Oklahoma’s Republican gubernatorial candidates have mostly avoided taking a clear stance on whether the state should legalize medical marijuana, though both Democratic candidates support the policy change.
Gov. Mary Fallin on Friday set a June 26 election for the medical marijuana legalization question, the Tulsa World reported .
The measure would allow those with a state-issued medical license from a board-certified physician to possess certain amounts of marijuana. It would also establish a regulatory regime for the growing and selling of marijuana.
Democrats Connie Johnson and Drew Edmondson both said they support the use of medical marijuana. Johnson is a former state senator and Edmondson is a former state attorney general.
“I think people know my advocacy,” Johnson said. “I am not ashamed for advocating for a policy change on this.”
Placing the measure on the primary ballot instead of the November general election, where voter turnout is typically higher, is concerning, Edmondson said.
“This is an important issue and certainly one where all Oklahomans should vote — despite Gov. Fallin’s efforts to stifle their voices,” he said.
Republican Lt. Gov. Todd Lamb said his campaign will focus on more “substantive issues,” The Oklahoman reported .
Republican Kevin Stitt, a Tulsa businessman, said while he’d support marijuana being prescribed for legitimate purposes, but he’s concerned the ballot measure is too broad.
Former Republican state Rep. Dan Fisher said he also supports marijuana for medical purposes but not for recreational use.
Will Gattenby, a spokesman for Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett, said voters should read the initiative carefully.
“One of the strengths of Oklahomans is their willingness to help people. If this ballot measure can help Oklahomans, it is likely to pass,” he said.
Republican candidates Gary Richardson and Gary Jones didn’t respond to The Oklahoman’s requests for comment.