If we support SQ788, here is why we should all be supporting HB3468.
First…some explanations as we all may have forgotten our civics lessons. Laws in Oklahoma can be made in TWO separate ways.
The first is legislative, like HB3468 would be. A potential law, called a bill, is introduced in either the senate or the house. It runs thru a committee and if it passes thru the committee it can be voted on by the entire body, if it passes there it goes to the other body. If it passes both the house and the senate it then goes to the Governor for signature. So, with HB3468, it needs to get out of committee, then will be voted on by the house, then will go to a senate committee and senate vote. If it passes there it will go to the Governor for signature.
The second way a potential law could become law is by petitioning the state and approval in a statewide vote. This is what we did with SQ788. Gain enough signatures to be place on a statewide election with a YES/NO vote. Going this route side steps the Legislature and the Governor…BUT..we still need a YES vote on June 26th, 2018!
So, lets say we pass SQ788 with no legislative action this year. Guess what happens on August 26, 2018, when cards and licenses should be made available? NOTHING. That is right, nothing. SQ788 cannot be implemented without some legislative action. SQ788 puts marijuana regulation at the State Department of Health. Not only have they said they do not want it, they do not have the necessary rule making authorities to handle it. The Health Department was set up under completely different auspices then regulating a marijuana program, so changes have to be implemented. Those changes can only come from the Legislature. So with no legislative action we will be waiting on the legislature to re-convene in January of 2019 in the hopes that we can negotiate something like HB3468.
Now lets consider if we continue to work with the legislature on HB3468. This is EXACTLY what we would have to be doing in January of 2019 anyway! The nice thing is that we have the house leadership willing to work with us on a smooth implementation of SQ788 should in pass in June. We have a bill author, Rep Jordan, who is very diligently keeping to the spirit and umbrella that we circulated as SQ788. I really cannot even imagine a better and more cooperative scenario.
Further, we need some deep definitions within SQ788. We missed testing, we did not define security needs in dispensaries, we did not address workers comp issues. Many many, things need better definition with SQ788. Rep Jordan is saving the state millions of dollars by doing this now.
While it may seem foreign to some, I would encourage everyone to get on the phone or send an email to their senators and house members that we are supporting HB3468!