Oklahoma medical cannabis law swiftly implemented!
Last update: January 2, 2019
On June 26, 2018, Oklahoma voters made their state the 30th to legalize medical marijuana! Since then, the state has become the quickest in the nation to fully implement an effective medical cannabis law.
Beginning one month later, on July 26, 2018, individuals who possessed 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.”
Then, on August 25, 2018, 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.) The first sales began about a month later.
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.
Oklahoma City decriminalizes possession; ask state lawmakers to follow suit
On September 24, 2018, the Oklahoma City Council approved reducing the penalty for simple possession of marijuana to a fine of up to $400. Until the new law took effect on October 26, 2018, the maximum fine for possession was $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.
Let your lawmakers know the time has come for statewide decriminalization! The legislature will convene on February 2, 2019. Ask them to put humane marijuana policies on the agenda.
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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