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Advocacy groups give five top reasons for voting for or against medical marijuana

FILE - In this Sept. 15, 2015, file photo, lead grower Dave Wilson cares for marijuana plants at the Ataraxia medical marijuana cultivation center in Albion, Ill. Oklahoma voters will decide whether to legalize medical marijuana on June 26. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File)
FILE - In this Sept. 15, 2015, file photo, lead grower Dave Wilson cares for marijuana plants at the Ataraxia medical marijuana cultivation center in Albion, Ill. Oklahoma voters will decide whether to legalize medical marijuana on June 26. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman, File)

The pro-medical marijuana group Oklahomans for Health lists these as its top five reasons that Oklahoma voters should support State Question 788 on June 26:

1. Medical marijuana is a valuable medicine that is able to treat myriad conditions with a high level of safety due to its actions on the endocannabinoid system.

2. Oklahoma has a chance to "do this right" by regulating around a physician opinion rather than a list of medical conditions. This places marijuana in the same regulatory and oversight system as prescription drugs are now. Regulating around medical conditions does not and leads to very little physician accountability.

3. SQ 788 sets a business climate that is favorable to Oklahoma and allows an ability for almost any Oklahoman to pursue medical marijuana as a business opportunity.

4. Under SQ 788, we give medical patients the right to grow their own medicine.

5. SQ 788 will need further regulations, so if something is not working, there will be opportunities to change things. Colorado's original medical program was a five-page law. That has now expanded to thousands of pages of regulations. We fully expect the same thing to happen with SQ 788.

The anti-State Question 788 organization "SQ 788 is NOT Medical" lists the following five reasons for voting against the medical marijuana proposal:

1. This is a vote on SQ 788, NOT Medical Marijuana — an unworkable framework that tasks an overburdened, investigation ridden and chronically mismanaged Department of Health to engage in a huge undertaking in just 60 days to essentially implement a “California Style” process in Oklahoma.

2. SQ 788, as written, provides no way to stop someone from lighting-up in a hotel room, at Chesapeake arena or at a McDonald's next to your family. It treats marijuana like medicine and protects its usage.

3. SQ 788 appears to create a special class of employee and would likely eliminate the ability of an Oklahoma company to have a drug-free workplace. It should be up to the employer's discretion to fire someone if they are high and unable to do their job, not let unelected government bureaucrats decide the hiring and firing for small businesses.

4. There are no medical conditions required in order to get a license. Able to articulate a medical need is enough for any 18 year-old or older Oklahoman to get a license for two years and could open the door to violent offenders and gang members getting licenses.

5. SQ 788 is NOT Medical Marijuana and allows a person to carry more than 80 joints and will essentially keep law enforcement from being able to charge anyone with “intent to distribute” marijuana. As is the case in Colorado, and what is starting to be uncovered in California, the legalization of recreational marijuana will lead to an increase in hard drugs being brought in by cartels and gangs such as MS-13.

Randy Ellis

For the past 30 years, staff writer Randy Ellis has exposed public corruption and government mismanagement in news articles. Ellis has investigated problems in Oklahoma's higher education institutions and wrote stories that ultimately led to two... Read more ›

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