Marijuana is currently illegal in Oklahoma, but a state question on the ballot this November could change that. Question 788 would legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes. If passed, Oklahoma would join 29 other states in allowing some form of medical marijuana. So what would change if pot became legal in Oklahoma? We’ll take a closer look at the issue in today’s post.
The History of Marijuana in Oklahoma
- 1 The History of Marijuana in Oklahoma
- 2 What the Law Says About Marijuana in Oklahoma
- 3 Medical Marijuana in Oklahoma
- 4 Legal Penalties for Marijuana Use in Oklahoma
- 5 Conclusion
For centuries, marijuana has had medicinal properties. In the 1900s, it began to be seen as bad and illegal. In Oklahoma, marijuana was first outlawed in 1933. However, people’s opinions have changed over time, and more people now want to make it legal again in the state.
A primary justification for marijuana legalization is its positive impact on the state economy. In states where pot is already legal, it’s currently a billion-dollar industry, and sales taxes could finance crucial programs at the state level.
Oklahoma has some of the country’s most severe laws against marijuana–consequences that poor and nonwhite people mostly bear. For Eg, possessing even a small amount of weed can earn someone a felony charge and jail time. These harsh punishments have caused overcrowding in our prisons and high recidivism rates statewide.
Legalization would also allow people to use marijuana for medicinal purposes. Marijuana is effective in treating various conditions, including pain, anxiety, and seizures. Currently, only patients with severe epilepsy are allowed to use medical marijuana in Oklahoma legally. However, if marijuana were legalized, any Oklahoman would be able to access it for medicinal purposes.
The legalization of marijuana would also have positive social effects. It would reduce crime rates and take power away from drug cartels. It would also end the unjust prosecution of people who use marijuana. People of colour are disproportionately targeted by police for marijuana-related offences, even though they use the drug at roughly the same rate as whites.
What the Law Says About Marijuana in Oklahoma
Possession of Marijuana in Oklahoma
Oklahoma law prohibits the possession of marijuana for any purpose. Any amount of marijuana is a misdemeanour offence punishable by up to one year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Subsequent offences are punishable by up to two years in jail and a fine of up to $2,500.
The penalties for possessing marijuana increase if the offence takes place within 2,000 feet of a school, park, or another public place where children commonly gather. In such cases, the maximum punishment increases to two years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
Cultivation and Sale of Marijuana in Oklahoma
Against the law to cultivate or sell marijuana in Oklahoma. If you are caught growing any amount of cannabis, you may face up to two years in prison and a fine of $5,000. The sale of any quantity of marijuana is also prohibited and comes with a sentence of four years in jail plus a $10,000 penalty.
Possession of weed With Intent to Sell in Oklahoma
If the offence takes place within 2,000 feet of a school, park, or another public place where children commonly gather, the maximum punishment increases to six years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000.
Oklahoma’s Medical Marijuana Laws
In 2018, Oklahoma voters approved State Question 788, which legalized the use of medical marijuana in the state. The new law states that patients with a legitimate medical marijuana license can have up to 3 ounces of weed on their person and eight ounces at home.
They are also able to grow up to six mature plants and six seedlings at their home. Patients are not allowed to consume marijuana in public or drive while under the influence of marijuana.
Medical Marijuana in Oklahoma
Oklahoma voters approved medical marijuana in 2018, making it legal for patients with a doctor’s recommendation to possess and purchase cannabis for therapeutic use. However, the state has yet to establish a comprehensive system for regulating the production and sale of medical cannabis, so patients currently have few options for obtaining their medicine.
Possession and Cultivation Limits
Patients with a valid doctor’s recommendation can possess up to three ounces of usable cannabis at any given time. They are allowed to cultivate up to 6mature plants and six seedlings at a time.
The following conditions qualify patients for a medical marijuana recommendation in Oklahoma:
- Muscular dystrophy
- Spinal cord injury or disease
- Tourette’s syndrome
- Multiple sclerosis
- Crohn’s disease
Legal Penalties for Marijuana Use in Oklahoma
In Oklahoma, Penalties for marijuana possession are much harsher than in other states. For example, possessing any amount of marijuana is a misdemeanour that comes with up to one year in jail and a $1,000 fine. If someone is caught again, it becomes a felony punishable by 5 years imprisonment and a $5,000 fine. Selling or growing marijuana also becomes felonies with the same punishments as above.
Anyone convicted of possessing or selling marijuana will have their driver’s license suspended for six months in addition to these criminal penalties. They may also be required to complete a drug education or treatment program.
Despite these harsh laws, Oklahoma has some of the highest rates of marijuana use in the country. In 2012, an estimated 12% of Oklahoma adults were using marijuana, compared to 8% nationwide. And in 2013, Oklahoma had the second-highest rate of marijuana-related arrests in the country.
The high use and arrest rates are likely partly due to the state’s large Native American population. Despite consuming marijuana at roughly the same rates, Native Americans are 3.73 times more can be arrested for possession than white people, according to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
The ACLU has also raised concerns about the racial disparities in Oklahoma’s drug laws. African Americans make up 7.6% of the state’s population, but they accounted for 30.8% of all drug-related arrests in 2012. In contrast, white people make up 72.1% of the state’s population but account for just 46.5% of drug-related arrests.
So, is weed legal in Oklahoma? While marijuana is technically illegal in the state of Oklahoma, there are certain exceptions to that rule. In 2017, Governor Mary Fallin signed a bill into law that allows for the use of CBD oil products for treating children with epilepsy.
This means that, while weed may not be fully legalized in Oklahoma, some provisions allow for the limited use of cannabis-based products. If you’re curious about how this new law affects you and your business, or if you want more information on CBD oil and its potential benefits, contact us today.