Well, that was fast!
Just a few weeks after SQ 788 passed – and a few more weeks before it’s supposed to become law – the future of medical marijuana in Oklahoma is murkier than three-week old bong water.
Earlier today, the Oklahoma State Board of Health (OSBH) – a collective of holier than thou, authoritarian physicians who are aligned with those who spent nearly $1-million to unsuccessfully defeat SQ 788 at the ballot box – voted to implement emergency draft rules that effectively overrule the will of the people and sabotage SQ 788, turning “the most liberal medical marijuana law in the country” into one of the most restrictive.
Some of the board’s recommendations include arbitrarily limiting the amount of THC in certain products, severely restricting where and when medical dispensaries can operate, requiring a manager on duty who is a licensed health-care professional, and to the joy of drug dealers and cartels everywhere, prohibiting the sale of “smokable marijuana” in dispensaries.
Yeah, that’s right. Under Oklahoma’s new medical marijuana law, you will not be able to buy a joint at a marijuana dispensary. I’m sure that’s what the 507,582 Oklahomans who voted for SQ 788 totally envisioned.
Here’s some more via The Tulsa World:
The Oklahoma State Department of Health has voted on emergency rules for the implementation of a state medical marijuana program that include the removal of smokable marijuana from the approved delivery methods…
The board members acknowledged prior to voting to ban smokables that Oklahomans who approved SQ788 at the polls were voting on a measure they believed would include smokable marijuana.
With home-growing still approved for SQ788 implementation, some patients would be able to legally smoke marijuana products, but the emergency rule approved Tuesday precludes those products from being sold at dispensaries.
Julie Ezell, general counsel for the state health department, informed board members that adding the smokables rule might not be permitted under the state question and could draw a court challenge.
Interim health commissioner Tom Bates said after the vote “I think there was a feeling” that allowing public sale of smokables was contrary to the board’s role regarding public health. He added that he expects “some type of litigation” about the new rules approved Tuesday.
Interim health commissioner Tom Bates was right about on thing, there will be litigation. The ACLU is already getting involved, and I have heard several of the medical marijuana trade groups are doing the same:
In banning all smokeable forms of medical cannabis in Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Health Department just guaranteed litigation. This is completely inconsistent with #SQ788 & a responsible medical cannabis program.
— Ryan Kiesel (@capitolkiesel) July 10, 2018
That’s nice. It’s good to see that our wealthy state that’s flush with cash gets to defend more preventable lawsuits!
In a strange way, I don’t blame doctors and physicians for being square sourpusses when it comes to medicinal marijuana. SQ 788 had many flaws, and the biggest was that it got them involved.
You see, the line between medical and recreational marijuana use is a blurry one. I know lots and lots and lots of respected, functioning people who use marijuana on a daily basis as a casual and therapeutic treatment for a thing called life. For them, weed can make the world a more relaxing, tolerable and better place. Does that constitute medical use? I think so. Should those people have to waste a doctor’s time to get a medical marijuana recommendation? Probably not.
That begs the question – why do the doctors have to be such passive aggressive dicks about SQ 788 and shatter the will of the people like a glass pipe dropped on concrete? That’s the legislature’s job! Or at least at should be.
Instead of taking the authoritarian hardline and changing the meaning of a law, they should have gone the opposite route and made it less restrictive. Hell, just take doctors formally out of the medical marijuana equation. Do they really need to be involved? Outside of an authoritarian asshat, who would complain?
Patrick has to pick up a baby at daycare at 3:00pm each day. He’ll be back with more about SQ 788 and the coordinated effort to destroy it later this week.