Last year the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine reviewed the evidence on medical marijuana and concluded that it is effective at reducing chronic pain in adults, as well as nausea and vomiting in cancer patients.
Additionally, Oklahoma’s measure reduces penalties for the possession of up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana for any individual with a medical condition, regardless of whether they have a medical marijuana license.
With 98 percent of precincts reporting as of 10 p.m. Central time, the medical marijuana measure was leading with the support of 57 percent of voters, with 43 percent opposed. That level of support is striking for a primary election in a deep red state that voted for President Trump by a greater than a 2-to-1 margin in 2016.
Members of the state’s Republican establishment had lined up in opposition to the measure. U.S. Sen. James Lankford recorded a TV ad urging voters to reject the measure, arguing that “our families won’t be better if more parents and grandparents smoke more marijuana.” Gov. Mary Fallin said the measure “basically allows recreational marijuana in the state of Oklahoma.”
Tuesday’s results suggest that Oklahoma Republicans largely shrugged off those concerns. About 53 percent of voters cast ballots in the GOP gubernatorial primary this evening, suggesting the medical marijuana measure won over a majority-Republican electorate.
Fallin said in a statement that she “will be discussing with legislative leaders and state agencies our options going forward on how best to proceed with adding a medical and proper regulatory framework to make sure marijuana use is truly for valid medical illnesses.”