Next month, Oklahomans will vote on a measure to legalize marijuana. The campaign for the measure is now highlighting a new endorsement from a political strategist who backed two other marijuana reform proposals that did not make it to the ballot.
The goal of the Yes on 820 campaign’s announcement on Thursday was to bring together people who support legalizing marijuana but have different ideas about how it should be regulated. Instead, it seems to have made the advocacy community in Oklahoma even more divided, according to a report by Marijuana Moment.
The Yes on 820 post correctly says that the advocate, Kris Masterman, is a co-founder of ORCA and a former supporter of State Questions 818 and 819, which ORCA began pushing for in 2021. These ballot measures were alternatives to legalization and medical cannabis reform. SQ 820, on the other hand, was led by a different group: Oklahomans for Sensible Marijuana Laws (OSML). The national New Approach PAC helped this group.
Some people who want marijuana to be legalized, like ORCA, have said that SQ 820 is bad because it is funded from outside the state and has parts that don’t make sense. A year ago, Green told Marijuana Moment that he thought the initiative backed by New Approach was “just the wrong approach for Oklahoma.”
But neither of the two ideas that ORCA supported got enough signatures to be on the ballot.
Masterman, for his part, said in a press release about his support for SQ 820 that it’s time for supporters to work together and pass the legalization proposal that actually made it to the ballot.
The Yes on 820 campaign just put out a TV ad about the ballot measure. They say that if more adult use of marijuana is legalized, the state could get $434 million in tax money from 2024 to 2028. A 15% excise tax would be put on cannabis products.