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Oklahoma Police Patrol For Marijuana-Impaired Drivers During 4/20 ‘Holiday’

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Marijuana is still illegal in our state, but some Oklahomans are expected to take part in the unofficial holiday to celebrate the drug anyway. Marijuana is still illegal in our state, but some Oklahomans are expected to take part in the unofficial holiday to celebrate the drug anyway.
NORMAN, Oklahoma -

Marijuana is still illegal in our state, but some Oklahomans are expected to take part in the unofficial holiday to celebrate the drug anyway. Law enforcement agencies are increasing patrols for “4/20”, and preparing for the possibility of legalization.

The vote to legalize medical marijuana is coming up in June, but police caution against celebrating too soon.

Supporters of State Question 788 used the “4/20” holiday to register citizens to vote at Will Rogers Park. The rally was a smoke-free affair.

Officers are on the lookout for marijuana users, though, in a 42-hour saturation campaign across six states. The Oklahoma Highway Safety Office reports a 12% increase in the risk of fatal crashes after 4:20 p.m. on April 20th, compared to the same time frames on other dates.

Read Also: Multiple Checkpoints Planned Across Oklahoma To Combat Drug-Impaired Driving

Norman police are participating in the patrol, but say they want to raise awareness about the potential effects of any drug, prescription or illegal.

“We know that there’s a lot of influence that happens when officers can have a conversation with people,” said spokesperson Sarah Jensen, “and by getting people out there we know high visibility works.”

They are also trying to identify just how many people use marijuana in the college town, so they can better prepare if citizens vote yes on June 26.

Jensen said, “That’s something that is a big part of this project is so that we can start looking closer at that data.”

The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics is already working with states where the drug is legal, learning what they wish they had known beforehand.

OBN spokesperson Mark Woodward said, “Some of the edibles look just like the candy and other products you might buy at a grocery store. They had little to no warning labels on what the difference was, the THC content levels.”

This knowledge will help the state write regulations in preparation, just in case. Some issues still have not been worked out, however.

“Certainly states are still scrambling to come up with devices that can measure roadside marijuana intake, similar to alcohol,” Woodward said, “but there really aren’t reliable, affordable tests for law enforcement.”

For any local agencies looking for guidance on how to handle legalized marijuana in the future, the Department of Health and Bureau of Narcotics are willing to help.

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