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Oklahoma: Lawmakers Take No Action on Marijuana Legalization Measure

Lawmakers have adjourned the 2014 legislative session without calling this measure for a floor vote. Senate Bill 2116 aimed to legalize the possession, cultivation, and retail sale of cannabis to adults. The legislation proposed to remove all criminal and civil penalties for the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana and the personal cultivation of up to 5 marijuana plants by those over the age of 21. The bill would have also create a system of retail cannabis outlets, cultivation facilities, and marijuana product manufacturers.

Oklahoma presently possesses some of the strictest marijuana penalties in the nation. A second offense for minor marijuana possession is classified as felony, punishable by up to ten years incarceration. Cultivation of any amount of cannabis is also classified as a felony and may be punishable by up to life in prison.

According to a 2013 ACLU report, Oklahoma arrests over 10,000 individuals for simple marijuana possession every year, at the cost nearly 30 million dollars. These arrests disproportionately impact minorities. Despite only constituting 7.6% of the state's population and having similar use rates to their white counterparts, African Americans account for 20.8% of the state's marijuana possession arrests.

NORML will keep you updated when/if lawmakers revisit this issue next year.

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