Supporters Need More Signatures To Put Medical Marijuana On Nov. Ballot

Wednesday, August 10th 2016, 12:22 pm

Time is running out for those of who want to put medical marijuana up to a vote of the people. The deadline is Thursday, so supporters were making one final push.

Representatives of Oklahomans for Health said they will turn in all the signatures they gathered over the last 90 days to the Secretary of State Thursday afternoon. They need 66,000 verified signatures.

David Hunt was among those turning in a petition Wednesday.

“I don’t get out that far, I just did the best that I could with what I could,” he said after turning in 20 signatures.

He has a personal stake. He believes medical marijuana would replace the Fentanyl patch that he currently uses to deal with the pain from a back injury. 

“All the time, constant, it’s continuous it’s just non-stop,” he said. “I’m on medication for that and I don’t like it.”

"We’re close. We’re very close,” said former Rep. Joe Dorman, who is heading up the drive.

He said right now, they have about 50,000 signatures but many of the 1,500 volunteers across the state haven't turned their petitions in yet.

During a similar petition drive back in 2014, volunteers collected 75,000 signatures but needed 155,000 to get the issue on the ballot.

“Because we had the lowest turnout in state history in the gubernatorial race a few years ago, that has actually dropped the threshold,” Dorman said.  

Jerry Fina has had the petition sitting on the counter of his shoe repair business for the past 90 days.

“I think the government shouldn’t be in the doctor’s office,” said Fina, who owns a shoe and boot repair business. “I’ve collected just letting it sit here in the shop over a hundred, not saying a word.”

He still has a few signatures he collected Wednesday sitting on his counter and later, he's hoping to cobble together as many more as he can before Thursday's deadline.

Dorman said if they are able to get the required signatures, he believes it will pass in November.

“Polling done in 2013 by SoonerPoll shows it had in the high 60s, low 70s support by Oklahoma voters,” he said. 

The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics is among those opposed to medical marijuana. A spokesperson said there are already pills and oils where people can get the benefits of marijuana without smoking it and becoming intoxicated. 


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