Campaign for marijuana legalization initiative submits signatures in Oklahoma

In Oklahoma, the campaign behind a marijuana legalization initiative reported submitting 164,000 signatures for the ballot measure on July 5, 2022. Michelle Tilley, the campaign director, said, “The overwhelming number of signatures we have received demonstrates that our campaign has the momentum.” Of the signatures submitted, 94,911 signatures must be valid for the initiative to appear on the ballot in November.

Titled State Question 820, the ballot initiative would legalize the possession, transportation, and distribution of up to one ounce (28.35 grams) of marijuana, eight grams of marijuana in a concentrated form, and/or eight grams or less of concentrated marijuana in marijuana-infused products. Sales would be taxed at 15%. Under State Question 820, individuals could possess up to six mature marijuana plants and up to six seedlings. The initiative would also provide a process for individuals to seek the expungement or modification of certain previous marijuana-related convictions or sentences.

Revenue generated from marijuana sales taxes would be appropriated as follows:

  • 30% to the state General Fund;
  • 30% to grants for public school programs to support student retention and performance, after-school and enrichment programs, and substance abuse prevention programs;
  • 20% to grants for government agencies and not-for-profit organizations to fund drug addiction treatment and overdose prevention programs;
  • 10% to the state judicial revolving fund; and
  • 10% to the municipalities or counties where the marijuana was sold.

In 2018, voters approved a ballot measure to establish a medical marijuana program. The vote was 56.86% – 43.14%.

As of June 2022, 19 states and Washington, D.C., had legalized the possession and personal use of marijuana for recreational purposes. Of these 19, 11 states and D.C. had legalized marijuana through the ballot initiative process.

From 1985 to 2020, a total of 17 citizen-initiated measures were on state ballots in Oklahoma. Voters approved 52.94% (9 of 17) of the measures and rejected 47.06% (8 of 17) were defeated.