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Oklahoma votes to legalize medicinal marijuana
The state of Oklahoma became the 30th in the nation to legalize marijuana for medicinal purposes on Tuesday.
The Associated Press projected that State Question 778, which legalizes the growth, sale and use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, had been approved by voters. According to Forbes, the measure was approved by a 10-point margin, with more than 85 percent of precincts reporting.
Gov. Mary Fallin (R), who opposed the measure because she believed it would create a gateway to legal marijuana for recreational use, said she would likely convene a special legislative session to design a framework for the law's implementation, The Associated Press reported.
The campaign to legalize the drug for medicinal purposes succeeded despite little national funding for the effort, Forbes reported, and a significant backlash from law enforcement groups and faith leaders over the law's perceived vagueness.
Despite this, pollsters in the state expected the measure to pass easily due to widespread support for medicinal marijuana even among Republican voters.
"I've found almost half of all Republicans support it, so that's going to take an awful lot of money and an awful lot of organized opposition for this to lose on election day," pollster Bill Shapard told the AP.
The National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws praised the vote on Tuesday in a statement to Forbes, stating that the issue was growing in popularity even in deep-red states like Oklahoma.
"Public support for medical marijuana access is nonpartisan," NORML deputy director Paul Armentano told the magazine. "Even in a predominantly 'red' state like Oklahoma, it is the will of the voters to enact common sense, yet significant marijuana law reforms."