Sunday, May 26, 2024

Oklahomans Might Not Vote On Rec Marijuana Despite Massive Support

The State Election Board needs to receive an executive proclamation no later than 5 p.m. Friday, which is when county election boards certify the results of the primary runoff elections.

By Jelena Martinovic

The initiative to legalize recreational marijuana in Oklahoma was certified by the secretary of state’s office on Monday and is now heading to the state Supreme Court for the signature count, reports Tulsa World.

Oklahomans for Sensible Marijuana Laws (OSML) turned in over 164,000 signatures in July, which is far more than the approximately 95,000 they need to qualify State Question 820 for the ballot. The secretary of state’s office revealed that over 117,000 signatures were turned in.

However, it’s unclear if Oklahomans will have a chance to vote on the marijuana legalization question this fall.

Once Senate gives its approval, members of the public will have a 10-day window to challenge the petition’s validity. Meanwhile, Oklahoma Election Board Secretary Paul Ziriax wrote in a recent letter to Gov. Kevin Stitt that August 29 is a deadline to get the initiative on the ballot. However, as a practical matter, the Oklahoma State Election Board needs to receive an executive proclamation no later than 5 p.m. Friday, which is when county election boards certify the results of the primary runoff elections, according to Tulsa World.

RELATED: GOP Sen. James Lankford Ridicules Oklahoma Marijuana Law During Abortion Discussion

“This ‘practical deadline’ ensures that county election boards have time to prepare ballots to meet the 45-day deadline to send absentee ballots to military voters,” Ziriax wrote.

If and once voters approve it, marijuana use will be legal for adults over 21 to purchase and possess up to one ounce of cannabis and cultivate up to six mature plants and six seedlings for personal use.

marijuana legalization
Photo by FatCamera/Getty Images

Medical Marijuana Legalization Question Will Not Appear On Nebraska November Ballot

Nebraskans will have to wait at least until 2024 to vote on medical marijuana legalization, as Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana (NMM) failed to submit enough valid signatures to place the two initiatives on the November ballot.

“Certified letters have been mailed to the sponsors notifying them of the results of the signature review,” Secretary of State Bob Evnen (R) said in a press release.

RELATED: As Suicide Rates Surge, Nebraska Gov. Says There’s No Evidence Cannabis Helps Veterans With PTSD

The state said Monday that the campaign was roughly 10,000 signatures short for each measure, reported Marijuana Moment.

The first one would require lawmakers to pass laws protecting physicians who recommend medical cannabis treatment and patients who use it. The other would impose legislature to set up rules for the medical cannabis program.

“To say I’m devastated would be an understatement,” Crista Eggers, the organizer behind the petition drive, said Monday in an email to supporters. “Suffering Nebraskans should never be faced with having to move themselves or their families out of the state they call home just to access health care.”

NY Officials Announce Marijuana Conviction Expungement Clinics

New Yorkers with past cannabis offenses will have an opportunity to expunge or reduce marijuana-related convictions on their criminal record as officials in Erie County announced two upcoming marijuana conviction expungement clinics to be held in Buffalo in the coming weeks.

The first informational clinic is scheduled for Thursday, August 25, while the second event will take place on Saturday, September 24. Both clinics will be held at Elim Christian Fellowship on 70 Chalmers Avenue in the City of Buffalo.

RELATED: New York Mayor Orders NYPD To Crack Down On Illegal Cannabis Vendors

“Now that New York State has legalized recreational cannabis, we must act on behalf of the people whose lives have been unfairly impacted by a marijuana-related conviction on their criminal record,” Erie County District Attorney John Flynn said. “In particular, African Americans have been disproportionally impacted by the criminalization of cannabis, which has hindered their pursuit of certain opportunities in life.”

This article originally appeared on Benzinga and has been reposted with permission.

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