Oklahomans to vote on 2 state questions in 2018

BY TRAVIS SNELL
Assistant Editor – @cp_tsnell
05/07/2018 08:30 AM
Main Cherokee Phoenix
State Question 788 calls for legalizing the licensed use, sale, and growth of marijuana in Oklahoma for medicinal purposes. Voters will decide the issue on June 26. COURTESY
TAHLEQUAH – Oklahoma voters will see two state questions on their ballots this year regarding medicinal marijuana and amending the state’s Constitution to guarantee certain rights for crime victims.

According to the Oklahoma Election Board, Gov. Mary Fallin has set the medicinal marijuana issue, State Question 788, for a vote on the June 26 primary ballot.

According to the Oklahoma Election Board website, the measure, if passed, would legalize “the licensed use, sale, and growth of marijuana in Oklahoma for medicinal purposes.”

The question states a license would be required for “use and possession of marijuana for medicinal purposes and must be approved by an Oklahoma Board Certified Physician.” It also states the State Department of Health would issue medical marijuana licenses if the applicant is 18 years or older and an Oklahoma resident.

“A special exception will be granted to an applicant under the age of eighteen, however these applications must be signed by two physicians and a parent or legal guardian,” the question states. “The Department will also issue seller, grower, packaging, transportation, research and caregiver licenses. Individual and retail businesses must meet minimal requirements to be licensed to sell marijuana to licensees.”

According to the question, the punishment for unlicensed possession of permitted amounts of marijuana for individuals who can state a medical condition is a fine not exceeding $400. Fees and zoning restrictions would be established, and a 7 percent state tax would be imposed on medical marijuana sales, the question states.

A “yes” vote would be in favor of allowing medicinal marijuana, according to the question.

As for the crime victims issue, Fallin had yet to set a date for it as of publication.

SQ 794, if passed, would amend the state Constitution to guarantee certain rights for crime victims.

“These rights would now be protected in a manner equal to the defendant’s rights,” the question states. It also states the measure would make changes to victims rights, including:

• expanding the court proceedings at which a victim has the right to be heard;

• adding a right to reasonable protection;

• adding a right to proceedings free from unreasonable delay;

• adding a right to talk with the prosecutor; and

• allowing victims to refuse interview requests from the defendant’s attorney without a subpoena.

“The Oklahoma Constitution currently grants victims’ rights to crime victims and their family members,” the question states. “This measure would instead grant these rights to crime victims and those directly harmed by the crime. Victims would no longer have a constitutional right to know the defendant’s location following arrest, during prosecution, and while sentenced to confinement or probation, but would have the right to be notified of the defendant’s release or escape from custody.”

According to the question, victims would have these rights in both adult and juvenile proceedings. Victims would also be able to assert these rights in court, and the court would be required to act promptly,” it states.

A “yes” vote would be in favor of allowing rights for crime victims, according to the question.

Visit https://www.ok.gov/elections/Election_Info/State_Question_info.html for more information.
About the Author
Travis Snell has worked for the Cherokee Phoenix since 2000. He began as a staff writer, a position that allowed him to win numerous writing awards from the Native American Journalists Association, including the Richard LaCourse Award for best investigative story in 2003. He was promoted to assistant editor in 2007, ...
TRAVIS-SNELL@cherokee.org • 918-453-5358
Travis Snell has worked for the Cherokee Phoenix since 2000. He began as a staff writer, a position that allowed him to win numerous writing awards from the Native American Journalists Association, including the Richard LaCourse Award for best investigative story in 2003. He was promoted to assistant editor in 2007, ...

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