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What Oklahomans need to know if medical marijuana is legalized

Next month when Oklahomans go to the polls, one of the measures we'll be voting on is an initiative to make medical marijuana legal. State Question (SQ) 788, if it passes, would add Oklahoma to the majority of states that allow medical and/or recreational marijuana, including our neighbors in Colorado, Arkansas and New Mexico.

If SQ 788 succeeds, Oklahoma residents over 18 who wish to use marijuana legally for medical purposes will need to get an authorization from a physician stating that they have a medical need for it and then get a medical marijuana license. That license is set to be priced at $100 and requires renewal every two years.

Under the terms of the measure, people with a marijuana license could keep up to 8 ounces in their home and carry up to 3 ounces with them. They can also grow a limited number of mature plants and seedlings (six of each.)

The measure would make marijuana more easily available. However, it would still be illegal for those under 18 to possess it. Driving under the influence could still have serious legal ramifications as well.

Further, even if SQ 788 gets a majority of the vote in June, the state legislature could still make changes to the provisions in it. Therefore, it would be essential for those using medical marijuana to understand the final version of the law.

A ballot provision regarding legalized recreational marijuana in Oklahoma may not be far behind. Advocates are already collecting signatures to get such a measure on the November ballot as an amendment to the state constitution. As a change to the constitution, state legislators wouldn't be able to make changes to it.

With marijuana laws changing rapidly throughout the country, it can be easy to forget that even the states where recreational marijuana is legal have laws controlling its possession, use, distribution, sale and growth. Marijuana is also still illegal under federal law. Those arrested on marijuana-related charges need to take the matter seriously. It's wise to seek legal guidance rather than go through the justice system alone.

Source: KOSU, "Key Questions And Answers On SQ 788, Oklahoma's Vote On Medical Marijuana," Joe Wertz and Jackie Fortier, May 03, 2018

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