Medical Marijuana Supporters In Oklahoma Need To Start Early


There was a good attempt at getting medical marijuana on the ballot in Oklahoma this year. The signature requirements for a medical marijuana initiative in Oklahoma are high, almost twice as high as they are in my home State of Oregon. While organizers were far from reaching the required amount of signatures, they still did an impressive job, especially considering that the signatures were gathered by volunteers. Per a story from last week via KOCO:

signature gathering marijuana reform initiative

Officials at the Secretary of State's Office said Tulsa-based Oklahomans for Health needed 155,216 voter signatures to get the medical marijuana issue on the Nov. 4 general election ballot. But workers who wrapped up the validation process on Thursday counted only 75,384 valid signatures.

Chip Paul, an organizer who filed the initiative petition in April, said he was not surprised the group fell short of the number of signatures required to authorize a statewide vote on legalizing the use of medical marijuana.

Volunteers delivered dozens of boxes of signed petitions to the Secretary of State on Friday, a day ahead of their deadline for submitting the signatures. Paul said at the time that thousands of signatures collected by volunteers were not turned in because they did not meet the format requirements of state law and likely would have been invalidated during the signature counting process.

Hopefully organizers are starting right now for 2016. With the amount of signatures that they gathered in 2014, they should be able to persuade national organizations and donors to help with their efforts. 75,384 is a lot of signatures for an all volunteer effort. Imagine what could happen if there were professional signature gatherers complimenting the volunteer efforts. Kudos to Oklahomans for Health for their hard work!