Oklahoma Becomes Latest Red State To Vote Against Recreational Marijuana Legalization

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Oklahoma voters on Tuesday rejected a ballot initiative that would have legalized recreational marijuana in the state, becoming the latest in a line of red states to vote against such a measure, although 21 other states over the past decade have voted the promoted legalization.

Important facts

The state’s Question 820, which would have legalized the purchase and possession of marijuana by anyone over the age of 21, received more than 61.5% no votes.

The measure had met strong opposition from the state’s Republican Gov. Kevin Stitt, along with other GOP lawmakers, law enforcement officials, religious leaders and farmer groups.

Despite high-profile opposition to the measure, the legalization campaign had spent $4.9 million promoting the measure, compared with $219,000 spent by the “No” campaign, the Associated Press reported.

Crucial quote

After the results were called, Stitt tweeted: “Oklahomans rejected SQ 820. I believe this is the best way to protect our children and our state as a whole… my government will continue to hold bad actors accountable and crack down on illegal marijuana operations.”

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Though recreational use has been discouraged, Oklahoma continues to have one of the most permissive medical marijuana programs in the country. Medical cannabis use became legal in Oklahoma in 2018 after voters backed a ballot measure, and since then the state has seen a surge in dispensaries and growers. Getting a medical marijuana card is relatively easy because the state doesn’t limit its use to patients with specific medical conditions, and medical referrals can be requested online. According to the Associated Press, approximately 10% of all adults in the state hold a medical marijuana ID card.

Big number

12,395. That’s the total number of commercial licenses Oklahoma has officially issued to medical marijuana operation companies. This includes 7,955 producers, 2,648 pharmacies, 1,669 processors and 123 transporters.

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