Legalization Drives Fall Short in Oklahoma and Mississippi

Cannabis legalization initiatives in both Oklahoma and Mississippi have fallen short of obtaining the required number of signatures to qualify for the 2016 November ballot.

In Oklahoma, an amendment to the Oklahoma Constitution was on the docket to allow medical marijuana — with a doctor’s recommendation. But in the 90 days allowed by state law, volunteers from the grassroots organization Green the Vote were only able to collect 70,000 of the required 123,725 signatures needed to put the initiative in front of voters.

But all is not lost for this November. A different pro-medical marijuana group, Oklahomans for Health, is gearing up for another legalization initiative.

Meanwhile, Mississippi’s Ballot Initiative 48 — written to legalize the retail sale and use of marijuana in a manner similar to alcohol or tobacco — has been in the works since 2014. But as of late December, volunteers had only managed to collect 13,300 of the 107,000 signatures needed to put the measure in front of voters this coming November.

The proposed Mississippi ballot would have looked a lot like legalization in Colorado, with tax revenue earmarked for education, and citizens allowed to grow a limited number of plants for personal use.

Many experts have predicted 2016 will be an extraordinary point in the mainstream legalization process, with up to ten different states likely to put legalization initiatives in front of voters this November.

Photo Credit: Schezar

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