“We are dealing with processes established in both federal and state election law for initiatives proposed by the people that require specific procedures to be followed,” Atty. Gen. Pruitt said. “Even with expedited efforts of both the Secretary of State’s office to count the signatures and my office to write the ballot title, the state is running up against deadlines imposed by this process.
Unfortunately, Atty. Gen. Pruitt seems not to know the difference between medical marijuana and recreational marijuana legalization, as his ballot title mischaracterizes the initiative as legalizing the possession, sale, and growth of marijuana in Oklahoma, without even mentioning that it applies only to medical patients with specific conditions.
“It’s important for the people of Oklahoma to know, regardless of the substance of the state question, the signatures were not submitted with enough time to allow this process to be played out completely,” Pruitt said.
After the Attorney General’s Office submits the substitute ballot title to the Secretary of State, it must be published and opponents must have 10 business days to object to the ballot title based on the validity or number of signatures or a challenge to the ballot title.Oklahoma Secretary of State Chris Benge’s office on Tuesday announced that 67,761 signatures were submitted, surpassing the 65,987 signatures of registered voters needed to put the issue on an election ballot by fewer than 2,000 signatures, reports the Associated Press.
The secretary of state’s office will now send a report on its findings to the Oklahoma Supreme Court, which decodes of the number of signatures is sufficient to put the question on the ballot.
Under the plan, doctors would be able to recommend a patient at least 25 years old (apparently the move upward from 21 is a nod to Oklahoma’s arch-conservative bent) for a state-issued medical marijuana license allowing them to use marijuana and possess up to three ounces, six mature plants and six seedlings.
To view a copy of the submitted ballot title, click here.