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Agri Groups Raise Concerns Over Effects On ‘Strained’ Farmers

Reuters

KEY POINTS

  • Oklahoma voters will cast their ballot on State Question 820 Tuesday
  • State Question 820 will generally legalize, regulate and tax adult-use marijuana
  • Marijuana grow facilities require a large amount of water and electricity, according to farmer groups

Three agriculture groups in Oklahoma have raised concerns over the effects legalizing recreational marijuana could have on farmers across the state, as the vote on the measure nears. On the same subject : Peter Weber On Ex Kelley Flanagan’s ‘Bad’ Breakup Remarks: ‘Very Calculated, Disingenuous’.

Members of the Oklahoma Farm Bureau, Oklahoma Cattleman’s Association, and American Farmers and Ranchers said that State Question 820–which will generally legalize, regulate and tax adult-use marijuana–will increase the difficulties that farmers in the state are experiencing.

“We should not make farming harder as our farmers and ranchers work diligently to grow food that we need here in Oklahoma,” Scott Bluebaugh, the president of American Farmers and Ranchers, was quoted as saying Wednesday by local news outlet KFOR.

According to Bluebaugh, the agriculture business in the state has already suffered with the passing of medical marijuana, as facilities and farms scramble for resources.

“Marijuana grow facilities require a large amount of water and electricity,” Bluebaugh said, per KFOR. “Our rural infrastructure is strained, trying to keep up with these facilities.”

State Question 820 will reportedly include a licensing process for recreational dispensaries, commercial growers, processors and transporters.

The measure aims to bring in more taxes to fund the state’s services. The surplus revenue would be directed toward student services, drug addiction treatment programs, courts, local government and the state’s general revenue fund, PBS reported.

However, groups decrying the measure claimed that the increase in crime in the state was associated with illegal rural growing facilities.

“I can relate to that,” said Byron Yeoman, president of Oklahoma Cattleman’s Association, as quoted by KFOR. “Ten miles from where I live there were four Chinese nationals murdered at an illegal grow house.”

Those in favor of the measure said that law enforcement can weed out “bad actors” that will take advantage of the passing of 820.

“There are a few bad actors out there and we definitely want to give law enforcement the tools to stamp those out,” Michelle Tilley, the campaign director for “Yes on 820,” said, according to KFOR.

In fact, legalizing marijuana would decrease crime and help fund authorities going after serious violent crimes in the state, Tilley explained.

Oklahoma voters will head to the polls Tuesday to cast their ballot on the measure.

If the measure is passed, Oklahoma will be the 22nd state to legalize the recreational use of marijuana.

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Representation. Marijuana.
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