TULSA – In September of 2016, enough signatures were certified on an initiative petition to put medical marijuana on a ballot in Oklahoma, but so far, Governor Mary Fallin has not designated a date for voters to decide the issue.
Members of Oklahomans for Health, an advocacy group which favors State Question 788, aren’t happy with the delay, and have begun a campaign to turn the heat up on the governor’s office.
Shawn Jenkins, a spokesman for Oklahomans for Health, spoke with KRMG on Wednesday.
“We have started a phone campaign and an email campaign that is currently going, that started this week,” Jenkins said, “specifically requesting that it be put on the ballot – and some people are a little bit more not requesting, but demanding that it be put on the ballot – and not just on the ballot, not in November, because that’s too late. This issue was petitioned in 2016.”
But the language of the ballot title became an issue when then state Attorney General Scott Pruitt removed the word “medical” from it, which sparked a court battle which restored it, but delayed the issue long enough to prevent a vote that year.
Now 2017 has come and gone, and the governor still hasn’t acted, though she could do so at her discretion.
Jenkins, a veteran who served with the 101st Airborne Division, suffers glaucoma and also has a son with a rare disease.
When KRMG asked him why he advocates for medical marijuana, he discussed the potential benefits for himself, his family, and his fellow veterans.
But first, he talked about his rights.
“I first got involved with advocacy for it because of being so conservative in my philosophy, and individual rights, and aspects of freedom and liberty,” he told KRMG.
If the governor doesn’t call for an election, the issue will still appear on Oklahoma ballots, but not until November of 2018.