The Washington Post

Court: Weed question won’t make Nov. ballot

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A proposed state question on whether to legalize the recreation­al use of marijuana in Oklahoma won’t appear on the November ballot, the state Supreme Court ruled Wednesday, dealing a blow to Democrats who hoped the question would energize liberal voters.

The high court rejected a request by supporters of State Question 820 to require the State Election Board to print the question on the general-election ballot.

“There is no way to mandate the inclusion of SQ820 on the November 2022 general election ballot,” Justice Douglas Combs wrote in the majority opinion. “SQ820 will be voted upon by the people of Oklahoma, albeit either at the next general election following November 8, 2022, or at a special election set by the Governor or the Legislatur­e.”

Oklahomans for Sensible Marijuana Laws gathered enough signatures to qualify the question for a statewide vote, but because it took longer than usual to count the signatures and for the courts to consider several legal challenges to the proposal, there wasn’t enough time to print the ballots ahead of the November election. Officials with the Oklahoma Election Board said the statutory deadline to call a state question election for November was Aug. 29.

If approved by voters, the question would legalize the use of marijuana for any adult over the age of 21. Marijuana sales would be subjected to a 15 percent excise tax on top of the standard sales tax. The proposal also outlines a judicial process for people to seek expungemen­t or dismissal of prior marijuana-related conviction­s.

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