Oklahoma votes to legalize Medical Marijuana despite bitter opposition

Posted by Sagar Satapathy on June 28, 2018.

Oklahoma voters on Tuesday elected to legalize medical marijuana. With this Oklahoma became the 30th state to allow the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes.

Voters approved Oklahoma State Question 788, overcoming a late opposition campaign from law enforcement and business, faith and political leaders.

According to Cannabis Wire, a group opposed to medical marijuana spent $815,000 in a campaign to defeat the ballot initiative, and the Oklahoma State Medical Association spent a further $95,000 against the initiative.

However, as many as 56 percent of voters out of 99 percent of precincts reporting, supported medical marijuana, while 43 percent opposed it.

Voters in neighboring Arkansas legalized the drug for medical use in 2016, but Oklahoma is among the most conservative states to approve its use.

State Question 788 allows the licensed individuals 18 and older to use, sell, and grow medicinal marijuana. They need a board-certified physician’s signature for the medical use marijuana. Minors can get a license but will require the approval of two physicians and their parent or legal guardian.

The proposed law outlines no qualifying conditions, which would allow physicians to authorize its use for a broad range of ailments and make it easier, compared to other states, to obtain pot for medicinal uses.

Under the proposed law, a two-year medical marijuana license would allow someone to possess up to 8 ounces of marijuana, six mature plants and six seedlings, along with edibles and concentrated forms of the drug.

Despite the limited research, 30 states, including Oklahoma, have now moved forward with medical marijuana while the Food and Drug Administration recently approved a marijuana-based drug, Epidiolex, to treat childhood epilepsy.

The federal government still considers marijuana a Schedule I drug.

Other red states, including Arkansas and Utah, are weighing medical marijuana ballot initiatives this year, while Michigan residents will vote on legalizing the drug outright in November.

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