To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Wednesday, April 24, 2024


New Poll: Sooners Embrace Medical Marijuana



RichardFricker-2The state executive director of NORML, Norma Sapp, has released a survey conducted by Sooner Poll showing 71.2% of those interviewed endorse the decriminalization of medical marijuana.

According to the Sooner Poll numbers, 63.7% of those interviewed favor treatment over incarceration for marijuana related crimes and 57.1% favor Oklahoma joining the other 15 states that have decriminalized marijuana to below a felony crime.

The poll was conducted between Aug. 28-Sept. 9. Sooner Poll only interviewed registered voters. The margin of error is +/- 4.9%.

Even with the margin of error it is clear those favoring relaxation of the state’s marijuana laws cut across political, economic, educational, and religious lines.

In the Oklahoma City and Tulsa metropolitan areas, support for medical marijuana was a solid 75%-plus. The treatment option surpassed the judicial solution by 70.1% in Tulsa and 65% in Oklahoma City.

Tulsa respondents support decriminalization by 67.3%, Oklahoma City respondents by 62.8%.

According to Sooner Poll, support for decriminalization was almost evenly split at 47%. Support for treatment as opposed to a judicial action followed the metro area with 59% of respondent support.

Outside the metro areas, support for medical marijuana – while not as strong as OKC and Tulsa – was a solid 66.4%.

State Sen. Constance Johnson, D-OKC, who has introduced a medical marijuana measure at every session but has yet to receive a hearing, told The Observer, “I like the results. This is very telling. It confirms what we’re being told across the state.”

Sen. Johnson’s latest request for an interim study was only recently turned down by the chairman of the Public Safety Committee, Sen. Don Barrington. Citing the study Johnson noted, “The results make you wonder who are these elected officials afraid of.”

NORML Director Sapp said she commissioned the study in hopes it would support Johnson’s efforts with Barrington. But Barrington had already denied Johnson’s request by the time the poll results were available.

Sapp said, “I do hope that the polling results will help legislators feel more comfortable supporting marijuana reform. I always encourage people to contact the legislators. I think a state wide lobby day will be called when the need comes.”

Although encouraged by the results, Johnson cited opposition to marijuana reform from lobbyists from private prisons, pharmaceutical corporations and some law enforcement agencies, saying, “I think they’ve blown a lot of smoke up someone’s butt.”

Interviewers asked: Twenty states now have laws allowing seriously ill patients to possess marijuana for medical purposes with a physician’s recommendation. Do you support or oppose Oklahoma joining these other 20 states?

Strongly support 47.4%

Somewhat support 23.8%

Neutral 2.7%

Somewhat oppose 7.8%

Strongly oppose 18.3%

The supporting responses crossed party lines with 68% of the Republicans, 74.6% of Democrats and 68.2% of independents being interviewed supporting medical marijuana.

Interview subjects were also asked: Fifteen states in America have decriminalized the possession of up to one ounce of marijuana for adult possession, meaning they would receive a fine rather than be criminally prosecuted and face possible incarceration.

1. Strongly support 34.5%

2. Somewhat support 22.6%

3. Neutral 4.1%

4. Somewhat oppose 8.4%

5. Strongly oppose 30.3%

Again, party lines appeared to make only a marginal difference. Support for decriminalization came from 53.1% of Republicans interviewed, 60.3% of Democrats and 64.5% of independents.

When asked about treating marijuana as a public health issue 63.7% favor treatment over a criminal justice solution. Favoring treatment:

Republicans 61.8%

Democrats 65.2%

Independents 66.7%

When asked who should decide marijuana policy, the state or federal government, proponents of state regulation registered 81.6%.

In an e-mail reply to questions, Sapp said, “Oklahoma isn’t nearly as RED as we all thought.”

Sapp refers to the state’s criminalization of marijuana as “a 76-year-long war against the people.”

“I doubt,” she wrote, “I will ever have the kind of money it takes to put it to a vote of the people. But if it were to be addressed there? I think lawmakers would be COMPLETELY SURPRISED at the amount of support once people were in the privacy of a voting booth.”

Richard L. Fricker lives in Tulsa, OK and is a regular contributor to The Oklahoma Observer. His latest book, The Last Day of the War, is available at or at



  1. I am sure even more Oklahomans will be in support as the true medical benefits become more known. People are using cannabis oil to cure terminal cancer in 60-90 days. All living things have an endocannabinoid system. Endocannabnoids homeostatically regulate all body systems; cardiovascular, digestive, endocrine, excretory, immune, nervous, musculo-skeletal, reproductive. This is the reason cannabis will cure or give remission to pretty much any and all disease. THC will kill cancer cells and not harm healthy cells. March 2013 the US awarded a patent to GW pharma for phytocannabinoids in the treatment and prevention of all forms of human cancer, US patent # 20130059018. A decade ago the US govt was awarded patent # 663507 for Cannabinoids as Antioxidants and Neuroprotectants. Just 2 year ago OK legislators voted with HB 1798 to make hash/cannabis oil a crime with life in prision for a first offense. This is the same oil people are using to cure cancer in 90 days. I am an Oklahoma patient with an auto immune disease who will be in remission once I am allowed medical cannabis. Thanks so much for supporting the patients Senator Constance Johnson!!!

  2. I have used cannabis to treat my PTSD for 13 years now. I have always been careful to not drive with it and only partake in the privacy of my home. Yesterday the police kicked down my door in full swat regalia guns drawn based on a tip that I was a drug dealer. Of course they found no evidence of this since I am not a drug dealer and only had about a gram or two in my house for my own use. I was issued a ticket and they left but now I have to pay to fix my door plus what the ticket and lawyer will cost me and if I get caught with cannabis in the next 10 years it’s a felony with a mandatory sentence of two years minimum…This is the country I fought for? That my brothers gave their lives for?

  3. I have Graves, Diabetes II, back mid and lower fused with hardware, Fibromyalgia combination with Sjogrens Syndrome. I am a LPN 20 plus years hold a BA degree in Psychology, graduate student A student. It is time that I have the use of medical marijuana for my chronic pain. Narcotics make me sick in many ways why should I be denied treatment that has been proven to work? Narcotics are addictive, dangerous, kill people, and yet I am allowed to use them. As an adult I have the right to choose my treatment. As part Native American it is my right to use what the Great Spirit put on this earth for us to use for medicinal purposes.

    It is way past time to legalize it.

    Alaina Davis

  4. I thought that legal use of marijuana would be legalized within 20 years and that was back in 1973 and am glad to see the state open their eyes. I hope this applies to the Veterans hospital as well as they will not allow pain meds if you test positive for marijuana when you only used them to alleviate the pain to begin with.

  5. I see how marijuana could help people, and relieve some of their chronic pain symptoms, and nausea. I have an Aunt whom is ill, and does not have an appetite. Marijuana would increase her appetite, and allow her to gain weight. She doesn’t want to smoke, or eat the plant. If marijuana would help then I would be all for marijuana.
    If marijuana is legalized then marijuana would be taxed the same as tobacco. We would need specific growers, harvesters, and distributors. Pharmaceutical companies would need a specific license to distribute this.
    I don’t think marijuana should be legalized just for anyone to get their hands on, but marijuana is just like any other drug, marijuana could be habit forming, and people could become dependent on this.
    If marijuana is legalized then maybe our prisons, or county jails wouldn’t be so overcrowded, and we could use the tax money from marijuana to help fund things our cities or schools would need.

  6. I think that the legalization of marijuana would put an ease to many peoples problems. Some people blow smoking marijuana out of the waters. The worst thing that these potheads do is eat everything in sight. They don’t go and wreak the car like alcohol and doing drugs that make you go crazy and kill people. I am for legalizing marijuana.

  7. I believe having marijuana legalized could be a good thing. Not as many people would go to jail over a possession charge for marijuana. Crime would go down because there would be less drug deals gone wrong. The unemployment rate would drop due to the fact there would need to be people to grow, transport, and distribute the marijuana. The marijuana would be taxed and that money could help the schools provide a better education. All around I don’t see a problem with legalizing marijuana and Oklahoma should look into being the next state to legalize it.

  8. Marijuana helped me better than any drugs that the doctors gave me and no side effects! The only reason i don’t do it now is cause of legal and jail time!Marijuana has helped me for 15 years plus and no sideeffects!I wish i could stop my meds that the doctors gave me and just smoke a small amount and be good for hours!!All my meds mess with me mentally and physicaly,were marijuana does not mess with me at all!!Major Depression,extreme anxiety,schizoeffected and i could function before the meds the doc gave!Marijuana made it to where i could hide it until now cause of legally binding laws!Marijuana is the best meds for me!!!!

  9. One of the cartel’s main source of money, so if it was legalized that would take alot of crime out of Oklahoma. Think about it the cartel comes from Mexico and comes straight through Texas to Oklahoma. Where they sell weed and other drugs, and guns. On top of lowering crime rate, the prisons will not be so crowded with non- violent offenders. Teenagers can be helped by the benefits of marijuana with out side affects, unlike the drugs doctors give us. Besides eventually people will become immune to these drugs in later generations. I am a supporter of medical & recreational use.

  10. It is simply against my rights to not allow me the proper medications for my illnesses and chronic severe pain from 6 bad discs in my back and neck,sciatica in both hips and legs,nerve damage in back,legs and left ulna nerve, severe carpel tunnel in both hands and wrists w/severe right shoulder pain,osteoarthritis, severe anxiety, severe depression, severe muscle spasms,high blood pressure and also against my native american rights and my right as a human being whom God has given the gift of a plant that he says will heal,feed,provide shelter for and other great uses that will not harm me or others. Judgement from anyone who opposes is not recognized by me as a person who has the right to tell any other individual what they can or cannot do when they have never had the experience from trying it.I could probably stop taking 8 of 10 medications I am prescribed by using what the Lord made, not man, that which is called Marijuana. These are real medical miracles happening through Gods will!!!

  11. This is typical of the Governors office. She does not care about the well being of the citizens. What happened to America being a free country? To have a sentence of life in prison associated with marijuana is past stupid. Alcohol is a violent drug that is responsible for crime across America everyday, yet it is legal and our leaders are doing nothing to change that. Why are decisions for us being made by people that have their own well being in mind and could care less about the tax payers. There are too many stories about how marijuana has helped people with medical problems. I guess our leaders would rather see us suffer in pain!!!
    Get a hold of your congressman and senator and let them know we are tired of the decisions coming from this Governors office. Show us America is the free country our fore fathers envisioned.

  12. I call absolute BS on this poll. I’ve lived in Oklahoma for many years (along with other several states that do support medical marijuana) and I can tell you, hands down, that Oklahoma will be the last place to decriminalize, legalize, or support medical marijuana in the country. I don’t know which research methods were used or if they just surveyed the same people over and over again, but this study is grossly inaccurate in terms of how every Oklahoman I’ve met says they do not want marijuana (“devil weed”) corrupting their state. Even if this research was accurate, which I don’t believe it is, people in Oklahoma might say they want a medical marijuana program, but I seriously doubt anyone there actually goes out and votes for it.

Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton
Arnold Hamilton became editor of The Observer in September 2006. Previously, he served nearly two decades as the Dallas Morning News’ Oklahoma Bureau chief. He also covered government and politics for the San Jose Mercury News, the Dallas Times Herald, the Tulsa Tribune and the Oklahoma Journal.
Mark Krawczyk
Mark Krawczyk
March 9, 2023
Exceptional reporting about goings on in my home state as well as informative opinion pieces that makes people think about issues of the day...........get a SUBSCRIPTION FOLKS!!!!!!!
Brette Pruitt
Brette Pruitt
September 5, 2022
The Observer carries on the "give 'em hell" tradition of its founder, the late Frosty Troy. I read it from cover to cover. A progressive wouldn't be able to live in a red state without it.