Pro-Marijuana Group Proposes Law Ahead Of Legislative Meeting

Tuesday, July 24th 2018, 10:21 am
By: Grant Hermes

In a new proposed law released last week, medical marijuana supporters are hoping to give the legislature a road map for governing the newly legal drug in Oklahoma. 

The proposal, written by New Health Solutions Oklahoma, is 275 pages long and includes regulation from law enforcement to doctors to patients to employers and employees.

The group’s political director and architect of the SQ 788 Yes campaign, Jed Green, said the proposal is the culmination of public, industry and political input. According to Green, the proposal is “true to the spirit” of 788. 

Green also said the laws, whether its NHSO’s proposal or something different, need to be taken up soon to allow medical marijuana to be fully implemented in the state. NHSO has been advocating the governor call a special session to deal with it.

“We have to have a special session to provide the laws to allow the Board of Health and the health department to actually do what they are trying to do,” Green said.

Gov. Mary Fallin has said she will not be calling lawmakers back to work early. She and department heads disagree with NHSO and think the state can create a working system on its own.

But the process so far has been marred in disfunction and scandal. Recently passed controversial rules from the state Board of Health have led to a pair of lawsuits and calls from Fallin and Attorney General Mike Hunter to rescind and revise the rules.

The board passed the rules after being warned by its now former general counsel Julie Ezell they may not hold up to legal scrutiny. 

Ezell is also mired in scandal after she was charged with several felonies for allegedly sending threatening messages to herself, posing as dangerous medical marijuana supporters. Shortly after, text messages between Ezell and the Board of Pharmacy Executive Director Chelsea Church in which Church appears to offer Ezell a job in exchange for Ezell’s pushing to get pharmacists in marijuana dispensaries. 

Church is now being investigated by the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation, and the Board of Pharmacy is holding an emergency meeting to possibly replace her. 

In the meantime, the NHSO proposal will likely be looked at by the newly formed legislative working group for medical marijuana.

The bipartisan, though heavily Republican, group of 13 will meet at 2 p.m. Wednesday at the state Capitol. 

Below is the proposal: