The Potential Effects of Recreational Marijuana Legalization Are Discussed by Experts!
Voting in advance on State Question 820 begins next week, and experts say the issue is about more than legalising marijuana for recreational use.
The debate over legalising marijuana for recreational use has been heated. Because of the far-reaching implications on everything from criminal records to governmental funds, several groups are debating the issue.
As a lawyer in Stephens County, Jan Preece Gaddis advocates for increased voter education.
As Gaddis put it, “what people need to understand is how is it going to function, how is it going to be executed, and what is really going to happen,” as “unintended consequences” are often the result of ballot questions.
With the Yes on 820 campaign, Ryan Kiesel has the position of senior consultant. He said that the additional tax money generated by recreational marijuana sales will offset the cost of the initial investment in medical marijuana.
“State Question 820 will offer the resources that it urgently needs both in our mental health professionals and in our schools to be able to address actual addiction issues that are happening right now in Oklahoma that we don’t have the tools to battle,” said Kiesel.
He stated that they want to invest $821 million over the course of five years in areas such as education, healthcare, mental health, substance misuse, and infrastructure repairs such as repairing roads, bridges, and potholes.
Gaddis, however, disagrees and argues that the effects of adult marijuana use will be terrible for our society.
“Truly do you want to use tax income at the expense of your population’s health and well-being,” she said.
Kiesel acknowledged that increased tax revenue is an incentive, but he emphasised the importance of legalization’s potential impact on reducing minor marijuana-related offences. There are still people being charged with misdemeanours for marijuana every day, he said, and that can have serious consequences.
A conviction “will follow you around for the rest of your life; it will make it difficult to acquire a student loan, to find accommodation, or to get a job and just move on with your life,” he said.
After 22 years on the force, Diane Goldstein is currently leading the Law Enforcement Action Partnership as its executive director.
Goldstein stated she worked in narcotics monitoring in Iran and that some things are out of one’s control.
Goldstein admitted that eliminating drug users was the one area where his group had failed to make a noticeable difference.
She stated that her group is in favour of legalisation due to the present policies’ ineffectiveness.
“We have to look at how we efficiently use our police resources and whether or not we are going to stop this, or whether or not it is better to educate our kids,” she said.
Goldstein argues that this can make stores safer for shoppers.
“By isolating the cannabis market from those of other illicit substances and sensibly regulating it, you eliminate the risk of people being exposed to a potentially poisoned drug supply or cross-contamination from illicit drug dealers who may have tainted their products with things that are more dangerous,” said Goldstein.
The state will have 90 days to create new regulations for the 21+ recreational programme when the bill passes.
On March 2 and 3, from 8 am to 6 pm, registered voters in Comanche and Caddo counties can cast their ballots early at the county courthouse.