Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Measure may not make November Ballot

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on August 30, 2016.

A petition to legalize medical marijuana in Oklahoma is unlikely to go before voters in November since the supporters are planning to challenge the attorney general's rewording of the ballot title -- a legal process certain to push the measure beyond the general election.

Attorney General Scott Pruitt submitted rewritten language of the ballot title on Thursday, saying it didn't identify any qualifying medical conditions for doctors to recommend a license, among other things.

However the state officials revealed that it would be delayed because supporters of State Question 788 didn't submit the required 65,987 voter signatures to qualify with enough buffer time for legal challenges.

If approved by voters, the measure would permit physicians to recommend a patient of at least 25 years old for medical marijuana license while patients would be allowed to legally possess up to 3 ounces of medicinal marijuana.

Under the proposed law, all applications for a medical license must be signed by an Oklahoma board-certified physician using “the accepted standards a reasonable and prudent physician would follow when recommending or approving any medication to certain qualifying conditions of the patients.” These criteria can be abused if the proposed law mandates “no qualifying conditions” are required for a marijuana prescription.

The cost of the license also brought criticism from many quarters. While Oklahomans have to pay $ 100 for marijuana license, persons on Medicaid have to bear $20. Hence the proposal would charge low-income citizens less to smoke marijuana than others in the state.

The advocates of SQ 788 believe that their proposal as an effort to alleviate the suffering of patients. However, the actual outcomes will be far broader, and far less beneficial to Oklahoma.

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