Yo, what’s good? It’s your boy, Dan, and I’ve got some news for you. Oklahoma, the state with one of the best medical marijuana programs in the country, just voted against legalizing recreational weed. Can you believe that? Supporters of State Question 820, which was all about legalizing the green for adults in Oklahoma, are not giving up though. They’re determined to keep pushing for legalization until it happens.
Michelle Tilley, who’s the campaign director for Yes on 820, said that their mission has always been to create a more prosperous, safer and just state. They want more money for schools and law enforcement, and they want more jobs and investments in communities across the state. Unfortunately, they didn’t get the results they wanted this time around. The majority of voters, almost 62%, were against legalizing recreational weed.
But don’t lose hope just yet, my fellow stoners. Brian Vicente from the Yes on 820 campaign believes that this is not the end of their efforts. He said that there is still significant support for legalizing and regulating cannabis for adult use, and it’s only going to grow until they finally pass a similar measure in the future. It might take some time to overcome all the anti-marijuana propaganda out there, but they’re not giving up anytime soon.
If SQ 820 had passed, it would have legalized weed for adults who are 21 years old or above. It would also have created a regulatory framework for commercial production and sales of recreational marijuana. And get this: if you had a criminal record for some marijuana offenses in the past, you could have petitioned the courts to have your record expunged. Pretty cool, huh?
Ryan Kiesel, who helped draft the ballot language for Yes on 820, believes that this defeat will just continue Oklahoma’s disproportionate enforcement of marijuana prohibition. He’s disappointed that thousands of families are still being torn apart every year because of small amounts of weed. And he’s also upset that black Oklahomans are much more likely to be arrested than white Oklahomans when it comes to marijuana offenses. He thinks that they need to continue working to end these unjust and wasteful arrests and give people a chance to start over with a clean slate.
Jeffrey M. Zucker from Green Lion Partners also isn’t giving up on ending cannabis prohibition in Oklahoma anytime soon. He thinks it’s heartbreaking that SQ 820 didn’t pass, especially since so many advocates worked so hard to make it happen. But he knows that there’s still a long way to go before they can undo all the damage caused by the war on drugs.
It seems like the cannabis policy reform movement is having a hard time in traditionally conservative states like Oklahoma. In the November general election last year, voters in Arkansas, North Dakota and South Dakota all rejected recreational marijuana ballot measures too. But hey, it’s not over until it’s over. We’ll keep fighting until we can legally get our hands on some good ol’ Mary Jane in Oklahoma.