Oklahoma State Question 788: What It Is and What It Means

  *** DISCLAIMER: Please be aware that the opinions in this piece do not reflect the official stance and views of Her Campus, Her Campus Oklahoma nor The University of Oklahoma.*** 

Photo by Arnaud Jaegers on Unsplash

In 2018 Oklahomans will get to vote on a State Question that will determine the future of medical marijuana in our state. Governor Mary Fallin has issued a proclamation setting the date for the election of this question to be in the June primary, you can keep track of her election announcements at the Oklahoma State Election Board website.

State Question No. 788 seeks to legalize medicinal marijuana. A yes vote would legalize the licensed use, sale, and growth of marijuana is Oklahoma for medicinal purposes. For use and possession of marijuana a person would be required to have a license from a board certified physician, be 18 years old or older, and live in Oklahoma. It would create a 7% tax on medical marijuana sales and would also create a fine of no more than $400 for unlicensed possession. A no vote would be against the measure and would leave current laws regarding marijuana untouched.

Those who are in favor of passing State Question 788 believe it supports individual liberty and freedom in Oklahoma. They present marijuana’s medical uses, which range from helping cancer patients to helping treat anxiety and depression. The Vote Yes on 788 website outlines how Oklahoma’s economy is suffering due to the use of tax dollars to continue prosecuting marijuana related crimes, which would become legal with proper licensing. There is also a section on their website dedicated to the impact of 788 on crime, they argue that the prison population in Oklahoma would decrease because less people would be arrested under our strict drug laws, it would place cartels at a disadvantage because they would make less money on illegal drugs.

While there isn’t an official ‘Vote No On 788’ movement at this time, there are a few opinion pieces written in local newspapers that outline some reasons why Oklahomans may want to vote against the measure. Mike Brake for NewsOK outlines his reasons being that THC is actually less effective than believed, it would be impossible to enforce limits on growth and production, legislation about medical marijuana doesn’t face the kind of rigorous testing that typical medical drugs undergo, and there are adverse effects of increased marijuana consumption (impairing attention, memory, and motor skills). Another reason some are against 788 is that the interim director stated that the State Health Department is not well enough equipped to handle the implement of medical marijuana at this time.

According to the Oklahoma State Election Board, the election in which State Question No. 788 will appear is the June 26 Primary Election. The last day to register to vote to participate in that election is June 1, the deadline to request an absentee ballot is 5pm on June 20. Early voting will be Thursday, June 21, 8am to 6pm, Friday, June 22 8am to 6pm, and Saturday, June 23, 9am to 2pm. Regardless of your position on 788, I hope to see you out at the polls practicing your civic duty!