Oklahoma’s medical cannabis program is already under attack despite the fact that Oklahoma voters only approved the medical cannabis initiative weeks ago.
On Tuesday the Oklahoma State Board of Health approved emergency rules for the state’s eventual medical cannabis program.
Among the requirements is a ban on any smokable forms of medical cannabis. Other states have a similar ban in place, which has restricted the growth of those programs.
What is different about Oklahoma though is that it legalized medical cannabis via a citizen initiative.
The initiative was considered to be arguably the most progressive medical cannabis initiative since California passed Proposition 215 in 1996.
But how the law was supposed to look in voters’ minds may be quite different than what law is actually implemented.
Governor Fallin signs the proposed draft emergency regulations
After the passage of Oklahoma SQ 788 (medical cannabis initiative) lawmakers in the state had the opportunity to call a special session to deal with handling the public policy change.
Medical cannabis advocates inside and outside of Oklahoma held their breath to see if lawmakers were going to try to take a quick buzzsaw to the program.
It was announced that there would be no special session, which provided a much-needed sigh of relief.
However, that relief was short-lived when the Oklahoma State Board of Health proposed emergency regulations that included the smoke-less cannabis requirement.
Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin, who expressed anti-cannabis concerns prior to the initiative’s passage, signed off on the emergency rules the next day.
Why do patients need to have smokable forms of cannabis?
Below are some of the reasons why medical cannabis patients need access to raw forms of cannabis:
- Cannabis flower is often cheaper than other forms of cannabis
- It allows patients to infuse their own cannabis creations according to their own needs
- Smoke-less forms of cannabis are harder to get to the market due to processing and added regulations
- Smoke-less forms of cannabis often require expensive consumption equipment
- Smoke-less forms of cannabis often require special handling or storage
A ban on smokable forms of cannabis is going to be pointless because patients will be able to cultivate their own forms of smokable cannabis.
Banning smokable forms of cannabis is by no means going to stop people from smoking medical cannabis in Oklahoma, it just makes life harder for patients and cannabis companies.
A lawsuit is already being planned
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Oklahoma has already stated publicly that it intends to file a lawsuit to block the ban on smokable forms of medical cannabis.
“This arbitrary limit created such a severe restriction on that doctor-patient relationship and went so far outside of the scope of what State Question 788 allowed that I think a challenge became inevitable at that point,” said Ryan Kiesel with the ACLU.
Medical cannabis advocates in Oklahoma are resilient. Oklahoma activists have fought for safe access for a long time and there’s no way they are backing down now.
The patients of Oklahoma deserve to be able to purchase all forms of medical cannabis so that they can find the right form for their needs.
For some patients smoking medical cannabis is the preferred way because it provides quicker relief, among many other reasons.
If you live in Oklahoma contact your lawmakers and demand that they take a stand against the ban!