The activist-led push to legalize marijuana in Oklahoma has become seriously contentious, with one campaign waging a legal challenge against a separate group of advocates working to end prohibition. The latest result of the conflict is the filing on Wednesday of a newly revised initiative to put legalization on the ballot. The new measure comes from a campaign that’s being backed by the national New Approach PAC, which has been behind a number of successful state-level reform initiatives across the country. It filed its first 2022 Oklahoma legalization measure last month before facing the legal challenge from other activists over statutory concerns. The separate campaign, Oklahomans for Responsible Cannabis Action (ORCA), contested the prior New Approach measure with the state Supreme Court late last month, arguing that, among other things, the competing initiative violated a single-subject rule for ballot proposals. It argued that the measure covers too many policies beyond simple legalization, which they say should render the initiative invalid. But while ORCA chose to make that argument, its own initiative also covers the significant ground. As filed, for example, both would provide pathways for expungements of prior cannabis convictions. That’s changed now in the latest New Approach-backed measure, and if the legal challenge against the prior measure goes forward and is successful, the initial draft would be rendered ineligible for the ballot and New Approach would pursue their second version. Enter the new initiative from New Approach: This one makes technical changes to the gist and ballot title language to more closely align some of the provisions that were challenged. It also eliminates the expungements section to avoid a further legal contest based on the single-subject rule.
Kyle Jaeger, Marijuana Moment, 02/10/2022 11:17:00