Backers of medical marijuana in Oklahoma say they appear to have fallen short of their goal of collecting enough voter signatures to put the issue on the November ballot.
Tulsa-based Oklahomans for Health submitted signed petitions Friday to the Oklahoma secretary of state’s office. They were required to submit 155,216 signatures by Friday.
“We are in no way confident that we have enough signatures,” said Chip Paul, leader of the group. “We had to leave 20,000 to 30,000 signatures back in Tulsa because of formatting errors and that could be the difference.”
He didn’t have an estimate for how many signatures his group had obtained. Members of the group continued to collect signatures from passers-by south of the state Capitol late into the afternoon.
Paul said the group at least has raised public awareness of the issue.
“Medical marijuana is now on people’s minds,” he said.
Paul noted that on Wednesday Gov. Mary Fallin indicated she would support limited, regulated trials of a non-intoxicating oil from marijuana as a possible treatment for young people with a severe form of seizure disorder. The governor opposes the medical marijuana initiative drive as well as a second proposed marijuana legalization initiative.
Paul said he feels such a limited trial does not begin to provide Oklahomans with the benefits they might derive from marijuana used in a medicinal sense.
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Medical marijuana is now on people’s minds.”