 30th to legalize medical marijuana! Nearly 57% of voters supported the compassionate measure — SQ 788. Congratulations to the campaign and to all the patients, advocates, and voters!
Beginning on July 26, individuals who possess up to 1.5 ounces of cannabis face a reduced penalty — a misdemeanor fine of up to $400 — if they “can state a medical condition.”
And on August 25, the health department began accepting applications from patients, caregivers, and prospective medical cannabis businesses. Licensed medical marijuana patients and caregivers are allowed to possess and grow limited amounts of cannabis and to purchase cannabis from regulated businesses. (You can read our summary of SQ 788 here.)
After voters passed SQ 788, regulators swiftly adopted emergency regulations, which included onerous restrictions that were inconsistent with the voter initiative — such as a ban on smokeable cannabis and edibles, a THC cap, and a ban on Sunday sales. After advocates filed suit, regulators went back to the drawing board and released revised regulations that fixed the major problems. Gov. Mary Fallin approved the revised rules on August 6.
Meanwhile, a legislative working group has been meeting to consider making revisions to the law, which some advocates are requesting.
Oklahoma City decriminalizes possession
On September 24, the Oklahoma City Council approved reducing the penalty for simple possession of marijuana to a fine of up to $400. Until the new law takes effect on October 26, 2018, the maximum fine for possession is $1,200 and six months of jail time. Oklahoma City Police Chief Bill Citty recommended the ordinance, explaining it would keep the city safer by allowing officers to stay on the streets.
Penalizing individuals with jail time and a criminal record for possessing small amounts of marijuana wastes law enforcement resources. It can also lead to a lifetime of harsh consequences, including denial of student financial aid, housing, employment, and professional licenses. You can find more information on decriminalization here.
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