The Norman Transcript

Editorials

May 30, 2014

Vote on medical marijuana?

NORMAN — Save for a few brave souls who don’t fear voter backlash, members of the Oklahoma legislature have resisted even having hearings on medical marijuana. Twenty states, not including Oklahoma, allow the use of marijuana for medical reasons.

If they gather about 155,000 signatures before Aug. 16, proponents of a medical marijuana law will let Oklahoma voters weigh in on the issue. About 50 supporters had a rally Wednesday at the Capitol.

Organizers think despite Oklahoma’s conservative reputation, they are for freedom and against government infringement on health care decisions. A poll released early this year supports that sentiment.

The SoonerPoll, commissioned by Oklahoma’s chapter of the National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws, found 71 percent support for legalization of marijuana and 57 percent support for decriminalization. Support was highest in Oklahoma City and Tulsa.

If it makes to the November ballot and is approved by voters, medical marijuana would be subject to a 7 percent sales tax, with proceeds funding the regulatory office at the Department of Health. Any surplus funds would be split, with 75 percent going to fund education and 25 percent earmarked for drug and alcohol treatment.

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