According to latest SoonerPoll results, Oklahomans are ready to consider marijuana for medicinal purposes and decriminalization. The poll had support for medical marijuana at 71% and support for decriminalization at 57%. The poll did not ask about legalization.

When considering arrest for a marijuana offense, nearly two-thirds of respondents (64%) said they should be treated instead of jailed.  Under current Oklahoma law, possession of any amount can earn one up to a year in jail for a first offense and from two to 10 years for a second offense. Marijuana sales—of any amount—can earn a sentence of up to life in prison.

The state’s largest cities were the most in support.  In metro Oklahoma City and Tulsa, support for medical marijuana was higher than 75%, and support for decriminalization was at 67% in Tulsa and at 63% in Oklahoma City.

Even Oklahoma’s notoriously conservative Republicans are ready for change. Support for decriminalization came from 53% of Republicans interviewed, lower than the 60% of Democrats and 65% of independents, but still surprising.

“I do hope that the polling results will help legislators feel more comfortable supporting marijuana reform,” said Oklahoma NORML leader Norma Sapp.  “I always encourage people to contact their legislators. I think a statewide lobby day will be called when the need comes.”

Senator Constance Johnston (D-Oklahoma City), who has filed medical marijuana bills for several years now without managing to get a hearing, told the Oklahoma Observer the poll echoed what she had been hearing from constituents.

“I like the results. This is very telling. It confirms what we’re being told across the state,” Johnston said, adding that they could help ease legislators’ worried minds. “The results make you wonder what these elected officials are afraid of,” she said.

The poll of likely voters was conducted between August 28 and September 9, and was commissioned by NORML’s Oklahoma chapter. The margin of error is +/- 4.9%.

Additional poll results, key takeaways, and complete question wording:

Question:  Fifteen states in America have decriminalized the possession of up to once ounce of marijuana for adult possession, meaning they would receive a fine rather than be criminally prosecuted and face possible incarceration.  Do you support or oppose joining these other fifteen states?

  • 57.1% support Oklahoma joining fifteen other states who have decriminalized the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana for adult possession, meaning they would receive a find rather than be criminally prosecuted.  34.5% strongly support, while 30.3 strongly oppose.
  • 53.1% of Republicans, 60.3% of Democrats and 64.5% of Independents support joining these fifteen other states, while 70.6% of those identifying themselves as liberal support, 69.5% of moderates and 46.3% of conservatives support this measure.
  • 44.7% of Evangelical Christians support joining these fifteen other states.
  • Tulsa MSA 67.3%, OKC MSA 62.8%, and rest of state 47.9% support joining these fifteen other states.


Question:  Oklahoma treat marijuana use as a public health concern, meaning send them to treatment, instead of making it a criminal justice matter?

  • 63.7% of likely voters in Oklahoma believe that Oklahoma should treat marijuana use as a public health concern.
  • 52.1% of those who identify themselves as very conservative agree they should be sent to treatment.
  • 43.9% of those likely voters attending religious services at least one time or more a week chose treatment, and 55.1% of Evangelical Christians chose treatment.


Question:  Twenty states now have laws allowing seriously ill patients to possess marijuana for medical purposes with a physician’s recommendation.  Do you support or oppose Oklahoma joining these other twenty states?

  • 71.2% support joining twenty other states who now have laws allowing seriously ill patients to possess marijuana for medical purposes with a physician’s recommendation.  47.4% strongly support and 18.3% strongly oppose this measure.
  • 68.0% of Republicans, 74.6% of Democrats and 68.2% of Independents support this measure.
  • 62.8% of those ages 65 and greater support medical marijuana possession for medical purposes with physician’s recommendation.  Age categories younger than 65 range from 69.2% (18-24) to 80.5% (25-34).
  • Support for medicinal marijuana increases in the rest of the state to 66.4% with Tulsa MSA at 75.2% and Oklahoma City MSA at 75.4%.


Question:  Do you think laws regarding whether the use of marijuana is legal or not should be determined by the federal government, or left to each individual state government to decide?

  • An overwhelming majority, 81.6% of Oklahoman likely voters agree that laws regarding whether the use of marijuana is legal or not should be determined by the individual state governments, not the federal government.
  • 87.8% of Republicans, 76.3% of Democrats and 76.0% of Independents agree that individual states should be the decision-makers regarding legalization of marijuana.
  • All of the state regions (82.8% Tulsa MSA, 78.6% OKC MSA and 82.8% rest of state) agree that legalization of marijuana should be an individual state decision.


About the Poll conducted the random-sample, scientific survey from August 28 through September 9, using live telephone interviewers. Of the 404 respondents who participated, 110 were contacted by cell phone and 294 by land line (weighted). The combined results have been weighted to adjust for variation in the sample relating to age, sex and political party. The margin of error is plus or minus 4.9 percentage points. For smaller subgroups, the margin of sampling error is larger.

This poll conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls. A complete description of the methodology can be found here.

The full Call Dispositions and Rate Calculations were calculated by and is available here.

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Bill is the founder of and ShapardResearch, a full service market research firm based in Oklahoma City. Bill began his career in polling after working on a major campaign in Oklahoma from 1996 until founding SoonerPoll in 2004. Under Bill’s leadership, SoonerPoll has become the leading public opinion polling company in the state of Oklahoma conducting more public opinion polls for Oklahoma news media than all other pollsters combined since 2006. Bill’s commitment to go above and beyond the AAPOR ethical guidelines of minimum disclosure ensures that SoonerPoll produces quality results every time. Bill has lectured at Oklahoma State University on developing polling methodologies, data collection processes, and advanced likely voter sampling techniques. Bill also serves as an on-air political commentator for Oklahoma television stations.


  1. States all around Oklahoma are legalizing Medical Marijuana. I believe that Oklahoman’s are going to be left in the dust as usual, unless Constance Johnson is given a hearing on the subject.

    • Absolutely True, Oklahoma Senate Bill 902 opens the door for “NON-SMOKEABLE” Medical Cannabis that has been developed to treat several illnesses including my neuropathy associated with Type 2 Diabetes. Contact your State House and Senate representatives alerting them that Medical Cannabis is a way to reduce Oklahoma State Health Care Costs.

  2. Marijuana should have never been illegal in the first place. Look at all the chemical street drugs out there that use gasoline as one of their ingredients. Alcohol alone causes far more major health problems, more so than cigarettes or marijuana.
    How many people have shot their spouse on marijuana? Very, Very, Very few if any. How many have killed while on alcohol? The numbers are way up there. How many people die each year from drunk drivers? Too damn many.

    • How many people have OD’d and died from cannibis , vs. How many people have OD’d and died from Narcotic pain medication!!!!!!!

  3. I sure hope that Oklahoma can get itself out from under the draconian laws that you currently have. I am sure that like here in Colorado, you will have the die hard prohibitionists, in particular those in Law Enforcement sector that will scream that its going to be the downfall of morality. The fact is that prohibition itself is immoral. If someone is Anti-Legalization, they are pro-gangs and cartels, they don’t want it legal either and you can’t have it both ways. Decriminalization just serves to keep the control of the product in the hands of the people you don’t want controlling anything.

    Legalization is the only proper path, it puts the business in the hands of licensed, tax paying business people that require ID before sale. You don’t see gangs standing on a street corner selling cans of beer.

    Prohibition has NEVER worked. Take the first prohibition, and No, not of alcohol. The First Prohibition was when God said to Adam and Eve, “Don’t eat that fruit!” There were 2 people and one all seeing cop, how did that work out? God gave us free will to choose for a reason.

    God made weed, man made booze, Who do you trust??

  4. Hello I go by Ray. And I am currently in service to my country. I’ve lived in Oklahoma my entire life exempt the past couple years Due to my service. Marijuana is specifically a remarkable plant. It has more potential as hemp then most lumber. As a matter of fact it was originally made illegal by the lumber companies and papermills which created a slander campaign known as “refer madness”. This movie portrayed to a large nation of under educated people that marijuana was par to most hallucinogens and other narcotics. The effort of the movie was to ensure that the plant will not be legalized and therefore used as a main source for recreational purposes , and replacement for timber. Because when reviewed they realize the plant was faster growing then most trees , had stronger fibers and had better medical properties. So a large number of scared individuals watched and took the movie for fact due to their lack of knowledge of its effects. The laws that have been passed since that time has resulted in the incarceration of millions of non-violent offenders. Directly related to its origins of underground distribution , The judicial System sought as an opportunity to incarcerate greater offenders for a crime that they originally had no evidence for. But in doing so they have created the opportunity for nonviolent offenders to be incarcerated with sentences close to manslaughter! Only because they had a large enough quantity to distribute or sell the product. But if the substance is a legalliesed there is a large number of nonviolent and yes some violent offenders that will be released due to its change of status in The judicial court systems. Now there is a short history allong with pro’s and con’s. Now the question is should the innocent people be released along with the violent offenders that have no further evidence against their actions or should the violent offenders remain incarcerated with the nonviolent ones which will in turn prison being a training ground for criminals and perpetrators molding those nonviolent offenders into violent ones. LOL Long story short the worst thing a Stoner ever ravaged was a bag of Doritos. Sorry stayed to serious so that needed a joke.

  5. I raised two grandchildren. One had acute juvenile epilepsy. There are many reports previously from countries where the DEA/FDA doesn’t control the availability of cannabis for studies. Israel in particular among others and they have found that cannabis has remarkably improved these types of illness. Now more recently states have legalized it and found the same thing. People in droves are leaving Oklahoma to save their children. Many others including cancer victims are finding relief.
    While government agencies pander to lobbyists for big pharmaceutical companies, private prison systems that cost us millions in taxes, ruined lives and mass murders by cartels enriched by prohibition whose profits could have gone in our own coffers.
    I really don’t see how they can look at themselves in the mirror and LIKE what they see while perpetrating a fraud on the people they are sworn to protect.
    Its too late for my grandson… R.I.P. Lucas aged three. Papa did the best he could. Hopefully it won’t be too late for others, hundreds die that could have been saved and thousands suffer that could have been comforted.
    LOVE your country but you can’t trust your Government!

  6. […] Progressive lawmakers in Oklahoma — including Sen. Connie Johnson, D-Oklahoma City, who has filed several legalization bills — have argued for legalizing medical marijuana in the past. However, the majority of Republican lawmakers have remained opposed to the measure, even though a Sooner Poll last year found 71 percent of Oklahomans support medical marijuana. […]


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