Adjusting possession penalties

State lawmakers could reverse the choice voters made three months ago to soften anti-drug laws.

Legislators have filed seven bills that would significantly change the language adopted by voters in State Questions 780 and 781. As a result of the vote, most drug possession crimes were reclassified as misdemeanors instead of felonies. Voters reduced the sentences that could be given to people convicted of drug possession and also supported the funding of county rehabilitation programs.

State Sen. Ralph Shortey said people didn’t understand what they were voting for because the ballot’s summary paragraph, or gist, was only 200 words.

“Nowhere in the state question did it mention what some of those changes were, or the effect of them,” said Shortey, R-Oklahoma City. “People basically did not know exactly how much of the statutes were being changed.”