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Oklahoma lawmaker calls for more regulation and enforcement of marijuana as SQ820 fails

Recreational marijuana is not happening in Oklahoma anytime soon.

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After Tuesday night's vote, when a large majority of Oklahomans voted against it, Oklahoma is the latest to vote legalized recreational weed down.


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Payton May



The most recent states to vote on recreational marijuana had a fairly even split.

Montana, Missouri and Maryland approved it, but other red states like Arkansas and North and South Dakota voted it down.

Many are saying that more people would have voted yes if the vote was held last November, but some stats show that might not have been the case, since both Dakotas and Arkansas voted it down in the November election.

So far, 21 states have legalized recreational marijuana, most Democrat-leaning states.


So why did the vote on recreational marijuana fail so badly in Oklahoma? Lawmakers think it's a combination of a few things.

Representative Scott Fetgatter, (R)-Okmulgee, has extensive knowledge on the subject.

We've continued to report on the illegal grows, black market operations and lack of regulations in the industry, something that Fetgatter said could be to blame.

“I think the industry has some cleaning up to do, the state has some cleaning up to do and that’s what we heard loud and clear from the citizens last night," Fetgatter said.


{p}Recreational marijuana is not happening in Oklahoma anytime soon. After Tuesday night's vote, when large majority of Oklahomans voted against it, our state is the latest to vote legalized recreational weed down. (KOKH){/p}

A vote of the people that could have opened up the market to recreational marijuana use failed miserably.

“100% of the state of Oklahoma, every county, all 77 voted against it," Fetgatter said. "Very narrow margin in Oklahoma County, but some of the rural counties it was a 75-80% swing.”

He believes the results were less about the public view on weed, and more about the repercussions of state enforcement, or lack thereof.


“I don’t think that Oklahomans necessarily were taking a shot at marijuana on that legislation, they were taking a shot at crazy wild, wild west, illegal black market, unregulated marijuana that has been going on," Fetgatter said.

There's been multiple bills introduced to regulate the industry, one of the many Fetgatter sponsored passed this week.

“Currently in the state of Oklahoma if you have $2,500, you haven’t had a felony in two years, you fill out a little information you get a marijuana license," Fetgatter said. "This would require in-depth information about who you are, where’s your money coming from, who are your partners.”

The Representative from Okmulgee hopes the vote is a sign to lawmakers that something needs to be done.

“The elected officials of the state of Oklahoma need to do their job. The last thing we need to hear in this building ever again, right now especially is I don’t want to talk about marijuana. And I’ve heard that for 4 years," Fetgatter said.

FOX25 reached out to OMMA, which regulates the medical marijuana industry.

OMMA wasn't involved in the State Question 820 election, and our mission hasn't changed. We're working hard on the important job of regulating Oklahoma's medical marijuana industry. Our top priority is to promote public health and safety through regulation and enforcement of responsible medical cannabis practices.
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