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Oklahomans to vote on recreational marijuana in special election next year

Marijuana plants in Seattle.
Ted S. Warren
Marijuana plants in Seattle.

Oklahomans will have the opportunity to vote on whether or not to legalize recreational marijuana in a special election next March.

Governor Kevin Stitt signed a proclamation declaring that a special statewide election for State Question 820 will be held on Tuesday March 7, 2023.

The Oklahoma Supreme Court denied adding the state question to the November 8th ballot back in September due to delays in the petition process by a first-time vendor for the state's secretary office.

If passed, SQ 820 would legalize, regulate, and tax cannabis products for adults aged 21 years and older.

Yes on 820 Campaign Director Michelle Tilley said legalizing recreational marijuana would bring millions of tax dollars into the state.

"And we all know, just look around," Tilley said. "The state is in desperate need of those tax dollars for things like education, healthcare, and local government."

The state question would also decriminalize marijuana possession and use. Tilley said that criminal justice reform would provide expungement for those facing low-level marijuana offenses.

"We're also going to quit putting people in jail for, you know, minor marijuana issues and allow those people who have had those in the past a chance to get those off their records," Tilley explained. "That's going to be really freeing for a lot of folks."

For the next five months, Tilley said she and her team will be out educating Oklahoma voters and helping people register to vote.

If the state question passes, Oklahoma will be the 20th state to legalize recreational marijuana.

Click here to read the governor's proclamation.

Before making her way to Public Radio Tulsa, KWGS News Director Cassidy Mudd worked as an assignment editor and digital producer at a local news station. Her work has appeared on ABC, CBS, and NBC affiliates across the country.