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On Tuesday, June 26th, 2018, registered voters in Oklahoma got to weigh in on a number of important decisions. One of them, State Question 788, would create a new section of law, Section 420 of Title 63, legalizing cannabis for medical reasons. This vote was a historical moment, the end result of years of activism and pleas for help from those who need safe access to medical cannabis.
The law, as written and voted on by Oklahomans, would allow the state to issue medical cannabis licenses. Those who have a license can legally possess up to three ounces of cannabis on their person, six mature cannabis plants, six seedling plants, one ounce of concentrated cannabis, 72 ounces of edible cannabis foods, and up to eight ounces of cannabis in their home.
Voters turned out to support the measure, which passed with roughly 56 percent of the vote. The state of Oklahoma must now begin taking immediate steps to create a regulatory system and prepare to begin accepting applications from medical patients, growers, processors, and retailers for a legal medical cannabis industry.
The law is more liberal than many medical cannabis programs in other states, because it also extends legal protections to those who do not have a state medical license but still have a qualifying medical condition. For those who use cannabis without a state license can have up to 1.5 ounces and only face a misdemeanor offense punished by a fine of up to $400.00. It also includes a clause that precludes employers from discriminating against those who use medical cannabis, provided they do not use or possess it at work.
The new medical cannabis law in Oklahoma also deviates from other laws because it does not tie the ability to qualify for a medical cannabis license to any specific medical conditions. Instead, applicants simply need to have a medical condition that would likely benefit from medical cannabis treatment.
Congratulations are in order for all the activists in Oklahoma who fought to get Question 788 on the ballot, as well as all of the voters who showed up at the polls on Tuesday to pass this law. The passage of this new law will make a massive difference for people struggling with serious medical conditions, from PTSD to cancer, as well as for their families and caregivers.
For previous Ladybud coverage of Oklahoma cannabis efforts, click here.