May 29, 2018
Bill Shapard

Medicinal marijuana still likely to pass, no increase of opposition since January

Latest News9/Newson6 polling suggests State Question 788, the medicinal marijuana initiative petition on the June primary ballot, is still headed for passage with 57.5 percent of support and only 29.6 percent opposing it.


In January, 61.8 percent of Oklahoma likely voters supported SQ788, so support has decreased by about four points, but the level of opposition has not increased. Instead, those who are undecided have increased from 7.4 percent to 12.9 percent now.

[QUESTION] First, state question 788 would legalize the licensed use, sale, and growth of medical marijuana only in Oklahoma. Possession and use of marijuana is authorized through a medical marijuana license that is valid for two years, rather than by a prescription. An Oklahoma board certified physician must recommend the license using the same accepted standards for recommending other medications and must sign the application for the license. Applications for individuals under 18 must be signed by two physicians and by a parent or legal guardian. The Department of Health also issues seller, grower, packaging, transportation, research, and caregiver licenses to those to meet certain minimal requirements. A 7 percent state tax is imposed on retail sales of marijuana. Unlicensed possession by an individual who claims to have a medical condition is punishable by a fine not exceeding $400. Knowing this, do you SUPPORT or OPPOSE State Question 788?

1. Strongly support 37.1%
2. Somewhat support 20.4
3. Undecided/Don't know [DNR] 12.9
4. Somewhat oppose 8.5
5. Strongly oppose 21.1

Among Republicans, 48.5 percent supported the state question, while 67 percent Democrats and 80.9 percent of Independents supported it.

While 50.7 percent of self-identified "very conservatives" opposed SQ788, 32.2 percent supported it, and 63.3 percent of "somewhat conservatives" also supported it.

"Support is high for SQ788 among liberals, moderates and Democrats," said Bill Shapard, CEO of, "but anytime you can get a third or more of the majority -- like Republicans and conservatives -- to vote with you, you can get any state question passed in Oklahoma, and this is what we are seeing in these results."

Support in the poll is high among young voters, but 48.4 percent of those over the age of 65 also support it.

Among evangelical voters, 53.7 percent support the expansion of medicinal marijuana in the state, and 49 percent of those who say they attend church multiple times a week.

"We've polled this issue multiple times over the last five years and we continue to see that certain groups, who one might think would be opposed to SQ788, continue to support it," said Shapard.  "Thirty years ago these groups would have opposed it, but roughly half have changed their minds since then."

About the Poll, Oklahoma’s public opinion pollster, conducted the poll of Oklahoma likely voters, which was commissioned by News9 and Newson6.

The scientific study was conducted May 15-23, 2018 with 401 likely Oklahoma voters selected at random statewide from a 4-frame of SoonerPoll's own online panel, Research Now's voter panel, cell phones and landline telephones. For cell phone and landline telephones, voters are selected at random from SoonerPoll's voter database and matched with cell and landline phone numbers.  Cell phone and landline participants were collected using live interviewers. The sample was weighted by age, gender, political party and congressional district in order to reflect the Oklahoma likely voter population for a primary election.

The sample reflects the traditional demographical profile of the Oklahoma likely voter with roughly half of respondents identifying as conservative. The study has a Margin of Error (MoE) of ±4.89 percent.

Bill Shapard
About the Author

Bill Shapard

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 major campaigns for both Republicans and Democrats in Oklahoma from 1996 until founding SoonerPoll in 2004.