Myth vs. Fact: SQ 780 & 781

There is a lot of misinformation circulating about SQs 780 & 781 because of dishonest rollback bills like HB 1482. Under SQs 780 & 781, drugs are not legal in school zones, and drug dealing at or near schools remains a felony – as it should! Seperate the myths from the facts and learn more about how to defend your vote.

  • Myth: SQ 780 and 781 decriminalized drugs in school zones.
    • Fact: Not true. Drug manufacturing and/or distribution in school zones – or anywhere – is still a felony under these state questions. Simple possession for personal use (not dealing) was changed to a misdemeanor because it is better served by treatment than incarceration. If a student is caught with a tiny amount of a drug for personal use near a school, it is better policy to get them treatment than make them a felon for the rest of their lives.
    • Fact: Every school district in Oklahoma has anti-drug policies that include termination of any employee caught with an illegal drug.
    • Fact: Any unauthorized person caught possessing drugs on or near a school can be charged with “intent to distribute,” which remains a felony under the state questions.
  • Myth: HB 1482 keeps SQ 780 intact.
    • Fact: HB 1482 totally undoes SQ 780 by making a huge geographic area of the state a felony drug possession zone. It says anybody who possesses – not deals – drugs within 1,000 feet of these areas is a felon: daycare, public or private elementary or secondary school, public vocational school, public or private college or university, or other institution of higher education, church, recreation center or public park, including state parks, fairgrounds and recreation areas, or in the presence of any child under 12 years of age.
    • Fact: Large parts Oklahoma City, Tulsa and other cities and towns where most of the population lives would be felony drug possession zones under HB 1482. The bill would punish drug possession more strictly in urban areas than rural areas.
  • Myth: The people didn’t know what they were voting on.
    • Fact: Oklahomans are smart and did understand what they were voting on. Voters signed the petition to put this on the ballot. Hundreds of events were held across the state to educate voters. A massive media awareness campaign was conducted. Every resource was available for voters to educate themselves, which they did.
  • Myth: SQ 780 and 781 will kill drug courts.
    • Fact: Drug courts are an important part of our system and there is nothing in these laws that will impact the courts ability to sentence someone to drug court.
  • Myth: SQ 780 and 781 will result in more crime.
    • Fact: Not true. These SQs will reduce crime by getting addicts treatment so they don’t reoffend. Addicts don’t get enough treatment now – they just get thrown in prison, which increases the likelihood of reoffending. Simple drug possession makes up 17 percent of new admissions to prison each year – the single largest category of felony admissions.
    • Fact: The reforms allow individuals caught with small amounts of drugs FOR PERSONAL USE to receive treatment for their addiction rather than lengthy sentences of incarceration.
  • Myth: SQ 780 language was intentionally withheld from the public.
    • Fact: The full language was available at the Secretary of State website for 10 months. It was available and viewed extensively on the campaign website for many months. The voters read it and it was available to all to review.