This Grandma Wants Cannabis Legalized In Oklahoma And She’s Here To Tell You Why

Tina Jennings, a retired schoolteacher, mom and grandmother, says she doesn’t consume weed herself but intends to vote yes on Oklahoma’s State Question 820 (SQ80) on March 7 to legalize adult-use cannabis.

“To me and many other parents, the legalization of recreational marijuana is not about drugs, it is about putting our state on sounder economic footing, making sensible laws that promote public safety and building a more just state,” said Jennings in The Oklahoman. 

Why? Jennings Has Several Reasons And Wants To Share Them

Oklahomans stand to gain from an enormous influx in new tax revenue. SQ 820 would place a 15% tax on recreational marijuana, which experts say would generate over $100 million a year in revenue when combined with state and local taxes. 

“We all know, and I witnessed firsthand when I was a teacher, that Oklahoma schools are dangerously underfunded. Many teachers are fleeing the profession and our students are paying the price. Oklahoma ranks in the bottom six states for per-pupil spending on public education, and passing SQ 820 can throw our schools and our students a lifeline,” Jennings said. “This is not some fantasy; we only need to look next door to see what we are missing out on today. Since Colorado legalized marijuana more than a decade ago, its public schools have received over half a billion dollars in additional revenue from its marijuana tax.”

Not To Worry: Oklahoma’s Legalization Bill Comes With Sufficient Regulations

Jennings says she’s more concerned about the lack of regulation than about the danger of marijuana itself. “SQ 820 will provide comprehensive rules and controls to ensure that marijuana is produced and sold according to rigorous safety guidelines. Regulation will mean that marijuana is grown and sold by responsible businesspeople who check IDs to verify age.” Jennings pointed out that young people will naturally be prohibited from buying weed and that SQ 820 will ensure that all marijuana sold in Oklahoma is properly tested and not contaminated with other drugs. 

Stop Unnecessary Arrests Of So Many Oklahomans

“I am concerned about the harm that an arrest for possession of a tiny amount of marijuana can have on a young person’s life. The current laws on marijuana have led to a large number of young adults being arrested and locked up,” she said. “These are not drug kingpins we’re talking about; they are children who have made a mistake. It is fair to hold them accountable for that mistake, but they should not miss out on college or good jobs because of an arrest record related to an activity that has been decriminalized in large parts of the country.”

Jennings concluded with a reminder that the states, which have already legalized medical and recreational marijuana over the past 10 years have not seen increases in teen use, and their residents have reaped the benefits from abundant new tax revenues. 

“Oklahoma should not be left behind. We should seize the opportunity SQ 820 provides to generate desperately needed new revenue for our public schools, improve public health and safety through sensible regulations, and reduce unnecessary arrests and incarcerations,” Jennings concluded.

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