Oklahoma residents will vote next week on State Question 777, which would grant agricultural interests legal protections that rival the rights of free speech and religion. A Meating Place dot com report says the amendment had 53 percent support in a survey done during the summer by a group called SoonerPoll. The group said support for the amendment dropped to 49 percent early in October before tailing off to 37 percent later in the month. SoonerPoll did say a relatively high 14 percent of voters who responded to the survey were undecided on the ballot question. State Question 777 would amend the Constitution to say the legislature “Shall pass no law which abridges the rights of citizens and lawful residents of Oklahoma who employ agricultural technology and livestock production and ranching practices without a compelling state interest.” Supporters say it would allow farmers to defend themselves against unjust laws and make the state more attractive to farmers from outside Oklahoma. Opponents say it would prevent the government from passing laws to protect smaller farmers as well as the environment, and pass animal cruelty laws.
From the National Association of Farm Broadcasting news service.