Oklahoma Supreme Court Says State Question 820 on Recreational Marijuana Will Get a Vote- But Not in 2022Wed, 21 Sep 2022 20:28:52 CDT
Oklahoma voters will have to wait for their chance to vote yes or no on State Question 820 until some time after the November 2022 General Election. The Oklahoma Supreme Court issued a ruling on Wednesday indicating that a vote will happen on State Question 820- but that the hard deadline (September 23, 2022) of needing to mail ballots to military made that an impossible task on September 21st when the Court ruled on the challenge to the Ballot Title and declared the State Question is ready for a vote.
While the secretary of state had certified that activists turned in enough valid signatures to qualify, officials said that the campaign missed procedural deadlines for the 2022 election, prompting the lawsuit that’s been under review by the state Supreme Court for the past several weeks until this ruling.
Now the court has officially denied the campaign’s request to compel the state to put Question 820 on the upcoming ballot.
The President of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau, Rodd Moesel, told Senior Farm and Ranch Broadcaster Ron Hays that the general farm organization is pleased with the ruling which he contends protects the structure of how a initiative petition is handled in the state- and protects the rights of citizens to protest what can appear on a ballot. Listen to Moesel and Hays discuss the process and the decision that has come down from the Oklahoma Supreme Court- listen by clicking on the Listen Bar at the bottom of this story.
Justices wrote in a unanimous 9-0 opinion that the petitioners “cannot show that they have a clear right to get SQ820 on the November 2022 general election ballot” under state statute given the time constraints and the fact that there are still two legal complaints that need to be formally closed out.
“Of course we are disappointed that the Court did not grant our request to place SQ 820 on the November 2022 ballot,” MichelleTilley, Yes on 820’s campaign director, said in a press release. “It is disappointing that the Secretary of State’s unqualified vendor, combined with rival amateur campaigns and political special interest groups, delayed the process, thereby preventing Oklahomans from voting on this in November.”
However, we cannot lose sight of how far we have come,” she said. “This is a big deal. Now the petition phase is finished, and Oklahomans WILL be voting on whether to legalize recreational marijuana here, and we can soon realize the tax revenue and other benefits it will bring to our State.”
Oklahomans for Sensible Marijuana Laws (OSML) has spent a significant amount of time in the state Supreme Court this election cycle. Hopes were raised after the court handed activists a temporary win last month by announcing that it would be delaying its decision on ballot placement, but now it’s issued a final determination.
Justices ultimately agreed with officials, who had argued that the campaign risked missing ballot printing cutoff dates. OSML tried to make the case that the deadlines were “arbitrary.”
To review the complete ruling handed down by the Supreme Court- click on the PDF link below.
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