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medical marijuana

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In this episode of Capitol Insider, KGOU’s Dick Pryor and eCapitol’s Shawn Ashley talk through the process and politics of the controversial health department rules for Oklahoma’s medical marijuana program, including a ban on products intended for smoking. These rules can be amended, but as Ashley explains, Republicans lack the political will to return to the capitol before the next legislative session. Democrats will likely turn it into a campaign issue.  

 

  FULL TRANSCRIPT:

medical marijuana
David Trawin / Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Oklahomans will have many legal questions about medical marijuana, but attorneys say existing rules might make it difficult to answer them. Marijuana is illegal at the federal, and rules of professional conduct in Oklahoma prohibit attorneys from counseling or assisting clients in criminal or fraudulent conduct.

Voters approved the sale, cultivation and transportation of medical marijuana by passing State Question 788 in June 2018.
Mia Mamone / KGOU

On Wednesday, Gov. Mary Fallin signed into law emergency medical marijuana rules, including two controversial amendments approved by the state board of health earlier this week.

A sign advertises recreational and medical marijuana outside a dispensary in Colorado.
David Anderson / David Anderson

The Oklahoma State Board of Health on Tuesday approved emergency rules to regulate medical marijuana, which Oklahoma voters approved in June.

Medical marijuana would be legal for people 18 and over with a state issued license if SQ 788 passes.
Dank Depot / Flickr/CC BY-NC 2.0

Modeling their recommendations on some of the most restrictive medical marijuana laws in the country, a group representing doctors, hospitals, clinics and other health professionals on Monday urged the state to prevent smokable marijuana from being sold at dispensaries, limit the number of dispensaries to 50 statewide, and require a pharmacist to be in the dispensary and “part of the approval process.”

Voters wait in line at a polling station in Oklahoma City on Tuesday.
Whitney Bryen / Oklahoma Watch

Tuesday’s primary elections settled some lingering questions but raised a host of others.

In a historic vote, voters in one of the nation’s most conservative states indicated a readiness to legalize medical marijuana. And Oklahoma’s Republican voters decided that their choice for the next leader of the state will come down to former Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett and Tulsa businessman Kevin Stitt.

Mick Cornett speaks to his supporters after advancing to the Republican runoff primary election.
Joe Wertz / Oklahoma Engaged

Former Oklahoma City mayor Mick Cornett will face Tulsa businessman Kevin Stitt in a runoff for the Republican nomination for governor. 

A sign advertises recreational and medical marijuana outside a dispensary in Colorado.
David Anderson / David Anderson

Pregnant women would be barred from obtaining a medical marijuana license if voters on Tuesday approve State Question 788, under proposed rules under consideration at the Oklahoma State Department of Health. The draft rules would also restrict people on probation and those recently convicted of a felony from obtaining a commercial license.

David Rowden suffers from chronic pain in his neck, back and shoulders. He believes medical marijuana would bring better pain relief than the opioid painkillers he currently uses.
Quinton Chandler / StateImpact Oklahoma

 

Nearly 20 years of chronic pain hasn’t killed David Rowden’s sense of humor. 

The 62-year-old army veteran looks at a family picture standing on a coffee table and points out that the man on a nearby magazine cover isn’t family. 

Shaunna and Michael Oliver at their home in Mannford, Okla. The couple is voting ‘yes’ on SQ 788 and say medical marijuana will help them with chronic pain from fibromyalgia, diabetes and other conditions.
Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

Oklahoma voters on June 26 will decide if the licensed cultivation, use and possession of marijuana for medicinal purposes should be legal.

Some polls suggest State Question 788, which would create a regulatory and licensing system for medical marijuana, is likely to pass, but many Oklahomans like Pam Hayes of Kansas, a small town in the eastern part of the state, intend to vote ‘no.’ 


Josh Edelson / AP Images

Patients in Oklahoma will pay one of the highest tax rates for medical marijuana among the 30 states that currently offer it if State Question 788 is approved by voters this month, according to an Oklahoma Watch analysis.

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In this episode of Capitol Insider, StateImpact health reporter Jackie Fortier joins KGOU’s Dick Pryor and eCapitol’s Shawn Ashley to discuss State Question 788, which would legalize medical marijuana if it passes on June 26.

Pexels

 

In this extended episode of Capitol Insider, KGOU’s Dick Pryor and eCapitol’s Shawn Ashley are joined by StateImpact health reporter Jackie Fortier to discuss State Question 788, which would legalize medical marijuana if it passes on June 26.

KGOU offers an hour-long public forum and debate over State Question 788. 

 Presented by Oklahoma Watch, the May 16th forum features Dr. Jean Hausheer, president of the Oklahoma State Medical Associtation; Frank Grove, chairman of Vote Yes on 788 and president of the Drug Policy Reform Network of Oklahoma; and Rep. John Paul Jordan.    

Ted S. Warren / AP Images

In June, Oklahomans will vote on State Question 788, a ballot initiative to legalize medical marijuana, and many people are asking – how has this worked in other states?

Who has legalized medical marijuana?

Jackie Fortier / StateImpact Oklahoma

On June 26, voters will decide if Oklahoma will become the 30th state to legalize marijuana for medical use. But regulating the new industry could prove difficult.

If State Question 788 passes, licenses will be required for each stage of marijuana cultivation, including dispensaries, commercial growers, processors, and individual medical marijuana cards.

Oklahoma will now exclude cannabidiol, a non-intoxicating chemical found in marijuana, from its definition of the drug.
Dank Depot / Flickr Creative Commons

The state of Oklahoma has changed its definition of marijuana to exclude federally approved treatments containing cannabidiol, a non-intoxicating chemical found in the plant.  

Attorney Chad Moody specializes in criminal defense cases involving drug charges.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Even though it'll likely be two years before Oklahoma voters can decide whether or not to legalize medical marijuana, supporters are already thinking about how to win.

Proponents will start trying to raise at least $500,000 after the presidential election. Chip Paul, the Tulsa-based chairman of Oklahomans for Health, said it could take three times that to make sure enough supporters get to the polls in support of the measure.

Ryan Kiesel is executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Oklahoma.
Brent Fuchs / The Journal Record

Even though it won't be this fall, Oklahoma voters will decide whether or not to approve medical marijuana issue in a future election.

When the campaign for medical marijuana turned in its petition, they had more signatures than they needed, but only about 1,800 more.

So if someone challenged the signature count, it wouldn’t take much to invalidate the months of work. But Thursday was the last day to object and no one did.

Willy Jones, one of the area organizers for Oklahomans for Health, holds a sign in support of medical marijuana during a petition drive outside a vapor shop in Oklahoma City, Thursday, July 3, 2014.
Sue Ogrocki / AP

It looks much less likely a proposed constitutional amendment to legalize medical marijuana in Oklahoma will appear on the ballot this fall.

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