Yesterday, voters approved State Question 788, legalizing medical marijuana in Oklahoma.
But that’s not all 788 did.
788 also enacted a major change to the criminal penalties for marijuana possession.
The 788 statute will become law one month after the results are certified by the state Election Board. The Election Board is currently scheduled to certify the results of 788 at its next meeting on July 3, 2018. And while this means possession of medical marijuana will eventually become legal, there are still quite a few steps the state government will need to take before medical marijuana becomes a reality in Oklahoma.
That’s not the case with the decriminalization provision of 788, though, which goes into effect one month after certification: on August 3, 2018.
Let’s look at that provision, from the statutory text of 788 (which will ultimately be codified as 63 O.S. § 420 (B)):
Possession of up to one and one-half (1.5) ounces of marijuana by persons who can state a medical condition, but not in possession of a state issued medical marijuana license, shall constitute a misdemeanor offense with a fine not to exceed Four Hundred Dollars ($400.00).
This effectively amends 63 O.S. § 2-402 (B)(2), the statute which currently makes possession of marijuana a crime. That statute says:
Any person who [knowingly or intentionally possesses marijuana] is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by confinement for not more than one (1) year and by a fine not exceeding One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00).
Since the Election Board is scheduled to certify the results of 788 on July 3, and since 788 enters into full effect one month after certification, the decriminalization provision of 788 will become effective on August 3.
Therefore, beginning August 3, 2018, possession of 1.5 ounces or less of marijuana will carry zero jail time and a maximum fine of $400.00 for any person who can state a medical condition justifying their possession.
Oklahoma’s criminal law is constantly changing. At Ball Morse Lowe, we stay on top of these changes so we can deliver the best possible advice to our clients.
If you or a loved one have been arrested for a drug crime, don’t wait to hire a lawyer. Call to speak to a Ball Morse Lowe criminal defense lawyer today at 405-701-5355.