Adult-use cannabis is not happening anytime soon in the Sooner state. The Oklahoma Supreme Court rejected a request for the state question to make it on the general election ballot this November.
Campaigners for Yes on 820 blame the rejection on the new process in the secretary of state’s office that required a third-party company to verify state question signatures, rather than the secretary of state’s office itself. The contracted company didn’t complete its tally by the statutory deadline to call a state question, despite campaigners submitting signatures on time.
“It is disappointing that a few people with their own political interests were able to use the process to prevent voters from voting on this in November,” Yes on 820 campaign director Michelle Tilley told the Oklahoman. “However, we cannot lose sight of how far we have come. This is a big deal.”
Oklahomans can try again at a later date. The governor can choose to call for a special election to get it on the ballot, or it will go up for vote during a statewide election in 2024.
Though disheartening, this is not the first time proponents of the state question have faced setbacks. They’ve been advocating since 2019 to get the question on a ballot. In this election cycle, the campaign raised more than $2.2 million, all from out-of-state donors like the American Civil Liberties Union and national nonprofits.
We’ll be keeping a close eye on whether the governor calls a special election or pushes the vote back to 2024.