Medical Marijuana Day brings legalization fight to Capitol
Lauren Harned, The Oklahoma Daily
Advocates of medical marijuana met with lawmakers Wednesday to discuss medical marijuana, the people it benefits and doctors who agree it has medicinal purposes. This was apart of Medical Marijuana Day at the state Capitol.
Lawmakers were given a copy of the proposed legislation that would set up a task force to study the effects of legalizing marijuana for medical purposes. Senate Bill 732 authored by Sen. Constance Johnson, D-Oklahoma City, would create a commission that would study what diseases and conditions marijuana can be prescribed for, what plant is considered marijuana, how much patients can have and who can diagnose and prescribe marijuana for patients.
The legislation is similar to other medical marijuana legislation passed in California and Colorado, according to the Drug Policy Reform Network of Oklahoma.
Johnson‘s bill states the commission will examine “the feasibility of legalizing Delta-9-Tetra-Hydrocannibinol in the State of Oklahoma.” However, Sen. Clark Jolley, R-Edmond, the chairman of the committee the bill would be introduced to has yet to bring the bill up for debate.
Medical Marijuana Day was organized by the Drug Policy Reform Network of Oklahoma, the political arm of the non-profit organization Drug Policy Forum of Oklahoma, as part of the Oklahoma Compassionate Care Campaign.
But instead of this just being a one day campaign to change the law, the fight to legalize medical marijuana will continue beyond the steps of the state Capitol.
A Medical Marijuana Day Parade is coming up, said Clinton Wiles, secretary of Drug Policy Reform Network of Oklahoma.
Wiles said that the group is trying to bring relief from the “drug war” for those who wish to use marijuana medically and to get people who use marijuana medically “out of the criminal system.”
Wiles said the organization contacted lawmakers to let them know that the event would be taking place and that some were receptive to their cause.
Mary McKnight, an activist for medical marijuana and a sufferer of many ailments treatable by medical marijuana, said that she has used narcotics for her fibromyalgia, two herniated disks in her back, and degenerative disk disease for years.
“At this point, I’m sick of narcotics. I’m ready to try something, anything ... you know?” said McKnight, “And part of the issue with my narcotics is that my doctor, last week, had to increase the milligram of my narcotics to take the edge off the pain so I can get motivated.”
McKnight said she has a permanent disability according to The Social Security Administration. She said she had made arrangements with both of her lawmakers, Sen. Ron Justice, R-Chickasha, and Rep. Phil Richardson, R-Minco, to talk about legalizing marijuana for medical purposes.