Bureau Of Narcotics: Object To Initiative To Legalize Marijuana But Prepare For Passage

Jul 16, 2014

Darrell Weaver, Director, OBNDDC
Credit Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control

As the petition to put the legalization of marijuana on the ballots for a vote are still circulating, the Oklahoma State Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control is standing its ground in opposition of the question but preparing for its possible passage.

Executive Director Darrell Weaver said during Tuesday’s board meeting that “we’re all aware that this petition is out there” and that “probably this and prescription drugs, is the number one thing that most states are addressing.”

“This is our game plan on this,” said Weaver. “We’re monitoring this very closely. We are gathering information right now. We have analysts that are gathering information…getting our ammunition together."

Governor Mary Fallin has stated she does not support any of the efforts to establish laws for medical marijuana or the effort to authorize recreational use of marijuana as Colorado and Washington state have done. 

The petition that is currently in circulation to fully legalize recreational use of marijuana must have 155,000 signatures by its mid-August deadline. The petition to legalize the use of medical marijuana has a deadline of August 16th. 

Sooner Poll in the fall of 2013 found growing support in Oklahoma for approval of medical marijuana at 71% and approval for decriminalization of marijuana laws at 57%. Sooner Polls says they did not ask a question about legalization of marijuana. While support for legalization came heavily in the metropolitan areas, the support overall was state-wide.

In contrast, Mary Fallin's two opponents in last month's primary election were both supporters of increased legalization of marijuana and both failed in the election results.

On the Duncan Banner's homepage this Wednesday evening is a question asking about the legalization of medical marijuana, the current response of this writing is 53% (101 votes) in favor of legalization, 45% against (86 votes) and 3% (5 votes) undecided.

An Oklahoma Gazette story on Connie Johnson's campaign for the U.S Senate seat vacated by Tom Coburn reports that while she hopes the ballot initiative to legalize recreational marijuana will engage younger voters, she advocates that such new laws would help the the question of Oklahoma prison overcrowding because Oklahoma law treats the first arrest for marijuana possession as a felony.