Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Study Goes Up In Smoke

Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Study Goes Up In Smoke

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK — Medical marijuana patients will have to wait at least another year to have their voices heard at the state house after a committee chairman announced this week he would not schedule an interim medical marijuana study designed to open the doors for medical marijuana legislation.

“The conversation has to start somewhere,” said Garret Overstreet, executive director of NORML Tulsa. “We hoped it would start this year. But we’ll be back the next year and the next year.”

State Sen. Constance Johnson, D-Oklahoma City, has introduced several bills to allow medical marijuana in Oklahoma, and was trying to get an interim study at the Capitol this year with the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, Overstreet said.

The chairman of the committee, state Sen. Brian Crain, R-Tulsa, said he discussed the scheduling of the study with Johnson but decided recently not to move forward with the study.

Crain cited marijuana’s federally illegal status as the main reason for not scheduling the study.

“I don’t know how we can proceed with the legalization of medical marijuana as long as the federal law says the legalization of medical marijuana is against the law,” Crain said.

But Tulsa NORML’s Garret Overstreet disagrees with Crain’s reasoning.

“Much like with alcohol prohibition, things didn’t change on the federal level. They changed on the local level,” Overstreet said. “In regard to federal enforcement, states are able to pass their own laws. We need to maintain state’s rights.”

Overstreet added that medical marijuana advocates had met several standards that Crain had for the interim study, including making available a medical researcher who could answer questions about the medicinal uses of marijuana for lawmakers.

Protection from prosecution for medical marijuana patients is needed in Oklahoma, who, like other states in the South, has harsh penalties for marijuana possession.

Possession of any amount of marijuana as a first offense is subject to up to one year in jail, and a second offense becomes a felony that carries a penalty of two to 10 years behind bars.  The sale of any amount of marijuana up to 25 pounds can result in jail time ranging from two years to life in prison.  Sale of marijuana over 25 pounds, or sale to a minor, will double that penalty.

Cultivation of marijuana in Oklahoma will be punished based upon the aggregate weight of the plants found as either simple possession or as possession with the intent to distribute, and could result anywhere from 1 year to life in prison.

  • DavidTheExpert

    I thought I could at least trust TheDailyChronic not to make stereotypical Cheech and Chong puns. Ugh.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Jose-Gonzales/100003694111815 Jose Gonzales

    The federal government is now directly responsible for deaths of young Americans by classifying marijuana the same as heroin. When someone discovers that the government was lying to them about marijuana it is logical to believe that the government is also lying to them about heroin. Someone in the DEA should be held criminally accountable for the lies that they are perpetrating on our youth.

  • Locc

    Fuck Oklahoma, moving out of there ASAP.

  • SirCharlie

    It might be different if we were asking to legalize it for recreation, but we are only asking to ddecriminalize it for medical purposes, and to be prescribed by medical doctors. Senator Crain has pulled the rug out from underneath patients with cancer, multiple sclerosis, and many other very painful and debilitating diseases. He didn’t have the courage to discuss it as most other states are doing. What a shame that one man can control, and cause so many Oklahomans to needlessly suffer. Perhaps he might feel different if it were himself or a loved one that suffered 24/7, and the only help for the pain was harsh narcotics that hurts other bodily functions. It’s unbelievable that one man has the power to decide whether or not such an important issue can even be discussed. That in itself should be the crime!

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