October 5, 2022

On Wednesday, the Supreme Court docket of Oklahoma issued an opinion rejecting a request for a writ of mandamus requiring the state to print a state query that might legalize, regulate and tax  leisure marijuana  on the poll of the November 8 normal election. 

In line with the opinion, the petitioners, Michelle Tilley Nichols and Michelle Jones, are proponents of Initiative Petition No. 434, State Query No. 820 (Query 820). On January 4, the petitioners filed Query 820 which, if accredited by voters, would legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana used recreationally by adults by means of the enactment of recent legal guidelines. 

The opinion states that the petitioners gathered the required signatures and delivered them to the Secretary of State on July 5, almost a month earlier than their August 1 deadline. Additional, the opinion states that resulting from not too long ago enacted legal guidelines, the Secretary of State is required to confirm the signatures for initiative petitions for the primary time this normal election yr. This new course of had drastically impeded the method to get Query 820 on the November poll. 

Accordingly, the petitioners filed this motion on August 22, asking the courtroom to imagine unique jurisdiction and to subject a writ of mandamus requiring the state to take all obligatory actions that might guarantee Query 820 makes it to the upcoming November normal election poll. The petitioners argued that Article V, Part 3 of the Oklahoma Structure requires that every one elections on measures referred by the folks be on the subsequent election held all through the state. 

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Nonetheless, the courtroom was not persuaded by the petitioner’s argument and reliance on the Oklahoma Structure. Within the opinion the courtroom discovered that there are a number of statutory provisions that the petitioners did not adjust to to ensure that Query 820 to be positioned on the poll. 

Particularly, the courtroom states that there’s a risk of rehearing two of the general public protests to Query 820 which in flip would stop the Secretary of State and Governor from assembly their statutory deadlines. Due to this fact,  the courtroom denied the petitioners’ writ of mandamus commanding the State Election Board to incorporate Query 820 on the poll. Nonetheless, the courtroom did state that Query 820 will likely be voted upon by the folks of Oklahoma within the following Common Election or at a particular election.