The state of Oklahoma is not exactly a place where you'd expect progressive marijuana laws. But if one advocacy group has its way, it could be the next state to legalize cannabis recreationally.
A group called Green the Vote is starting a campaign to allow Oklahoma voters to decide whether or not to create a constitutional amendment that would legalize both recreational and medical marijuana in the state. The state is already set to vote on a ballot initiative this June that will legalize medical marijuana, but this new amendment would obviously go a step further. The group says the reason they want to pass this as an amendment is to prevent state politicians from interfering and passing other bills that would neuter any marijuana-related legislation.
“Oklahoma’s constitutional amendments can’t be changed or even made a constitutional amendment without going before a vote of the people,” Isaac Caviness, president of Green the Vote, said. “And that’s the biggest protection that we have … against our lawmakers changing it to what they want versus what the people want.”
Caviness is most likely referring to a bill that recently passed in the Oklahoma senate that added additional restrictions to a medical marijuana ballot initiative voters will decide upon in June. The bill added limits that were not in the initiative and make it far more restrictive than originally planned. But a constitutional amendment legalizing marijuana would require a whole new constitutional amendment being passed to add new restrictions.
Ironically, last month a Oklahoma state legislator proposed a bill that would increase the number of signatures needed for a constitutional amendment to be voted on, and he specifically listed marijuana legalization as an issue that he wanted to avoid. But that bill ended up going nowhere.
While this is definitely a great effort, perhaps Green the Vote should've waited to see if Oklahoma voters are ok with medical marijuana before beginning their push for recreational.
(h/t Tulsa World)