The Oklahoma state Supreme Court declined a request by a political campaign to order election officials to print ballots with a still-pending recreational marijuana legalization ballot question on them, thus reducing the odds that residents will get to vote on adult-use legalization this year.
The decision makes it “unlikely” that residents will get to vote on adult-use legalization this year, according to a report in The Oklahoman.
The main issue, according to the paper, is that the state Election Board said this past Monday was the legal deadline to finalize the November ballot, but the legalization initiative – State Question 820 – has yet to make it through a 10-day protest period, which is mandatory for all such ballot questions. The protest period may begin as soon as this week.
But the state Supreme Court’s decision to not intervene on behalf of the marijuana campaign – dubbed Yes on 820 – makes it “unlikely” the initiative will ultimately appear on the November ballot, The Oklahoman reported.
If SQ 820 doesn’t go before voters this fall, it could appear in a special election next year or in the general election in 2024.
The Yes on 820 campaign, which has been run by Oklahomans for Sensible Marijuana Laws, submitted more than 117,000 signatures to make the ballot; it only needed 94,910 to qualify.
The campaign has accused the Oklahoma secretary of state’s office of foot-dragging on signature verification, however, and a spokesperson expressed confidence to The Oklahoman that SQ 820 will still make the November ballot this year.