Oklahoma Supreme Court Rules On Medical Marijuana Ballot Question

Tuesday, March 28th 2017, 6:10 pm
By: Dana Hertneky

The Oklahoma Supreme Court has ruled in favor of those who worked to put legalizing medical marijuana up for a vote of the people.

The Supreme Court made the decision after supporters sued, saying former Attorney General Scott Pruitt changed the ballot question in a way that would mislead voters.

That original ballot question read at the beginning: "A yes vote legalizes the licensed use, sale, and growth of marijuana in Oklahoma for medicinal purposes."

But after supporters got enough signatures to put the measure up to a vote, Pruitt rewrote the question.

It starts off: "This measure legalizes the licensed use, sale, and growth of marijuana in Oklahoma. There are no qualifying medical conditions identified."

“Our concern was that it made the ballot initiative sound like it was about recreational marijuana,” said Allie Shinn, the ACLU of Oklahoma Director of External Affairs. 

So the ACLU, on behalf of Oklahomans for Health, sued. 

“We really think that former Attorney General Scott Pruitt rewrote this with the intention of inserting his political agenda into the process,” explained Shinn. “That is absolutely not what the attorney general rewrite process is about.”

After the court ruled, the original language will appear on the ballot.

Current Attorney General Mike Hunter said simply: "We disagree with that result, but respect the decision of the state's highest court."

Oklahomans will vote on the issue in 2018 or the governor could call a special election to vote earlier.