Initiative to Legalize Recreational Marijuana Gains Steam After Approval

Although Oklahoma voters recently approved medical marijuana and a petition to legalize recreational use is moving forward, possession, sale and trafficking remain serious crimes under state law.

Just over a week after Oklahoma voters approved measure that legalizes medical marijuana for eligible patients; a new petition is circulating that would decriminalize pot for recreational use. As of July 5, 2018, Green the Vote Oklahoma had collected more than half the signatures necessary to put the initiative on the ballot for the November 2018 election.

After the passage of State Question 788; an individual 18 years or older may submit a medical marijuana application with the Oklahoma State Department of Health. The applicant will be required to include necessary documents; from his or her physician, and must pay $100 annually for the license; following approval.

The petition regarding recreational use; is proposed by Green the Vote; as a constitutional amendment . However, State Question 797 would enable anyone 21 years or older to legally use, possess, produce, and distribute marijuana. In addition; the measure classifies marijuana as an herbal supplement.

Despite the approval of marijuana for medical use, and petition seeking to legalize pot for recreational purposes; the drug remains illegal in Oklahoma. Although state health department has 30 days from the passage of State Question 788 to draw up regulations on medical marijuana; officials will have at least another month to implement the plan. Even if State Question 797 gains enough signatures; to be placed on November’s ballot; the process for legalizing recreational marijuana could take many more months.

Oklahoma City drug charges defense attorney Robert Robles offered a reminder on marijuana offenses, stating that “Initiatives across the US notwithstanding, marijuana possession, sale, and trafficking are still serious crimes. Offenders may face misdemeanor and felony charges depending on the circumstances. Considering a conviction could mean considerable jail time and fines; it is critical to retain an experienced criminal defense lawyer; who is knowledgeable in all Oklahoma state drug laws.”

Under the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Act; first-time possession of marijuana is a misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison; and a maximum fine of $10,000. Sale and trafficking are felonies, carrying criminal penalties that depend upon the amount of the drug. A conviction could mean 2-10 years’ incarceration and a fine up to $50,000. Contact us today at 707.527.9900 to discuss your case.

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