Cannabis is still illegal in Oklahoma, but that could soon change. A group of lawmakers is pushing for a statewide vote on medical marijuana, and if it passes, Oklahoma would become the 30th state to legalize the drug.
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Cannabis, also known as marijuana among other names, is a psychoactive drug from the Cannabis plant used for medical or recreational purposes. The main psychoactive part of cannabis is tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), one of 483 known compounds in the plant, including at least 65 other cannabinoids. Cannabis can be used by smoking, vaporizing, within food, or as an extract.
The Current Legal Status of Cannabis in Oklahoma
Cannabis is currently illegal for recreational use in Oklahoma. However, it is legal for medical use with a doctor’s recommendation. There has been a lot of debate surrounding the legalization of cannabis in Oklahoma. Some people believe that it should be legalized for recreational use, while others believe that it should only be used for medical purposes.
The cultivation, possession, and use of cannabis is illegal under federal law in the United States. The Controlled Substances Act (CSA) of 1970 classifies marijuana as a Schedule I drug, which means that the federal government views it as having a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use.
Despite this classification, some states have legalized marijuana for medical or recreational purposes. Oklahoma is not one of these states. Under state law, the possession of any amount of marijuana is a misdemeanor offense punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Penalties become more severe for subsequent offenses and for higher amounts of the drug.
The use of cannabis for medical purposes has been legal in Oklahoma since 2018, when voters approved State Question 788. However, there are still some restrictions on who can use medical cannabis and how it can be obtained.
Possession of small amounts of cannabis for personal use is technically legal in Oklahoma, but the penalties for possessing more than a certain amount are very harsh. For example, possession of between one and two ounces is a misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail and a fine of up to $1,000. Possession of more than two ounces is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000.
Cultivation of cannabis for personal use is also technically legal in Oklahoma, but only if the person growing the plants has a valid medical marijuana license. Otherwise, cultivation is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $20,000.
Sale or distribution of cannabis is also technically legal in Oklahoma if the person doing the selling or distributing has a valid medical marijuana license. Otherwise, sale or distribution is a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $25,000.
The Future of Cannabis Legalization in Oklahoma
The future of cannabis legalization in Oklahoma is still up in the air. The state has not made any definitive moves towards legalization, but there is a growing movement of support for legalization. A recent poll showed that over 60% of Oklahomans support legalization of cannabis. This is a significant increase from previous years. With the majority of the population now in favor of legalization, it is only a matter of time before Oklahoma makes a move towards legalization.
The Medical Marijuana Legalization Initiative
On June 26, 2018, Oklahoma became the 30th state to legalize the use of medical marijuana when voters passed State Question 788 (SQ 788). The new law went into effect on July 26, 2018, making Oklahoma the fastest state to implement a medical marijuana program. SQ 788 allows patients with a valid medical license to purchase and use marijuana for medicinal purposes. The law also permits the use of marijuana for recreational purposes, but only if it is purchased from a licensed dispensaries.
Oklahoma’s decision to legalize medical marijuana was largely driven by public support. A poll conducted in April 2018 found that 62 percent of Oklahoma voters favored legalizing medical marijuana, while only 32 percent opposed it. This widespread support is likely due to the fact that many Oklahomans believe that marijuana can be used to treat a variety of medical conditions, including pain, anxiety, and cancer.
The passage of SQ 788 has caused some confusion about the legal status of cannabis in Oklahoma. While the new law legalized the use of medical marijuana, it did not make cannabis legal for all Oklahomans. Only those with a valid medical license are allowed to purchase and use cannabis for medicinal purposes. Recreational use is still illegal in Oklahoma, unless it is purchased from a licensed dispensary.
The confusion surrounding the legal status of cannabis in Oklahoma is likely to continue until state officials clarify the law. In the meantime, Oklahomans should be aware that only those with a valid medical license are allowed to legally purchase and use cannabis for medicinal purposes.
The Decriminalization of Cannabis
In Oklahoma, the possession of small amounts of cannabis was decriminalized in 2019. This means that instead of being charged with a criminal offense, people caught with small amounts of cannabis are issued a fine. The amount that is considered to be for personal use is currently one ounce or less. The fine for possession of this amount is $400. Although decriminalization has passed in Oklahoma, the use, sale, and cultivation of cannabis is still illegal.
There are many people in support of full legalization of cannabis in Oklahoma. They believe that it would provide numerous economic opportunities for the state, as well as generate tax revenue that could be used to fund public services. Some opponents of legalization worry about an increase in cannabis use among minors and the potential for more drugged driving accidents. However, many states that have legalized cannabis have put regulations in place to prevent these things from happening.
The future of cannabis legalization in Oklahoma is uncertain, but there is a growing movement in support of it. With neighboring states like Colorado and New Mexico having already legalized the drug, there is pressure on Oklahoma to do the same. Only time will tell what the outcome will be.
At this time, cannabis is not legal for recreational use in Oklahoma. However, the state does have a medical marijuana program. Qualifying patients with a doctor’s recommendation can register with the state to purchase and use cannabis for certain medical conditions.