OKLAHOMA CITY, June 16 (UPI) --
And God said, Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed, which is upon the face of all the earth, and every tree, in the which is the fruit of a tree yielding seed; to you it shall be for meat. - Genesis 1:29, King James Bible
Constance Johnson, an Oklahoma state Senator and a Democrat, has launched a statewide initiative to legalize marijuana, citing the preceding Bible verse as the grounds for the movement.
"We're putting forth Genesis 1:29 as the basis of this campaign," Johnson said to her supporters at the state capitol Friday according to local News channel KFOR reports.
"God created this wonderful, miraculous plant and we know that it has been vilified for the last 100 years, and it's time to change that in Oklahoma," Johnson added, announcing the plan to collect and submit a petition with the required 160,000 signatures from registered voters in support of an initiative which would legalize possession of up to one ounce of recreational marijuana and three ounces of medical marijuana.
If the petition is successful in collecting the required signatures in a three month time frame, the initiative will appear on the statewide ballot in November. It includes a proposed $7 tax per ounce on recreational weed, with about a third of income directed toward funding education and a fifth to funding the state's department of health, the rest allocated to general revenue.
Johnson, who has made prior unsuccessful attempts to legislate the decriminalization of cannabis, said, "We're taking this to a vote of the people because we know the people of the State of Oklahoma, in spite of what the policymakers refuse to do, want to have a voice on this matter."
"We've experienced anything from downright disregard to ignoring us to telling us to, 'Go to hell' pretty much. And this is where we've had to go," Johnson said Friday.