Oklahoma passes medical marijuana: Oklahoma has become the 30th State in the US to legalize medical marijuana.
Oklahoma Says Yes – Support for Medical Marijuana
State Question 788 was the result of a signature-drive that launched more than two years ago and relied heavily on the support of the mainstream public and their politicians. With a lack of funding for the campaign and serious opposition that came in the form of $500,000 television ads, the legalization of medical marijuana highlights the progressive stance across what is known as a very ‘red’ state.
It seems clear that support for the drug came from the Oklahomans across the state as the votes tallied were not swayed by other inputs; other states pumped massive funding from drug reform groups into their campaigns which helped to deliver a yes vote.
As NORML Deputy Director Paul Armetano put it: “Even in a predominantly ‘red’ state like Oklahoma, it is the will of the voters to enact common sense, yet significant marijuana law reforms.”
Oklahoma Passes Medical Marijuana – What Does this Mean?
The ballot, which passed 56-44, will allow physicians to prescribe marijuana for conditions wherever they see fit. This significantly differentiates Oklahoma from many other states where the law restricts marijuana use to only certain listed conditions. The law makes it now legal to use, grow and sell marijuana for medical needs.
A legal cannabis patient:
– Will be given a state ID card and is encouraged to keep this nearby when using the drug
– Can possess up to 3 ounces of marijuana in public and have up to 8 ounces at home
– Can own six mature marijuana plants and seedlings
– Possess up to an ounce of concentrates and edible products
– Oklahoma cannabis patients will also be able to assign a caregiver who will be able to grow or purchase cannabis on their behalf.
Oklahoma Passes Medical Marijuana – The Opposition
Cries from the opposition suggest that the “yes” outcome now allows for and encourages the recreational use of marijuana. Specifically, the law reform is considered too broad and is in need of refinement. For example, allowing a physician to decide whether or not to prescribe cannabis (instead of marijuana prescriptions being determined by medical condition restrictions), means that obtaining a patient license is easier and the system is a lot more vulnerable to manipulation.
Connie Givens, a Republican in Oklahoma City, showed her stance: “I think it’s not written right. I think it’s just so people can get marijuana.”
Dr. Kevin Taubman, former president of the Oklahoma State Medical Association and chairman of the opposition group said: “This is a bad public health policy that does not resemble a legitimate medical treatment program.”
A Changing Attitude
‘Red’ state Oklahoma has a reputation for being conservative. However, within younger generations, the attitude towards marijuana has shifted sharply said Bill Shapard, who has been analyzing opinion polls on the issue for over five years.
“I’ve found almost half of all Republicans support it, so that’s going to take an awful lot of money and an awful lot of organized opposition for this to lose on Election Day,” Shapard said.
And it seems Oklahomans have spoken in favor of medical marijuana and believe the benefits of this law far out-weigh the negatives for their state.
Feature Image: Pixabay.com/DeltaWorks