Oklahoma Votes To Legalize Medical Marijuana

By Victoria Kim 06/28/18
SQ 788 is unique in that it does not establish a list of conditions that would qualify a person to use medical cannabis.
people in voting booths

On Tuesday, Oklahoma became the 30th state to allow cannabis for medical use. The ballot measure, State Question 788, passed with 56% of voters supporting the measure and 43% opposing it.

SQ 788 will allow Oklahomans to grow, sell and use cannabis, establishing a system of dispensaries, growers and processors under the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

A person 18 and older will be able to possess up to 8 ounces at home, six mature plants and six seedlings, according to the measure. A board-certified physician’s signature is required to obtain a medical cannabis license.

As Vox notes, Oklahoma’s SQ 788 is unique in that it does not establish a list of conditions that would qualify a person to use medical cannabis. Common qualifying conditions in other medical cannabis states include epilepsy, cancer, multiple sclerosis and glaucoma.

Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin has said that she will hold a special session to discuss the regulatory framework of the state’s new medical cannabis program. The state legislature can make a final draft of the legislation before it is enacted, but Oklahoma House Majority Leader Jon Echols said he doesn’t expect that it will see many changes.

“The citizens of the state have decided that they are in support of this law, so there aren’t necessarily any changes that need to be made,” said Echols, according to CBS News. “We’re not looking at changing any of the fundamentals.”

The state health department will then have 30 days to post the medical cannabis license application online for residents to access.

Gov. Fallin said before the vote that she had “clear concerns” about SQ 788, saying the measure “is written so open-ended that it basically allows recreational marijuana in the state of Oklahoma”—a concern shared by opponents of SQ 788.

After voters approved the measure, she released a statement saying she respects the will of the voters.

“It is our responsibility as state leaders to look out for the health and safety of Oklahoma citizens,” the governor said. “As I mentioned in previous public comments, I believe, as well as many Oklahomans, this new law is written so loosely that it opens the door for basically recreational marijuana. I will be discussing with legislative leaders and state agencies our options going forward on how best to proceed with adding a medical and proper regulatory framework to make sure marijuana use is truly for valid medical illnesses.”

Later this year, Michigan and Utah will also vote on whether to allow cannabis for medical use.

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Victoria is interested in anything that has to do with how mind-altering substances impact society. Find Victoria on LinkedIn or Tumblr