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Law Oklahoma

Baron23

Well-Known Member
Oklahoma DA protests ruling to return pipes and papers to head shop


By The Associated Press

OKLAHOMA CITY — An Oklahoma prosecutor is appealing a judge’s order to return items confiscated during 2015 raids at a now-closed pipe shop in Norman.

District Attorney Greg Mashburn asked the Oklahoma Supreme Court on Tuesday to order Special Judge Steve Stice to decide whether the items, including glass pipes and rolling papers, are drug paraphernalia whose return is prohibited.

Related stories
Stice ordered the items returned earlier this month. The judge says he couldn’t decide whether items confiscated from Friendly Market were drug paraphernalia and that prosecutors didn’t produce evidence showing they shouldn’t be returned to owner Robert Cox.

Mashburn’s appeal says Stice avoided his duty by “legislating from the bench” and requiring prosecutors to prove the items’ return is prohibited.

Cox’s attorney, Blake Lynch, didn’t immediately return a telephone call seeking comment.

Legal MJ not looking too terribly great in OK.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
I mean, look at the picture of this guy....frightening, IMO. Got that gleam of a true zealot in his eyes.

People of OK, do not listen to him and vote your own conscious on 26 Jun.

Gee, while I don't ever want to wish anything harmful on this guys family, I would sort of kind of be interested in seeing his views on MMJ if he ever has to take chemo. Just wondering how puking his guts out all day/every day might modify his views......



Oklahoma Senator: Medical Marijuana Would Be “Harmful” To Families
Senator James Lankford is of the opinion that legalizing medical cannabis would destroy families and communities. And he’s trying to convince voters that he’s right.



Oklahoma U.S. Senator James Lankford has urged voters in his state to reject medical marijuana, saying it would be “harmful” to families. Lankford, along with a conservative religious group, released a statement calling for a vote against State Question 788 (SQ 788). Oklahomans will vote on the measure to legalize the medicinal use of cannabis in the June 26 election.

Lankford and the group Oklahoma Faith Leaders released the joint statement on Thursday. In it, they claim that legalizing marijuana would be “harmful to the social fabric of Oklahoma.” Lankford also said he was unwilling to believe that medical cannabis could improve a patient’s quality of life.

“No one will convince me that our families will be better if only more parents and grandparents smoke more marijuana,” he said.

The senator then asserted that SQ 788 is actually a ploy by outsiders to legalize cannabis for recreational use.


“This state question is being sold to Oklahomans as a compassionate medical marijuana bill by outside groups that actually want access to recreational marijuana,” Lankford said.

Lankford also claimed that a majority of Oklahomans have witnessed harm caused by cannabis.

“Most of us have seen first-hand the damage done to families and our communities from recreational marijuana use,” he said.

Sooners Vote on Medical Marijuana June 26
Oklahomans will decide the fate of SQ 788 at the statewide election on June 26. The measure qualified for the ballot after the group Oklahomans for Health collected nearly 66,000 signatures in 2016. If the initiative passes, it would legalize the possession, use, and production of cannabis for medicinal purposes.


Patients wishing to use medical marijuana would need a recommendation from a doctor and a state-issued license. Licenses for patients would cost $100, although some would qualify for a reduced fee of $25. Licenses would have to be renewed every two years. Licensed patients could legally possess up to three ounces of cannabis on their person and eight ounces at home. Patients would also be allowed to cultivate cannabis plants at home.

SQ 788 would also create a regulated supply chain for medicinal cannabis. Oklahoma residents could then apply for a license to grow or process marijuana or to operate a dispensary. Applicants for a business license would pay a fee of $2,500.

Patients will pay a tax of seven percent in addition to normal state and local sales taxes on medical marijuana. The state will use the tax to fund its cannabis regulatory activities. Any excess revenue will be fund education and drug and alcohol rehab programs.

Supporters Plan Yes on SQ 788 Rally
To rally support for SQ 788 and get out the vote, Oklahomans for Health and other sponsors will hold a rally on June 9 in Tulsa. Activists will gather at the Fuel 66 at 2439 E. 11th Street from 1-4 p.m. for food, entertainment, and education. The group is also urging voters to confirm their registration online. Registration for the June 26 election closes June 1.

Voters in Oklahoma might also get the chance to legalize cannabis for adult use. Earlier this month, activist group Green the Vote began collecting signatures in an effort to qualify State Question 797 for the ballot. That measure would approve a constitutional amendment legalizing recreational marijuana in the state.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
So, OK folks....when are you going to dump these kind of idiots and move into the 20th century. Sorry, I have friends from OK, I did business for years with a firm in OK, there are a LOT of great folks in OK. But its almost a standing joke in this nation that OK has striven to remain in the last century....well, even the one before that!

Now, I would say for most of my life I have NEVER wished ill health on anybody....until I started seeing prohibitionist politicians spouting off that there is no benefit to medical MJ. Take this asshole for example. I actually do rather wish that he contracts a painful form of cancer, undergoes radiation and chemo, and see what he thinks of medical MJ then. I will probably regret having written this...I do not like wishing people harm. But if that is the only way to pull the scales from the eyes of antediluvian morons like this guy, then so be it.

Love this one:


“It’s not just allowing people to smoke it for medicinal purposes,” he said. “They can have any purpose. They can say, ‘I have a headache.’ They can say, ‘my left toe hurts every other Thursday.’ They can go to a veterinarian, a doctor a chiropractor, any number of medical people of any type. A dentist, whatever it may be, and they can write a script.”

Oh the horror...the horror....free people may do what they want without regard for this shithead's opinion. Oh, how awful. grrrrrr
:cursing::BangHead::disgust::smackdown::horse::torching:

Just look at this tight ass lipless wonder and tell me why we are subject to this guy's opinion.


Politics
Oklahoma Senator Claims Medical Marijuana Is Just For “Getting High”



A U.S. senator from a state where polls indicate his constituents will legalize medical marijuana this month is calling cannabis’s therapeutic value into question.

“Marijuana is not used for anyone on chronic pain other than just getting high and to escape from the pain,” Sen. James Lankford (R-OK) said in a Friday interview.


“Marijuana’s not used for pain. It’s used for the high and it’s used for other purposes.”

Oklahoma voters will see a measure to make medical cannabis legal on this month’s June 26 primary ballot. A survey last month found that likely voters favor the initiative by a margin of 58 percent to 30 percent.

But Lankford isn’t on board. And recently he has become one of the only members of the U.S. Senate to consistently voice opposition to marijuana law reform.

Last week, for example, he tried to strip language from a Justice Department bill that protects state medical cannabis laws from federal interference.

But sensing that he did not have enough votes to pass his amendment, he withdrew it before asking colleagues to do on the record with yeas and nays.

At a separate hearing earlier last week, Lankford called marijuana a “gateway drug to opioid abuse.”

In the new interview with KOCO-TV, the anti-cannabis senator questioned whether the Oklahoma ballot measure is truly medically focused.

“It’s not just allowing people to smoke it for medicinal purposes,” he said. “They can have any purpose. They can say, ‘I have a headache.’ They can say, ‘my left toe hurts every other Thursday.’ They can go to a veterinarian, a doctor a chiropractor, any number of medical people of any type. A dentist, whatever it may be, and they can write a script.”

“We have all kinds of issues in Oklahoma right now. We have all kinds of struggles. I don’t see how any of them get better if more parents and more grandparents are smoking more marijuana.”


Lankford also recently appeared in the TV ad opposing the medical marijuana measure.

An opposition group, SQ 788 Is Not Medical, announced last week that it has raised nearly half a million dollars to support an advertising campaign against the measure.

Meanwhile, the state Republican Party in neighboring Texas endorsed marijuana decriminalization, expanding medical cannabis, legalizing industrial hemp and federally reclassifying marijuana at its convention this past weekend.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
Get out and vote, all you Okies!! (or is that an insulting term??)


Medical marijuana, primary contests open for early voting in Oklahoma

Voters across the state may cast early ballots, making choices on medical marijuana and each party's candidates for office.

Oklahoma's early voting laws allow registered voters to visit their county election board Thursday through Saturday before each election.

Each ballot will contain State Question 788, which if adopted would create a system for medical marijuana in Oklahoma. Republican, Democratic and Libertarian voters will be able to chose statewide and local candidates for their party, and independents can request a ballot with Democratic candidates.

Election Day is Tuesday, June 26, but Oklahoma gives voters the option to cast in-person absentee ballots at their county election boards before each election on Thursday and Friday between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., then on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The process is virtually the same as voting on Election Day, when polls are open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

For those who aren't registered to vote, it's too late. The registration deadline was June 1. The deadline to vote in the Aug. 28 partisan runoff election is Aug. 3. It is widely believed the Republican governor's race and several legislative contests will end up in a runoff.

Oklahomans can verify their voter status online and view sample ballots at the Oklahoma State Election Board website.

Most legislators will face election contests this year, whether it's during the primary or Nov. 7 general election. Just 19 lawmakers have no opponent.

Many vacant seats also must be filled after legislators resigned or were not eligible to run again because of term limits. There are 42 open seats, meaning almost a third of the lawmakers in the next Oklahoma Legislature will be new on the job when they reconvene in regular session next February.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
Wow...looks like OK folks are coming up roses on MMJ

OK MMJ vote results.JPG
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
"But I can assure you there was no mal-intent."

Bullshit. They (the precinct workers) were trained to give out all ballots. They were given a checklist that indicates that all voters get the state ballot. And what....they just fucking forgot. BS. Looks like its going to pass, but they should continue to raise hell about this with their Board of Elections and take it to court if necessary.




Controversy swirling about handling of State Question 788 ballots


OKLAHOMA CITY - Voters across the state headed to the polls on Tuesday to cast their votes on several high-profile races and a controversial state question.

However, some voters say there was a bit of confusion when it came to who was given the state question ballots.

Tim York was at his polling place on S. Pennsylvania Ave. in Oklahoma City bright and early Tuesday morning.

"I've voted in every primary, every presidential election since I can remember,” said York.

He says he was taken aback when a polling worker asked him a question about State Question 788.

"Showed my ID's and then I was asked the question, 'Do you want to vote on the state question?' I'm thinking - is that an option?" said York.

Other voters say they actually had to ask for that ballot.

"They handed me my political affiliation ballot this morning and I had to ask them for the state question,” said Kevin Cosby, who voted in Pottawatomie County.

"We've had multiple complaints that these guys are just giving out the one piece of paper and they're really just trying to make people think, 'Hey there's nothing else to vote for.' Vote and get out so that they don't vote on State Question 788,” said Jeremiah Reynalds, with the group 'Legalize It Oklahoma.'

Reynalds said they were encouraging their followers to make complaints to the Oklahoma State Election Board.

"That seems like a little bit of trickery is what we're saying,” said Reynalds.

State Question 788 would legalize medical marijuana in Oklahoma.

Bill Cavanaugh voted in Arcadia Tuesday morning and says he did not receive his state question ballot. When he went to ask for it, he was told he would have to get back in line.

Cavanaugh says the line was too long and he had to leave without casting his vote on State Question 788.

"We regret any circumstance where it wasn't handled properly. But I can assure you there was no mal-intent. No one's trying to not let someone vote on a particular ballot,” said Doug Sanderson, with the Oklahoma County Election Board.

Sanderson says every voter should automatically get the state question ballot, regardless of party affiliation.

After receiving a complaint Tuesday morning, they sent monitors to all polling places to remind workers. He says they trained them on that process extensively before the election.

"We went over it thoroughly at training. Then when we assign them to a precinct, we also sent that exact checklist that we went over in training to them,” said Sanderson.

Voters are left wondering if it’s simple forgetfulness or something more.

"It seems kind of odd that it's happening in multiple places and multiple counties,” said Cosby.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
"But the statutory measure can be changed by the Oklahoma Legislature and, based on what’s happened in other states such as Maine, the final medical marijuana regulations could look quite different."

There is a lot of bleating going on in our country today about the state of our democracy...mostly just political theater.....but this intentional re-write of voters expressed will is about the most anti-democratic thing I have seen aside from Civil Asset Forfeiture (which is plain old highway robbery by the police).

"He promises a fight if Oklahoma’s legislature tries to significantly alter the spirit of the initiative.

I hope so as I'm sure that there will be people trying to impose their will on OK despite what the voters have passed. If they do, ream them a new orifice. Do not let them get away with the shit that's been done in other states recently.



Oklahoma becomes latest state to legalize medical cannabis

Oklahoma voters on Tuesday approved an open-market medical marijuana program: no caps on the number of business licenses, and doctors can recommend MMJ for any patient ailment.


Voters supported the measure by a double-digit margin despite a strong, last-minute opposition effort by a coalition that included the Oklahoma State Medical Association, religious leaders, law enforcement agencies and business groups in this conservative state.


With Oklahoma’s passage, medical marijuana now is legal in 31 states and Washington DC.


“Public support for medical marijuana access is nonpartisan,” NORML Deputy Director Paul Armentano wrote in a statement. “Even in a predominantly ‘red’ state like Oklahoma, it is the will of the voters to enact common sense, yet significant marijuana law reforms.”


Marijuana Business Daily projects that such an unrestricted MMJ market, if it sticks in its current form, could generate $100 million to $150 million in annual sales several years after the launch.


But the statutory measure can be changed by the Oklahoma Legislature and, based on what’s happened in other states such as Maine, the final medical marijuana regulations could look quite different.



“We think we’ve written the proper medical law with proper business aspects to it,” said Chip Paul, co-founder of Oklahomans for Health, which put forth one of the most wide-open MMJ initiatives in the country.
“We’re going to let the market determine the number of licenses. Do you limit donut shops in your town? You let the market determine how many donut shops. After the mystery is gone, (medical marijuana) is just another business.”


Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, however, recently characterized the statutory change as so open-ended that it is tantamount to allowing recreational marijuana.


Fallin said she plans to call a special session for lawmakers to develop a regulatory framework; many groups want more restrictions.


Paul said proponents will be proposing MMJ program regulations to the Legislature that are consistent with the voter initiative.


Key details in the initiative include:


  • Individuals or businesses could apply for licenses to commercially grow, process and dispense medical marijuana. The licenses would cost $2,500 each. The state would be required to approve or deny an application within two weeks; there would be no explicit limit on the number of MMJ businesses.
  • Only Oklahoma residents would qualify as business applicants, but up to 25% of the ownership of the MMJ businesses could be from outside the state. Those ownership positions would need to be disclosed.
  • Municipalities would be prohibited from enacting zoning restrictions to prevent dispensaries, but retail stores would not be allowed within 1,000 feet of a school.
  • Sales of MMJ products would be taxed at 7% (on top of local and state taxes) to cover regulatory expenses.
  • Patients would need to get a physician’s signature to use marijuana, but there are no restrictions on qualifying medical conditions.
  • Licensed patients could possess up to 3 ounces of marijuana on their person; at home, they could possess 1 ounce of concentrated marijuana, 72 ounces of edibles and 8 ounces of marijuana. They also could grow up to six mature plants and six seedlings for their own consumption.

What’s next


The initiative calls for the state to make medical marijuana license applications available within 30 days.


It’s that tight time frame that spurred the governor to plan a special session to develop “a proper regulatory framework for medical marijuana,” her communications director, Michael McNutt, told Marijuana Business Daily.


McNutt declined to provide specifics about what the governor would like to see in the legislation based on her concerns about the initiative, other than to say the “highest priority (would be) given to the health and safety of Oklahomans.”


The “Vote Yes on 788” group supporting the initiative acknowledges on its website that the Legislature can enact changes.


Some revisions may be acceptable to the group. For example, “Vote Yes” believes the state health department isn’t capable of regulating the industry as called for by the initiative because of recent turmoil over budget shortfalls and other issues.


Paul, a board member of a new trade organization called the Oklahoma Cannabis & Hemp Association, is part of a working group that’s writing MMJ regulations. He indicated the association likely will recommend to lawmakers an independent committee to oversee the medical marijuana industry.


He promises a fight if Oklahoma’s legislature tries to significantly alter the spirit of the initiative.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
Tulsa Police Department’s Sergeant Marcus Harper posted on his Facebook page that he would be voting yes. Harper wrote, “In 23 years, 6 months, 8 days, 3 hours, 22 minutes, and 28 29 30....seconds of my law enforcement career, I have never had a negative encounter with someone high on marijuana. All they want to do is sit down and eat.”

I LOVE this (underline added by me)


Law enforcement opinions on medical marijuana differ

TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) — The issue of medical marijuana is coming down to last minute rallies and final word debates. Even police and law enforcement officers are giving their personal opinions on the issue.

Tulsa Police Department’s Sergeant Marcus Harper posted on his Facebook page that he would be voting yes. Harper wrote, “In 23 years, 6 months, 8 days, 3 hours, 22 minutes, and 28 29 30....seconds of my law enforcement career, I have never had a negative encounter with someone high on marijuana. All they want to do is sit down and eat.”

RELATED I Rogers County Sheriff stands by campaign against medical marijuana State Question 788

Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton has been against State Question 788 and even accused of assaulting a supporter of the issue at a forum. He’s now facing a lawsuit but maintains medical marijuana will only hurt citizens of Oklahoma.

“I think there are a lot of problems law enforcement will see out of this that we are not seeing already, and we already have a problem with marijuana as it is today,” said Walton.

RELATED I OSBI: 'Significant public safety concerns' if SQ 788 passes

Harper says he is in favor because of families with children he knows that need treatment with medical marijuana.

“So, if something like this is going to help person, or help a group of people you know, veterans, that may suffer from PTSD, people with other chronic illness, why not? You know, are we going to be the last in the country to legalize medical marijuana?”

Regardless of the primary election outcome, there is another petition circulating to get recreational marijuana on the November ballot.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
"GOP state Senate leader Greg Treat said he doesn’t think members of his party, the majority, are interested in a special session.


Whatever we do will just to be so make sure we don’t overturn the will of the people,” the president pro tempore-designate told reporters Wednesday.

What a refreshing and unusual idea. LOL


Oklahoma health official: Rules ready for medical marijuana


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The head of Oklahoma’s health agency said Wednesday there’s a framework in place to get the medical marijuana industry rolling in the state soon, despite concerns from Gov. Mary Fallin that a statewide vote “opens the door” for recreational use.

Oklahoma voters easily approved a state question Tuesday allowing cannabis to be used as medicine in the traditionally conservative state. The measure says applications for a medical marijuana license must be available on the agency’s website within 30 days of the measure’s passage. A regulatory office to receive applications for medical marijuana licenses, recipients and dispensary growers must be operating within 60 days.

Interim Health Commissioner Tom Bates said the Oklahoma Department of Health has been developing proposed rules and regulations in case the medical marijuana program was approved by voters since he was named to the post on April 1. He said the agency is prepared “to implement a medical marijuana model as required by the state question.”

“We do have a lot to take care of in a tight timeframe,” Bates said.

Bates said state health officials will meet July 10 to consider emergency rules for the new Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority. Application information and requirements will be available on the agency’s website by July 26, and applications will be accepted by Aug. 25.

Oklahoma’s was the first marijuana question on a state ballot in the U.S. in 2018, with elections scheduled for later this year in Michigan and Utah. Voters in neighboring Arkansas legalized the drug for medical use in 2016, but Oklahoma is among the most conservative states to approve its use.

Voters came out in droves in Oklahoma to weigh in on the issue, which made it onto the ballot through a signature drive. The Oklahoma State Election Board says more votes were cast on the marijuana question than in the 2014 general election.


Registered nurse Leslie Collum, right, and other medical marijuana initiative supporters celebrate its passage Tuesday at an Oklahoma City watch party. (Jim Beckel/The Oklahoman via AP)

In Oklahoma City, 33-year-old Meaghan Hunt said she cast her vote in favor of legalization because she views marijuana as another form of treatment for patients with various ailments. She said she wants them to have as many options as possible.

She also believes state coffers could benefit from the cash marijuana crops would deliver.

“I’d like to see more taxable revenue coming into our state and if that’s an opportunity to collect taxes, all the better — hopefully for education,” Hunt said.

The term-limited Fallin said before the vote that she would call lawmakers into a special session to develop rules to regulate the industry, but she toned down her comments after the election results were clear.

“I believe, as well as many Oklahomans, this new law is written so loosely that it opens the door for basically recreational marijuana,” Fallin, a Republican, said in a statement late Tuesday.

GOP state Senate leader Greg Treat said he doesn’t think members of his party, the majority, are interested in a special session.

“Whatever we do will just to be so make sure we don’t overturn the will of the people,” the president pro tempore-designate told reporters Wednesday.

Attitudes have shifted sharply on marijuana in recent decades in Oklahoma, especially among young people, said Bill Shapard, a pollster who has surveyed Oklahomans on the issue for more than five years.

“I’ve found almost half of all Republicans support it,” Shapard said.

Oklahoma’s tough-on-crime ideology also has come at a cost, with the state’s skyrocketing prison population consuming a larger share of the state’s limited funding. In 2016, voters approved a state question to make any drug possession crime a misdemeanor, despite opposition to that proposal from law enforcement and prosecutors.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
"Right now we would say a conservative estimate of about 9 to 12 months," Gilbert said.

I have seen this show before and I will bet anyone a yard that they will not have the program open for sales in 9-12 months. If they get it open in 2 years that will put them at the forefront of state government efficiency. Sorry, but yes I am cynical but I have also seen the law suits and special interest come out of the woodwork and unconscionably delay program opening.

I hope they get it open in a year....but I am very skeptical.



Oklahoma health officials outline medical marijuana application process


Information that patients, growers and sellers need to apply for medical marijuana licenses will be available online by July 26, state Health Department officials said Wednesday.

However, it is expected to take several more months before new medical marijuana products will be available to Oklahoma consumers.

Because of federal restrictions on medical marijuana sales between states, making medical marijuana available to patients in Oklahoma will not be as simple as opening up a store and shipping packages of medical marijuana in from Colorado for resale, said Chip Paul, co-founder of the group that backed Oklahoma's medical marijuana state question.

The medical marijuana that is to be sold in Oklahoma will have to be grown, processed and distributed to dispensaries for resale, he said.

Growing marijuana takes time — generally 88-110 days if growing a plant from seed, said Jimmy Shannon, owner of Ambary Health, which wants to obtain a license to grow medical marijuana and operate a dispensary in Oklahoma. Cloning a plant can shave about 21 days off that time, he said.

But before a business can grow the plants, it has to obtain the seeds, and that can also be a time-consuming process, said Chance Gilbert, founder of the Oklahoma Cannabis & Hemp Trade Association.

"You have to get the seeds. They have to be certified. You have to have paperwork for them so you can track the lineage. All of this is extremely arduous and scientific," he said.

So when can Oklahomans expect medical marijuana products to be available?


"Right now we would say a conservative estimate of about 9 to 12 months," Gilbert said.

Some, like Shannon, believe it's possible medical marijuana could become available locally as early as October or November, but caution there also could be delays if the state Health Department is slow in implementing rules or the state Legislature postpones implementation guidelines through a special session.

Oklahoma voters got the whole process started Tuesday when they approved a medical marijuana state question by a vote of 506,782 (57 percent) to 384,872 (43 percent).

The approved law changes established ambitious deadlines for the state Health Department to implement the medical marijuana program, but Tom Bates, the Health Department's interim commissioner, said Wednesday that his agency is on pace to meet those deadlines.


GO PRO Support local journalism by upgrading to NewsOK Pro.
Proposed emergency rules will be presented to the Oklahoma State Board of Health for its consideration on July 10, Bates said. If the board approves them, they will go to the governor.

Application information for the various types of medical marijuana licenses will be available online by July 26 at omma.ok.gov, Bates said. However, the agency will not begin the process of receiving or processing applications until Aug. 25.

The agency expects to accept or deny applications within 14 days after they are received, he said. A two-year medical marijuana license will cost $100, but Medicaid/SoonerCare or Medicare enrollees will pay a reduced cost of $20.

Bates said the agency anticipates processing 40,000 to 80,000 marijuana license applications and estimated about 100 employees will need to be hired to get the job done.



He urged Oklahomans to seek answers to their medical marijuana questions online at the omma.ok.gov website rather than visiting the state or county health department office. Information available there includes the text of State Question 788, an updated draft of proposed emergency rules for implementation of the state question, answers to frequently asked questions and a form for the public to comment on proposed emergency draft rules.

Gov. Mary Fallin could call the Oklahoma Legislature into special session to develop its own regulations, but Bates said he didn't know whether that would happen.

Michael McNutt, spokesman for the governor, said Wednesday that the governor has been discussing the possibility of a special session with lawmakers, but no decision has been
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
So, is it even legal to force a somebody to take a drug test just because they attend a school that they are mandated to attend....by law?

So, read this: https://www.drugabuse.gov/related-topics/drug-testing/faq-drug-testing-in-schools

But this is the relevant part:

Is random drug testing of students legal?
In June 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court broadened the authority of public schools to test students for illegal drugs. The court ruled to allow random drug tests for all middle and high school students participating in competitive extracurricular activities. The ruling greatly expanded the scope of school drug testing, which previously had been allowed only for student athletes.


And there you have it, more intrusion into our individual liberties by our government. I truly can't understand this ruling by anybody who has any respect for individual rights and liberty...but WTF do I know, right?

So, who was on the SCOTUS in 2002: William Rehnquist, John Paul Stevens, Sandra Day O'Connor, Antonin Scalia, Anthony Kennedy, David Souter, Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer


Oklahoma Public School Plans to Increase Random Drug Tests for Students
Edmond Superintendent Bret Towne says the shift in drug testing policy and the state’s passage of a medical marijuana measure aren’t related.

On June 26, Oklahoma voters said yes to State Question 788, a ballot initiative legalizing medical cannabis. Unlike measures in other states, Oklahoma’s medical marijuana measure does not set a list of qualifying conditions. Patients simply need a recommendation from their physician.

Pro-cannabis advocacy groups praised Oklahoma’s more accessible approach as a victory for patients. But opposition to the measure, while in the minority, has been vocal.

Critics of legal medical cannabis say SQ 788’s lack of a list of qualifying conditions will make the drug too easy to obtain. And one Oklahoma public school plans to increase random drug tests for students to address this concern.

Are More Random Drug Tests for Students Just a Coincidence?
Edmond Public Schools announced yesterday that they will double the number of students they randomly drug test.


But Edmond Superintendent Bret Towne insists the change of school policy has nothing to do with the passage of SQ 788.

He says the plan to increase the number of random drug tests administered to students only coincidentally aligns with the state’s legalization of medical cannabis.

Towne did acknowledge his and parents’ concerns about the increased availability of cannabis on school campuses. “We always worry about students having easier access to it,” Towne told Oklahoma’s News 4.


Edmond Public Schools have been randomly drug testing students for the past six years. And it’s almost entirely students who participate in extracurricular activities who take the tests.

Drug tests, however, are expensive. And recent strikes by Oklahoma public school teachers have laid bare the serious financial shortfalls facing the state’s schools.

In fact, Towne said that budget cutbacks forced them to reduce the number of random drug tests administered to students two years ago. This week, however, the school board decided to return testing to previous levels.


Now, Edmond Public Schools will test as many students as the law allows. And that means more than 700 of the 3,000 students who participate in extracurricular activities will take drug tests this year.

How Will Schools Handle SQ 788’s Allowances For Minors?
Oklahoma’s recently approved medical marijuana provision permits anyone 18 years of age or older to use the drug with a doctor’s recommendation. That includes high school seniors who are of age.

Furthermore, SQ 788 permits minors aged 16-17 to use medical cannabis with recommendations from two doctors.

So far, however, it’s unclear how schools plan to handle students with medical cannabis.

Currently, Edmond schools lock up prescription drugs, and the school secretary dispenses them. But Superintendent Towne admitted that he did not know whether the same would be the case with medical marijuana.

The Oklahoma Department of Health has yet to release its medical cannabis rules.

DOH will release application information for patients on July 26, and begin accepting applications by August 25.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
"To allow smokable forms would be a step back as protectors of public health in Oklahoma"

Got to be one foo the most patronizing an paternalistic statements I have ever read.

The WaPo banner is "Democracy Dies in Darkness" and my thought is no, democracy dies when politicians and bureaucrats are allowed to thwart the will of the people without consequence.


Oklahoma lawmaker calling for special session to ‘protect the will of the people’ on medical marijuana


OKLAHOMA CITY – An Oklahoma lawmaker is calling for a special session after a controversial announcement by the Oklahoma State Department of Health.

On Tuesday, the Board of Health approved emergency rules on medical marijuana, with some two specific exceptions.

See this link for embedded vid

https://kfor.com/2018/07/11/oklahom...-the-will-of-the-people-on-medical-marijuana/


Under the new emergency rules, smokable forms of medical marijuana would be banned from sale in dispensaries. According to Interim Health Commissioner Tom Bates, licensed medical marijuana users would still be allowed to use it if it was grown themselves.

"To allow smokable forms would be a step back as protectors of public health in Oklahoma and certainly reasonable people can differ on that," Commissioner Bates said.

The board also approved an amendment which would require pharmacists to be on site at dispensaries.

Bud Scott, executive director of New Health Solutions Oklahoma, told News 4 the amendments would "hamper" patient access.

"No smokable product, which basically eliminates flowering bud," he said. "That’s a major, major problem because often times different delivery systems, the way you ingest medical cannabis, has a different impact for your specific medical condition."

Now, an Oklahoma lawmaker is calling for a special session to "protect the will of the people."

On Tuesday afternoon, Rep. Jason Lowe, D- Oklahoma City, released the following statement regarding the new rules:

“The Oklahoma State Department of Health has enacted law that undermines one of the most participated in elections in state history and silences the voice of Oklahomans across this state. Today’s decision is an affront to democracy and an insult to the law-abiding citizens that showed up to vote for this initiative. In order to ensure that the will of the people is protected from bureaucracy and to save the state from yet another embarrassing lawsuit, I am calling on the governor to immediately call for a special session so that the elected leaders of this state can implement the law as instructed by the citizens of Oklahoma.”​
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
"making it illegal to dispense smokable marijuana and requiring a pharmacist at dispensaries."

People of OK, you need to make your Governor and your bureaucrats pay, and pay dearly, for absolutely thwarting the will of the state's electorate expressed via direct democratic vote.

These rules, which in many ways undermines the intent AND the letter of the law passed by referendum. They were crafted by bureaucrats who have no direct responsibility to represent the electorate, and then signed by your Governor. What's missing here...oh, the electorate's representatives in the legislature and the electorate itself who passed the mandate.

Then, after taking this completely undemocratic, high handed, unilateral action, your Governor says:

"I encourage everyone to approach this effort in a constructive fashion in order to honor the will of the citizens of Oklahoma who want a balanced and responsible medical marijuana law"
How the hell can she talk about the will of the citizens in the same breath as announcing these administrative rules. The will of the citizens of Oklahoma WAS expressed...by this referendum which she just undermined and weakened. This takes chutzpah to an entirely new level hitherto now not seen.

People of OK, sue your state government early and often. They deserve it.




Governor Fallin signs rules implementing medical marijuana in Oklahoma



OKLAHOMA CITY (KOKH) — Oklahoma's governor has signed rules adopted by the Oklahoma State Board of Health that implement medical marijuana in the state.

Governor Mary Fallin states that the rules that were adopted Tuesday are the "best place to start in developing a proper regulatory framework for medical marijuana". The board made two big amendments to the emergency rules Tuesday, making it illegal to dispense smokable marijuana and requiring a pharmacist at dispensaries. Oklahoma voters approved medical marijuana during a vote on State Question 788 June 26.

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"I expect modifications could occur in the future. I know some citizens are not pleased with these actions. But I encourage everyone to approach this effort in a constructive fashion in order to honor the will of the citizens of Oklahoma who want a balanced and responsible medical marijuana law." Fallin said.

Members of the cannabis industry have expressed opposition to the amendments made by the Oklahoma State Board of Health.

The Oklahoma State Department of Health is required to begin accepting applications on July 26.

“Dealing with medical marijuana is unchartered territory for our state, and there are many opinions, including divisive views even among SQ 788 backers, on how this should be implemented." Fallin said.

The cannabis trade group New Health Solutions Oklahoma said the move contradicts the will of voters. NHSO Political Director Jed Green says that the program is now "beholden to the special interest groups that fought State Question 788".

"The people making policy now are the same people who ran a million dollar smear campaign aimed at convincing Oklahomans that smoking medical cannabis would lead to the collapse of society," Green said.

Following the board's decision on Tuesday, members of the staff who worked on the draft rules received threats.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
"On Tuesday (July 10), Oklahoma’s Board of Health decided to limit the amount of THC allowed"

Please notice, Board of Health. Not the legislature and certainly not the citizens who voted and passed the referendum. Some bureaucrats just "decided" with the support of the medical industry...you remember them, the people who have brought us an opioid addiction epidemic and who have a vested financial interest in big pharma over a holistic weed.

Sue them NOW. Sue them OFTEN. Sue them to HELL and back.



Amid much debate, Oklahoma implements a THC limit for its new medical program


Medical professionals in the state argued marijuana doesn’t need to be stronger than 12% THC, but patients are saying that’s not true.

On Tuesday (July 10), Oklahoma’s Board of Health decided to limit the amount of THC allowed in cannabis sold as a part of the state’s newly-approved medical marijuana program. The rules, which will be adopted by the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority, established to oversee the state’s new cannabis program, put a 12% THC limit on “medical marijuana products” which will be available in dispensaries. To put this in perspective, the average THC level of legal recreational cannabis in Colorado is 18.7%.

A draft of the rules was submitted to the board by the Oklahoma State Department of Health. Over 1000 public comments were received on them. A significant number of these comments asked the Oklahoma Department of Health to change the draft’s THC limit.

Many believe the 12% THC limit on medical cannabis products is far too low to treat the symptoms of serious conditions like cancer, and some said limits are a decision better left to physicians dealing with individual medical cases.

“We are talking about treating people with terminal cancer, seizures, chronic pain etc. limiting the THC percent does nothing to help these people,” reads one comment. “Let the physicians decide what percentage is best!” reads another. Others have argued that putting a limit on THC could bolster the cannabis black market in Oklahoma.

But as Tulsa World reports, some of the support for THC limits comes from the medical industry in Oklahoma itself.

Both the St. John Health System and Hillcrest HealthCare System sent letters to the state’s Health Department arguing for a 12% THC limit on cannabis products. “Medical marijuana products should NOT have more than a 12 percent THC level,” reads the letters from the two hospitals in Oklahoma, which are identical. “We support the OSDH drafted rules at the 12 percent THC level.”

While these letters do not explain why a 12% THC limit is necessary for medical cannabis products, they go on to say that “Regulations should only allow products that provide predictable dosing to prevent poisonings, impaired driving, and drug dependency.”

Some studies show that high-potency cannabis can pose risks to consumers. One 2015 study found that high-potency cannabis use is associated with more severe cannabis dependency issues. Another 2016 study found that high-potency cannabis use was associated with a disruption of certain brain functions.

But many believe that cannabis as a form of treatment is diverse and should be considered on a case-by-case basis.

As one doctor tells Tulsa World, medical cannabis products in his home state of Washington often exceed 70 percent THC contents. Some popular medical cannabis products, like Rick Simpson Oil, a cannabis oil that thousands of cancer patients use as an alternative treatment, reportedly contain up to 90 percent THC.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
Well, thank the Lord and pass the butter beans. Nice to know that there are still some politicians in this country who recognize and respect their higher authority...the expressed will of the people.

'Will of the voters' on medical marijuana at forefront as legislative 'working group' announced to implement SQ788
Lawmakers say health panel’s rules defy voters

Oklahoma House and Senate leadership signaled their dissatisfaction with the State Board of Health’s new medical marijuana rules Thursday by announcing the creation of a “working group” to come up with a way to implement State Question 788 in a “manner that conforms to the will of the voters.”

Meanwhile, the House Democratic Caucus advocated for a special legislative session, citing its belief that it would be “an act of complicity” on the part of the Legislature to let the emergency rules stand as-is.

Oklahoma House Speaker Charles McCall and Senate President Pro Tempore-designate Greg Treat issued a joint statement Thursday afternoon announcing the creation of a bipartisan group of legislators to “determine a path forward for implementation” of the state question.

“The Oklahoma Senate will not undo the will of voters, who spoke loudly by passing State Question 788,” said Treat, R-Edmond. “While the Health Department and its commissioner did yeoman’s work in drafting emergency rules, the Board of Health’s adoption of last-minute amendments without public comments has undermined the public’s confidence in the system.”

The State Board of Health on Tuesday, in a 5-4 vote, made a last-minute amendment to more than 70 pages of emergency draft rules that bans the sale of smokable medical marijuana products. In an 8-1 vote, the board also opted to require a pharmacist to be on-site to dispense prescriptions to licensed patients or caregivers.

Both amendments drew outrage from cannabis industry advocates and stakeholders who called the decisions, made without public comment during the board meeting, a violation of the spirit of SQ 788. Gov. Mary Fallin, who had 45 days to decide whether to approve the emergency rules, signed off on them Wednesday afternoon, meaning they will be in effect when SQ 788 becomes law on July 26.

From there, the Legislature can act to disapprove them when it next meets. The rules can be superseded by permanent regulations and will expire in mid-2019, according to the state’s Administrative Procedures Act.

As of Jan. 14, 2019, the Board of Health will become an advisory rather than rule-making body, with its rule-making powers transferring to the Health Commissioner, according to HB 3036, which Fallin signed into law in May.

New Health Solutions Oklahoma political director Jed Green, whose group represents some members of the medical cannabis industry, called Thursday’s announcement “encouraging” and said he was glad to see the Legislature recognize there has been “an abject failure of leadership” by the executive branch.

“You have a board of health that, by a 5-4 vote, overrode even their own legal counsel,” Green told the Tulsa World in a phone interview. Health Department General Counsel Julie Ezell had warned the board that the amendments it ultimately passed could lead to legal action based on the public’s interpretation of the text of SQ 788.

“Given what the board just did, they need to be in an advisory capacity only,” Green said. “The fact of the matter is that given the blatant disregard (for the public) and the illegality of what’s been going on, there’s going to be a lawsuit. Where that’s going to come from, though, I’m not sure.”

McCall and Treat did not signal whether there would be a special legislative session on the matter, but the House Democratic Caucus, in its own release, called on Fallin to convene one or, if she still refuses, for legislators to use the two-thirds provision in the state constitution to bring themselves back to the Capitol.


Fallin has said she believes it is “not realistic” to have a full regulatory structure completed during a special session. NHSO has repeatedly urged Fallin to order a special session and did so again on Thursday.

“We support the idea of a bipartisan working group only if a date for a special session is chosen. Otherwise, we feel that the working group would be nothing more than a political stunt to ease the justified outrage of Oklahoma voters,” Minority Leader Steve Kouplen, D-Beggs, said. Kouplen said the majority of the House Democratic Caucus supported SQ 788, but even those who did not are frustrated at the board of health’s actions.

“All members of the House Democratic Caucus feel that allowing the Oklahoma Department of Health rules to stand would be an act of complicity by this body to undermine the will of the people, and we feel that is unacceptable,” he said.

McCall and Treat said they will announce members of the working group early next week.

“This group will begin evaluating the Department of Health’s recently adopted and approved rules and meeting with the governor’s office, medical marijuana industry representatives, Health Department officials, health care providers and other stakeholders to determine the best approach forward,” McCall said.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
OK folks, sue them early and often. Sue the pants off of these anti-democratic, self-entitled, bureaucrats. Shove their rules right up their alimentary canal :BangHead::smackdown::cursing::torching:



Lawsuits filed in Oklahoma target strict new medical cannabis rules


Two pro-cannabis group filed lawsuits in Oklahoma accusing regulators of improperly imposing rules aimed at curbing the growth of the state’s new medical marijuana industry.

The lawsuits challenge the State Board of Health’s 5-4 decision this week to adopt emergency rules that, among other things, ban the sale of smokable cannabis.

The regulations – which were approved by Republican Gov. Mary Fallin – also require MMJ dispensaries to employ a pharmacist and impose a THC cap on concentrates and mature plants.


Marijuana Business Daily had projected that Oklahoma’s MMJ industry could reach $100 million-$150 million annually within several years of its launch. But a smokable marijuana sales ban would significantly reduce those numbers.
The lawsuits were filed by a group in Cleveland County and by Green the Vote, which is collecting signatures to put the legalization of adult-use marijuana on the November ballot.

In addiiton, Oklahomans for Health, which put forth the MMJ initiative approved by voters on June 26, said earlier this week that it was considering filing a legal challenge to the state’s emergency rules.

Green the Vote’s lawsuit, according to The Oklahoman, claims that the state Board of Health violated government transparency laws by secretly discussing last-minute changes to the MMJ emergency rules.

Interim Commissioner of Health Tom Bates said his office anticipated legal challenges and was prepared to defend the emergency regulations.

Michael McNutt, the governor’s communications director, declined to comment Friday, except to say that Fallin and her staff would review the lawsuits.
 
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Baron23

Well-Known Member
And now, local Republican Party groups have answered the call for support. Daren Ward, the chairman of the Oklahoma County Republican Party, called for swift action from the courts.

“We ask that they move as quickly as possible to resolve this matter. Our country is a constitutional republic, and state government, under the United States Constitution and its amendments, is supposed to respect the voice of the people and due process,” Ward said. “Last week’s actions by the OSBH are truly repugnant. Not only did they show no regard for the will of the people, but that they are truly part of the governmental swamp that seeks to legislate outside the republican form of government.”

David McLain, the Tulsa County Republican Party chairman, said the board and Gov. Mary Fallin, who approved the amended regulations, have usurped the rights of voters.

“The ‘we know better attitude’ expressed by the OSBH and the shocking approval by our current governor shows contempt for the liberties and the rights we express at the ballot box as citizens,” said McLain. “I call on all Republicans to contact your legislators, from either party and ask for a quick resolution to this desecration of the citizens’ voice.”

Wow, who knew that OK was the center for democratic orthodoxy! But I absolutely applaud these sentiments with all of my heart. It has always seemed to me that in many cases the undermining of democratic process by elected and non-elected officials on MJ initiatives is really the much bigger and much more important issue to our country that the MJ initiative itself. Yes, I'm activated in support of MJ legalization but I also consider protection of our democratic processes and rights to be of much greater importance...to be of critical importance really.

So, looking at the above, it would appear that the OK Governor and Board of Health have NO allies in their attempt to reverse the expressed will of the electorate. I rather hope some heads roll at the Board of Health and that the Governor has to find other employment come next election.

OK folks...great news...you actually have politicians who embrace fundamental American values and ideals on democracy. A rarity, its seems, these days.


Oklahoma republicans join fight against medical marijuana restrictions

Republicans aren’t happy with Oklahoma’s medical marijuana restrictions.

Republican Party groups in Oklahoma have joined the fight against restrictions added by regulators to the state’s new medical marijuana program. On June 26, voters passed State Question 788 (SQ 788) by a margin of 57-43 percent. The measure legalizes the medicinal use of cannabis in the state and creates a regulated supply chain to provide medicine to patients.

But then last week, the Oklahoma State Board of Health (OSBH) slapped controversial restrictions on proposed rules to govern the program. One bans the sale of smokable forms of marijuana in dispensaries, while another requires that cannabis providers have a licensed pharmacist on site.

The Fight Begins
Almost immediately, activists and some individual lawmakers vowed to fight the board’s restrictions. So far, at least two lawsuits have been filed to challenge the rules in court.

“We will absolutely throw the book at them with class-action lawsuits on behalf of patients. We won’t be railroaded,” said Chip Paul of the advocacy group Oklahomans for Health.

“We simply want our state question implemented and properly regulated,” he added.

A press release from Oklahomans for Health called on legislators to join the fight to “reinstate the will of the people and do whatever is needed to oust the bureaucratic authoritarians within the Oklahoma State Board of Health.”

And now, local Republican Party groups have answered the call for support. Daren Ward, the chairman of the Oklahoma County Republican Party, called for swift action from the courts.

“We ask that they move as quickly as possible to resolve this matter. Our country is a constitutional republic, and state government, under the United States Constitution and its amendments, is supposed to respect the voice of the people and due process,” Ward said. “Last week’s actions by the OSBH are truly repugnant. Not only did they show no regard for the will of the people, but that they are truly part of the governmental swamp that seeks to legislate outside the republican form of government.”

David McLain, the Tulsa County Republican Party chairman, said the board and Gov. Mary Fallin, who approved the amended regulations, have usurped the rights of voters.

“The ‘we know better attitude’ expressed by the OSBH and the shocking approval by our current governor shows contempt for the liberties and the rights we express at the ballot box as citizens,” said McLain. “I call on all Republicans to contact your legislators, from either party and ask for a quick resolution to this desecration of the citizens’ voice.”

Lawmaker Vows to Restore the Will of Voters
Sen. Greg Treat, the Senate majority floor leader, said that lawmakers will come together to protect the initiative.

“The Oklahoma Senate will not undo the will of voters, who spoke loudly by passing State Question 788,” said Treat. “While the Health Department and its commissioner did yeoman’s work in drafting emergency rules, the Board of Health’s adoption of last-minute amendments without public comments has undermined the public’s confidence in the system. Lawmakers have the ability to amend this law as we move forward to address any issues which may arise.”
 
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Baron23

Well-Known Member
"The review will be thoughtful, thorough and transparent."
As opposed to the knee jerk stupidity, developed in closed meetings of an autocratic bureaucracy, that the Board of Healthy is trying to drive down the throats of the electorate? Hmmmm?

Oklahoma Attorney General to give advice to health department regarding medical marijuana challenge


OKLAHOMA CITY – The battle over medical marijuana is heating up after a controversial decision by the Oklahoma State Board of Health.

On Tuesday, the Board of Health approved emergency rules on medical marijuana, with two specific exceptions.

Under the new emergency rules, smokable forms of medical marijuana would be banned from being sold in dispensaries. According to Interim Health Commissioner Tom Bates, licensed medical marijuana users would still be allowed to use it if it was grown themselves.

“To allow smokable forms would be a step back as protectors of public health in Oklahoma and certainly reasonable people can differ on that,” Commissioner Bates said.

Immediately after the rules were announced, medical marijuana advocates called for a change.

"[The voters] knew what they were voting for. No disrespect to anybody that claims they didn't, but that's not the case. You do not outweigh the will of the people," said Chance Gilbert, with the Oklahoma Cannabis Trade Association. "The rule of law in our nation is democracy. And the democracy is not being upheld right now."

Late last week, two lawsuits were filed against the Oklahoma State Department of Health due to the rules.

On Monday, Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter said that his office will review the legal challenges to the agency's rules on State Question 788.

The announcement comes after Oklahoma Department of Health Interim Commission Tom Bates asked for the attorney general's office to review the case.

"We will expedite this request in order to give clarity to the Department of health on how to address this legal challenge," Hunter said. "The review will be thoughtful, thorough and transparent. We will publicly release the findings and recommendations provided to Mr. Bates when completed, hopefully by the end of the week."
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
hahaha....those idiots in the board of health and the puerile OK governor actually managed to activate their own electorate for legalization by their high handed moves in MMJ program. I hope they get the heiney spanking they deserve.

People cite rules for SQ 788 as reason for signing recreational marijuana petitions

OKLAHOMA CITY —

It's hard to miss the flag in northwest Oklahoma City where the group Green the Vote is gathering signatures from registered voters.

The group's goal is to get recreational marijuana on the November ballot. On Sunday, the group announced that it's collected more than 104,000 signatures; it needs almost 124,000 signatures to get State Question 797 on the ballot.

Related Content
The group's efforts continued Monday, with several people at the intersection of Northwest Expressway and North Meridian Avenue signing the petitions to get State Questions 796 and 797 on the ballot.

Some people said they signed the new petitions because of the rules Health Department officials passed for State Question 788, which legalized medical marijuana in the Sooner State. Like the current effort, State Question 788 got onto a ballot because its petition received enough signatures.

One of those people is Billie Jackson, who originally didn't support recreational marijuana but said she signed State Question 797 because her granddaughter suffers from epileptic seizures. Jackson said she feels the Board of Health went too far changing the medical marijuana rules.

"It scares me. So what else is there to do? Vote it in 100 percent," Jackson said.

Green the Vote officials said they feel voters are coming out and signing their petitions as a direct response to the Health Department's actions last week. The rules that officials passed and Gov. Mary Fallin signed include a ban on sales of smokable medical marijuana at dispensaries and requiring a pharmacist to be at dispensaries.

"I would drop off a petition and leave and go to another store and they would say, 'Joh, come up and get me more petitions.' I had to leave three and four at the stores because I just couldn't keep up," said John Frasure, with Green the Vote.

The group has until Aug. 8 to get the required votes for the State Questions 796 and 797 to be on the November ballot.
 

Baron23

Well-Known Member
Its a thing of beauty. Glad there are some in government who still have dose of conviction in their ethics.

Lawyer quits after Oklahoma medical board vote on pot rules

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The top lawyer at the Oklahoma State Department of Health has quit her job, days after the agency’s board ignored her advice on rules for medical marijuana.

Health department officials confirmed Tuesday that Julie Ezell resigned as general counsel on Friday, effective immediately. The agency declined additional comment.

In a brief email to the agency’s interim commissioner, Ezell wrote: “I am so sorry.”

Ezell cautioned the board last week against banning sales of smokable marijuana and requiring a pharmacist in every dispensary. She said those last-minute changes were beyond the board’s legal authority and would likely invite legal challenges, but the board voted to make the changes anyway,

Medical marijuana advocates then filed two separate lawsuits.

Ezell had helped write medical marijuana rules. Oklahoma voters approved medicinal cannabis in June.


Whoops, I perhaps attributed virtue where none could actually be found....wow, read this. Apparently this lawyer is insane and the history of the OK Board of Health is one of incompentence and venality. Wow...just wow.


Oklahoma medical board lawyer charged with making threats

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — The top lawyer at the Oklahoma State Department of Health already at the center of a controversy over new marijuana rules was charged Tuesday for allegedly sending threatening emails to herself.

The agency’s former general counsel, 37-year-old Julia Ezell of Edmond, was charged Tuesday in Oklahoma County with two felonies and one misdemeanor for allegedly sending the threats and then lying to investigators about it.

A forensic examination of Ezell’s mobile phone revealed she sent several menacing emails to her own government email address and then reported them to authorities, Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation Special Agent Nicholas Rizzi wrote in an affidavit.

In one of the emails from “MaryJame@protonmail.com,” Ezell’s home address and vehicle description was included. The first reported email, sent on July 8, was titled “marijuana laws” and accused the government of taking away people’s rights and warned her: “We will watch you.” Ezell reported the emails to the Health Department’s own investigator, who forwarded them to state investigators.

During an interview with Rizzi at OSBI headquarters on Friday, Ezell confessed to creating the email account and sending the messages to herself, according to the affidavit.

Ezell resigned her position as the agency’s general counsel on Friday, writing in a brief email to Interim Commissioner of Health Tom Bates: “I am so sorry.”

A telephone message left Tuesday at a number listed for Ezell was not immediately returned.

Her attorney, Ed Blau, said in a statement that Ezell has been a “loyal and dedicated public servant” her entire career as an attorney.

“These charges do not reflect who she is as a person, nor do they reflect the type of advocate she has been for the people of the state of Oklahoma,” Blau said. “These allegations will be answered, and additional relevant information will be provided by us at the appropriate time.”

Ezell was charged with felonious use of a computer, falsely reporting a crime and preparing false evidence. Oklahoma County District Attorney David Prater declined to discuss the charges further.

If convicted of all counts, Ezell could face a sentence of up to seven years in prison.

Ezell helped draft emergency rules on medical marijuana approved by the agency’s board last week . The nine-member board ignored Ezell’s recommendations and approved two last-minute changes to the rules that would prohibit the sale of smokable marijuana and require a pharmacist at every dispensary. She had cautioned the board that those changes were beyond the board’s legal authority, but the board voted to approve them anyway. The rule changes infuriated medical marijuana supporters and led to two lawsuits against the board.

Nearly 57 percent of Oklahoma voters approved medical marijuana on June 26 after proponents worked for years to get the issue on the ballot.

Ezell was hired by the agency in November by then-Interim Commissioner Preston Doerflinger after it had been rocked with allegations of financial mismanagement that led to layoffs and the resignations of some of its top officials.

Doerflinger resigned a few months later following accusations of domestic violence. A later audit revealed the agency’s financial operations were so badly bungled that nearly 200 employees lost their jobs unnecessarily.
 
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