Oklahomans voted a resounding “no” at the polls on Tuesday, effectively closing the door on recreational marijuana for the time being.
With 94% of the precincts reporting, the vote was 37.87% in favor of the proposal, and 62.13% against. That division held steady for most of the evening as polls closed, with neither side swinging heavily in either direction.
As previously reported by the Sapulpa Herald, Oklahomans voted to legalize the medicinal use of marijuana in 2018.
Proponents of the bill said the 15% excise tax would go a long way toward funding education and other state programs and would free up law enforcement to concentrate on “serious violent crimes.”
Opponents of the bill said loosening state regulations would encourage more “black-market” marijuana operations, as well as encourage increased cannabis consumption or lead to other drug use.
Last week, the Sapulpa Herald interviewed several local dispensaries and found that nearly half said they had “no problem with it,” while the other half believed passing the resolution would eventually lead to smaller dispensaries being forced out by larger, more corporate producers.
According to unofficial results, 23% of the state turned out to vote for this election.
Charles Betzler contributed to this story.