Muskogee city leaders say they are the first city in the state to pass an ordinance that allows people to smoke medical marijuana at cannabis-related events on certain city properties.
City leaders said they are still divided on the new ordinance. One side thinks it will promote growth and tourism, the other sees it as a safety hazard.
"It’s good for the community and that’s what it comes down to," Tara Gilbert said. Gilbert is a mom and longtime medical marijuana user. She said Muskogee's new ordinance is just what the city needs.
"People should do this, because it's good for the community, it's good for the people, and gives people a healthy alternative education. It’s a fresh stimulus to the economy. It’s needed," Gilbert said.
The city voted 5-4 Monday night to pass the new rules. Those rules include the following: Medical Marijuana may only be smoked or vaped on city property as allowed at a “Medical Marijuana Event," 70% percent of those events must be educational about cannabis use, and the events must have 50 people or more in attendance.
The council voted to have these events in four city areas. Honor Heights Park Papilion-Event Lawn, Honor Heights Amphitheater, Hatbox Field, and the Muskogee Civic Center.
City Councilman Derrick Reed says he voted no because he thinks it will not be enforced properly.
"What I voted ‘no’ to is not on city property, not in the parks of our community. Once the event is happening who’s going to go out there and check those cards?" Reed said. "We celebrate the Azalea Festival, the Festival of Lights, and a lot of fun events and children will be out there.”
Reed said there are no cannabis events on the schedule as of now.