Oklahoma Baptists Against Recreational Legalization As Advocates Ask For Justice
A few weeks after Kevin Stitt declared a special election allowing Oklahomans to vote on the state's Question 820, which will legalize recreational marijuana if it passes, Southern Baptists in Oklahoma spoke out against the legalization of recreational marijuana, expressing alarm at the "rapid advance and acceptance" of cannabis throughout the state.
A statewide vote on the issue is scheduled for March 7, 2023, to which Oklahoma Baptists, known as the Oklahoma Baptist General Convention, appear to be against the measure. "We believe that states should protect their people from the proliferation of recreational marijuana," Baptist delegates said.
"We pray that Oklahoma will maintain legal barriers between these substances and the communities they devastate and that the church will work with Christ-centered ministries to reach people who are impacted by addiction," Baptist delegates said in a resolution approved at their annual meeting.
Legalization Means Social Justice: Additionally, advocates for legalizing adult-use cannabis said they were not surprised to learn of Southern Baptists' denouncement, reported the Oklahoman.
Michelle Tilley, campaign director for the Yes on 820 Campaign, said she grew up in the Southern Baptist tradition. However, "our system, the way it is set up, is putting a lot of people in jail for simple possession of marijuana. I think most Oklahomans agree that putting people in jail for simple marijuana use is an idea that is outdated," Tilley added. "We need this industry regulated and we need to give people the resources to do it."
Oklahomans for Responsible Cannabis Action is helping educate Oklahomans on what they will be voting on when they go into the voting booth in March. "Marijuana is here. It has been here, and it's going to continue to be here," said Jed Green, a member group.
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