At this writing SQ806 has just been withdrawn and re-issued as SQ807 for our consideration. This petition effort, if successful, would legalize recreational marijuana here in Oklahoma. I think we are all asking ourselves if this is a good idea in Oklahoma at this time. I think not, and here is why.
If you are a patient or a commercial marijuana business owner, it would seem that adult use or recreational marijuana would be a good thing. That we would see an increase in tax money or have an increase in business just like what we saw in a state like Colorado. Well, let’s consider Colorado. They had a medical program that eventually went to an adult use marijuana program. At the time, less than 3% of Colorado’s population could access the States medical marijuana program. The medical marijuana program had “conditions” so it was not “open” to all Colorado residents. When Colorado passed and implemented adult use marijuana, it opened the market to many many Colorado residents who could not access marijuana under the medical marijuana program. In fact this is the case in EVERY SINGLE state that has passed an adult use program. In all of those states the passing of adult use OPENED the market to residents of that state which did not have access before.
Here in Oklahoma, our medical marijuana program is OPEN to all Oklahoma residents. Our medical marijuana program is very unique and like no other medical marijuana program in the country. Anyone can access the program. So how would adult use benefits Oklahomans? Certainly not by opening access to residents. While it might benefit border dispensaries with an increase in out of state business, it certainly would not help existing patients.
We have the most unique and liberal medical marijuana law in the country. We, as Oklahomans, have clearly embraced it. Did you know well over 5% of our population are now patients? That is spectacular! We have a LONG WAY to go just to get our medical program right and proper. Let’s focus on that for a few years, then make a decision on adult use. If that is something we all want, then lets work with lawmakers, the OMMA, non profits, and the marijuana business community to work on a proper adult use program.