Oklahoma residents have submitted a petition that seeks to legalize recreational marijuana via a statewide ballot in 2020.

The petition would require around 178,000 signatures to get it on the ballot in 2020 and Oklahoma’s voters could then have their say. Last year, 57% of Oklahomans voted in favour of legalizing medical marijuana, making it the 30th state to take the plunge.

The next step is legalizing adult-use cannabis sales, and residents Amy Young and Vanessa Brandon Avery have compiled a comprehensive 15-page overview of what the legal framework might look like.

The petition would impose a 15% excise tax on recreational marijuana sales, which would be locked in until at least 2024. It would also establish an Oklahoma Marijuana Revenue Trust Fund, which would collect revenue.

Under the proposals, the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority would be renamed the Oklahoma Marijuana Authority and it would govern the recreational marijuana trade. It would have the power to license and regulate cultivation, manufacture, transport, delivery, and sale of marijuana in the state.

The Oklahoma Marijuana Revenue Trust Fund would allocate the Oklahoma Marijuana Authority with enough money to fund these operations, and then divide the remaining revenue among various recipients.

Four percent would go to the municipality that houses the dispensary, and 48% would go to schools to help them develop substance abuse programs. The remaining 48% would take the form of grants for agencies and not for profit organizations that seek to increase Oklahomans’ access to evidence-based, low-barrier drug addiction treatment.

The State Board of Equalization would monitor this process to ensure the funds were being distributed fairly.

Cannabis retailers would not be able to open within 1,000 feet of a school, and they would not be able to sell alcohol or tobacco along with marijuana.

There would be a civil penalty of a $100 fine for anyone under 21 found to be consuming cannabis for non-medical purposes, and a $25 fine for anyone using cannabis in a public place.

“Allowing adult-use of marijuana, and regulating and taxing it, is a good policy decision for the state of Oklahoma, and voters should now have the opportunity to decide this issue at the ballot box,” said Young.

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