Cannabis in Oklahoma

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Cannabis in Oklahoma is now legal for medicinal purposes with a license, and with cited medicinal reasons only. In April, 2015, The Governor signed HB 2154 allowing the Sale of CBD oil with less than .3% THC. Three years later, on June 26, 2018, Oklahoma voters approved State Question 788 legalizing medical marijuana, making it the 30th state to do so. It was approved by popular vote during a primary election in State Question (SQ) 788, not by the usual legislative process. SQ 788 instructed the state to promulgate a regulatory scheme for Marijuana online within 30 days and begin licensing by August 25. 2018. The statewide regulator for marijuana is the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority.

Prohibition[edit]

As part of a larger trend nationwide to restrict cannabis, Oklahoma banned the drug in 1933.[1]

Medical cannabis[edit]

In 2014, Oklahomans for Health circulated a petition to get medical cannabis legalization on the ballot, but failed to gain sufficient signatures. In late 2015, Green the Vote announced that they were beginning a new petition drive to place medical legalization on the 2016 ballot.[2] The initiative gathered the required number of signatures, but backers alleged that Attorney General Scott Pruitt had changed the verbiage of the initiative in a misleading way. After Oklahomans for Health sued over the ballot rewrite, the Oklahoma Supreme Court ordered the original language be restored. As result of the legal dispute, the vote for the initiative was pushed back to 2018.[3][4] Governor Mary Fallin established a ballot date on January 4th 2018, of June 26th, 2018 as a referendum initiative.[5]

CBD clinical trials[edit]

In April 2015, Governor Mary Fallin signed into law a bill which allows clinical trials of CBD oil; Fallin emphasized to the press that she does not condone the full legalization of cannabis.[6]

Prosecution[edit]

Up to 1.5 ounces is punishable by misdemeanor and $400 fine if a medical reason is given as of June 26, 2018. In 1992, a Tulsa man was given a life sentence for felony possession of .16 grams (.0056 ounces) of cannabis.[7]

Oklahoma’s Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs has conducted helicopter patrols to find cannabis grows in 1983.[8] In 1995, a Bureau of Indian Affairs anti-narcotics agent was killed when one of these helicopters crashed after striking power lines.[9]

Legality[edit]

DUI penalties pursuant to H.B. 1441, effective October 1, 2013, a person will be jailed for no less than 10 days or more than 1 year if: A person “has any amount of a Schedule I chemical or controlled substance, as defined in Section 2-204 of Title 63 of the Oklahoma Statutes, or one of its metabolites or analogs in the person’s blood, saliva, urine or any other bodily fluid at the time of a test of such person’s blood, saliva, urine or any other bodily fluid administered within two (2) hours after the arrest of such person.” A second offense will have longer sentencing as well as require an ignition interlock device that can only detect alcohol even if person is not a user of alcohol.[10][11] New penalties for possession or making of hashish, a grinder, or brownies that may include life imprisonment were enacted in 2011 introduced by State Representative Sue Tibbs.[12][13]

SQ 788 established the legality of possession if a person has a medical marijuana license. SQ 788 further liberalized the fines for a non-license holder, reducing the crime of “simple possession” (without intent to distribute) of up to 1 1/2 ounces. This crime for this misdemeanor is a $400 maximum fine. Because the initiative came from the voters with rapid time requirements for implementation, the process of legalizing use has been chaotic. Some state, county and city governments have often resisted and struggled with meeting the intent of SQ 788.

Under SQ 788, an individual who obtains a Medical Marijuana License from the state of Oklahoma may consume marijuana legally and may legally possess up to:

  • 3 ounces of marijuana
  • 6 mature marijuana plants
  • 6 seeding plants
  • 1 ounce of concentrated marijuana
  • 72 ounces of edible marijuana
  • 8 ounces of marijuana in their residence

On August 1, 2018, many of the original rules promulgated by the Oklahoma Board of Health (OBH) were rescinded with the support of Oklahoma State Attorney general Mike Hunter who stated that the OBH rules overreached and did not meet the intent of SQ 788. Oklahoma City adopted the “simple possession” rule in their city code on October 26, 2018 and additionally lowered the maximum fine for possession of marijuana paraphernalia to $50.

Feral hemp research[edit]

In 2018 Hempyre Genetics was hired to research strains of feral cannabis growing at undisclosed locations in Oklahoma, in order to advise legal hemp farmers as to what genetic traits were thriving in the state.[14]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Richard Davenport-Hines (10 November 2003). The Pursuit of Oblivion: A Global History of Narcotics. W.W. Norton. pp. 240–. ISBN 978-0-393-32545-4.
  2. ^ “New medical marijuana petition filed for Oklahoma vote”. Tulsa World.
  3. ^ Bailey, Brianna (March 27, 2017). “Medical marijuana one step closer to Oklahoma ballot”. NewsOK. Retrieved July 19, 2017.
  4. ^ Shepherd, Todd (2017-02-20). “Pruitt confirmation adds another strong anti-marijuana voice to Trump cabinet”. Washington Examiner. Retrieved 2017-03-11.
  5. ^ NewsOn6.com. “Medical Marijuana Vote Set In Oklahoma”.
  6. ^ Philip Ross (30 April 2015). “Marijuana Legalization Oklahoma: Gov. Fallin Signs Bill Allowing Clinical Trials Of Medical Cannabis Derivative”. International Business Times.
  7. ^ “Reefer Madness”. google.com.
  8. ^ “Oklahoma Narcotics Bureau Tackles Marijuana Operations From The Sky”. Fort Smith/Fayetteville News – 5newsonline KFSM 5NEWS.
  9. ^ “Oklahoma Heroes”. google.com.
  10. ^ “HB 1441” (PDF). The State of Oklahoma. 2013.
  11. ^ “Your Oklahoma Pot Rights”.
  12. ^ “Oklahoma life-for-hash bill signed, also includes life-for-brownies or grinders”. NORML Foundation. 2011.
  13. ^ webmaster@oklegislature.gov. “Bill Information”. www.oklegislature.gov. Retrieved 2018-03-25.
  14. ^ https://www.koco.com/article/top-secret-mission-oklahoma-group-researching-state-s-wild-hemp-grows/24561454