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Proponents Gearing Up For ‘Rec Pot’

SQ 788 Said Only First Step

Fresh from a victory on a so-called “medical marijuana” new law, proponents of “rec pot” (or legal recreational use of the drug) are already gearing up to get a state question on the ballot.

Many have seen the passage of SQ 788 as the first step toward converting Oklahoma into another Colorado, which allows for legalized recreational use of marijuana.

Proponents of marijuana use appear to have recognized weaknesses in Oklahoma’s law-adopting process.

Meanwhile, as state Department of Health officials moved this week to curtail the health damage SQ 788 is likely to do, some legislators have surfaced to criticize the health department’s efforts and to threaten legal action to stop the health department.

State Rep. Jason Lowe (Dem., Oklahoma City), a lawyer, is one of them.

Isaac Caviness, president of Green the Vote, hopes that enthusiasm will translate to his signature-gathering campaign, which also includes a separate state question placing medical marijuana in the Oklahoma Constitution.

In the two months since the campaign started, Green the Vote has amassed more than 80,000 signatures. They have until Aug. 8 to reach 123,725.

“The response we’re getting is people of Oklahoma have gotten educated as far as what recreational has done for Colorado,” he said, referring to the neighboring state that legalized recreational marijuana in 2012. “And with all of the budget shortfalls we’ve had and our teachers striking at the Capitol trying to demand funds for schools, I think the citizens of Oklahoma are looking at recreational as a possible revenue source.”

Colorado officials reported that in 2017, the state collected more than $247 million from tax, license and fee revenue for both medical and recreational use.

Alongside the recreational ballot question, Mr. Caviness is collecting signatures to put the medical marijuana State Question 796 to a statewide vote.

It’s also a constitutional amendment and would...To read more, subscribe to the blackchronicle newspaper