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Medical marijuana backers in Oklahoma miss signature requirement for spot on ballot

Tulsa-based Oklahomans for Health’s medical marijuana initiative drive in Oklahoma collected about half of the signatures needed to put the issue on ballot.
by Rick Green Modified: August 21, 2014 at 8:52 pm •  Published: August 21, 2014
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Backers of a medical marijuana initiative collected only about half the signatures needed to put the issue before voters, the Oklahoma secretary of state’s office said Thursday.

A total of 75,384 signatures were collected, but more than 155,216 were needed to put it on the Nov. 4 ballot.

The proposed initiative was intended to classify marijuana as an herbal drug to be regulated by the state Health Department. More than three dozen medical conditions, from asthma to urinary incontinence, would qualify a person to get a medical card through a doctor to receive marijuana.

Tulsa-based Oklahomans for Health submitted the signed petitions Friday. Chip Paul, leader of the group, said at the time that they probably didn’t collect enough signatures, noting up to 30,000 signatures could not be submitted because of errors in the way they were formatted.

Meantime, backers of a general marijuana legalization measure will continue to collect signatures in hopes of qualifying for the ballot.

They have until Oct. 20 to turn in signatures, as do proponents of an initiative to allow $500 million in bonds to be sold to pay for school tornado shelters, with the bonds supported by the state’s general revenue fund.

by Rick Green
Capitol Bureau Chief
Rick Green is the Capitol Bureau Chief of The Oklahoman. A graduate of Humboldt State University in Arcata, Calif., he worked as news editor for The Associated Press in Oklahoma City before joining The Oklahoman.
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