Oklahomans will not get their chance to vote on recreational marijuana this fall after the state Supreme Court rejected a lawsuit seeking to put the measure on the ballot, reported The Oklahoman.
Justices unanimously decided that the petitioners in the lawsuit “cannot show that they have a clear right to get SQ820 on the November 2022 general election ballot,” given the two legal complaints that still need to be formally dismissed and the fact that the signature counting process led to missing the August 29 deadline to get the initiative on the ballot.
“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,” said Michelle Tilley, campaign director for Yes on 820 in a statement. “However, we cannot lose sight of how far we have come. This is a big deal.”
Oklahoma cannabis activists turned in over 164,000 signatures in July, which is far more than the approximately 95,000 they need to qualify State Question 820 for the ballot.
However, signature counting took nearly seven weeks instead of the average two to three weeks. The lawsuit brought by Oklahomans for Sensible Marijuana Laws has been under review for several weeks, during which Oklahoma Supreme Court sorted out four complaints submitted from those against the marijuana legalization ballot initiative.
Two complaints dealing with the signature certification were killed in the state Supreme Court on Friday, while the remaining two complaints related to the ballot title language were subsequently dismissed.
The question of legalizing recreational marijuana for adults over 21 still stands a chance of appearing in the 2024 statewide election. The other solution to enact the measure would require the governor to call a special election to put the question on the ballot sooner.