Two weeks ago, Oklahoma voters legalized medical marijuana. Fifty-six percent of voters said yes to State Question 788, legalizing cannabis for medical use without any restrictions based on qualifying conditions.
Oklahoma’s unique iteration of medical marijuana legislation gives control of medical cannabis use entirely to physicians and patients.
But the opposition is already working to establish tighter controls and restrictions on Oklahoma’s medical marijuana program, starting with a proposed ban on smokable marijuana.
Medical Professionals Say Ban on Smokable Cannabis Is an “Absolute Demand”
In many ways, the Oklahoma State Medical Association has spearheaded the effort to block approval of SQ 788. A former president of the organization, Dr. Keven Taubman, now chairs the leading opposition group, “SQ 788 Is Not Medical.”
SQ 788 Is Not Medical spent half a million dollars on a media campaign against the measure in the lead up to the vote. They claim the initiative is a recreational legalization measure in disguise.
Now, current president of the Oklahoma State Medical Association Jean Hausheer is calling for a ban on smokable forms of medical cannabis.
Hausheer told the Associated Press that the ban on smokable marijuana is “not an option, but an absolute demand.”
The state’s Medical Association has other demands, as well. The organization wants to require pharmacists to be present at dispensary locations. It also wants to limit the number of dispensary locations.
President of Oklahoma State Medical Association Says Voters Don’t Fully Understand SQ 788
The OSMA issued its three proposals at a press conference on Monday. The presser was held the day before the Oklahoma State Board of Health is scheduled to review the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority’s emergency rules for implementing SQ 788.
At the press conference, speakers representing doctors, pharmacists and hospitals expressed their concerns about SQ 788’s implementation.
According to the AP, Hausheer thinks voters in Oklahoma didn’t fully understand what SQ 788 would entail when they voted to approve it on June 26.
Oklahoma Board of Health Will Review Medical Marijuana Rules Today
The rules review is happening today. And Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin isn’t standing in the way.
Gov. Fallin previously announced that she would hold no special sessions regarding the implementation of SQ 788. In addition to their three demands, the OSMA is asking Gov. Fallin to call a special session.
The Department of Health has 30 days to implement the medical marijuana program. Since voters approved the measure, the agency has been working to draft emergency rules to get the program up and running.
The timing of OSMA’s press conference could influence the Health Department’s review, steering it toward a more restrictive approach. The draft rules have already undergone revision after a period open to public comment.
The full text of the State Medical Association’s proposed medical marijuana rules is available here.