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Recreational marijuana initiative fails to garner enough signatures for ballot

FILE - This Sept. 30, 2016, file photo shows a marijuana bud before harvesting near Corvallis, Ore. A new report by the Oregon-Idaho High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area finds that Oregon is producing 2 million pounds of cannabis, about five times more than the demand in the state of about 4 million people. (AP Photo/Andrew Selsky, File)

OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) - An initiative petition that would have asked voters whether recreational marijuana should be legalized has failed to garner enough signatures to make a ballot.

The petition drive for State Question 797 gathered 102,814 signatures, according to Oklahoma Secretary of State James Williamson. The drive was required to gather 123,725 signatures to make the ballot, which equates to 15 percent of the total number of ballots cast in the 2014 gubernatorial election.

If approved by voters, the initiative would have made it legal for all individuals over 21 to consume and posses limited amounts of marijuana. The signature total must now be reviewed by the Oklahoma Supreme Court. At the end of July, the group Green the Vote announced it had reached the required number of signatures needed to make the ballot. Just days later, members from the group stated that false numbers had been given out. The group's leaders say they decided to inflate the numbers in an effort to gain momentum for the cause.

Last week, Williamson's office determined that a separate initiative petition that would have asked voters to decide whether or not medical marijuana should be a right in the Oklahoma Constitution failed to garner enough signatures.

In June, Oklahoma voters passed SQ 788 allowing for the licensed use, sale and growth of marijuana in Oklahoma for medicinal purposes.


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