An effort to get legalization on Oklahoma’s November ballot has had a dramatic week. After news broke that the group had inflated the number of petition signatures it received, there was a lot of uncertainty. The group went ahead and submitted its petition signatures anyway, but at this point, it seems unlikely that Oklahomans will vote on marijuana this year.
A Turbulent Week in Oklahoma
A group called Green the Vote has been leading the charge to get a legalization bill on Oklahoma’s November ballot. In particular, the group is focused on getting two proposals in front of voters.
The first one is State Question 796. This issue is about adding the right to medical marijuana to the state constitution.
The second proposal, State Question 797, is similar. But instead of medical marijuana, this one’s all about adding the right to recreational cannabis to the state constitution.
According to local news sources, the questions need 123,724 signatures in order to qualify to appear on this year’s ballot. And as recent as last week, many in the state thought they were getting close to having enough signatures.
But on Tuesday, news broke that Green the Vote had been inflating its numbers. As it turns out, the group didn’t have nearly as many signatures as it said it did. And that means that Question 796 and Question 797 are not as close to getting on the ballot as people thought.
According to local reports, two board members of Green the Vote announced the bad news earlier this week. In particular, they said that the group was reporting 132,527 signatures. But in reality, the number was actually around 73,000-78,000 signatures. Clearly, the real number is far below the required number of signatures.
After making the announcement, leaders of the organization apologized for reporting false information and for inflating its numbers. The group also said it would continue working to gather signatures.
Wednesday was the deadline for submitting signatures. Green the Vote reportedly submitted signatures in time for the deadline. But so far, it’s unclear exactly how many signatures Green the Vote managed to gather.
Members of the organization said they received tons of new signatures on Wednesday. Despite this, many suspect there won’t be enough signatures to get the questions onto Oklahoma’s November ballot.
Don’t Expect To See Legal Weed On Oklahoma’s November Ballot
Obviously, the biggest roadblock to getting marijuana onto Oklahoma’s November ballot is the number of petition signatures. But even if Green the Vote managed to get enough signatures, there are still some potential obstacles.
The biggest is the possibility of facing a protest. Oklahomans have the right to protest any new proposals before they get put onto the ballot.
If a protest were to be filed against Question 796 or Question 797 it would probably take a while to settle. So long, in fact, that experts said there would not be enough time to settle the protest before the election this fall.
Earlier this year, voters in Oklahoma approved a statutory change to allow for the medicinal use of cannabis. The questions currently being considered are different since they would make changes to the state’s constitution.