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And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Monday, October 18, 2021

Observercast

OKC Petition Aims At Pot Penalties

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BY RICHARD L. FRICKER

RichardFricker-2A group calling itself Reform OKC announced Monday the launch of a petition drive to lower the municipal criminal penalties for possession of marijuana within Oklahoma City.

The drive, while not legalizing possession, would lower punishment from a maximum of a year incarceration and $1,200 fine to not more than a $500 fine.

By lowering the punishment, possession becomes tantamount to a speeding ticket. The reclassification would also remove onsite arrest from the equation, but only for “possession” of marijuana.

Depending on how much traction this and other planned petitions gain, these efforts could well prove to be wedge issues in several upcoming elections.

Reform OKC has 90 days to gather the 6,200 signatures required to place the penalty reduction question on the ballot. If the drive is successful, voters may decide the reduction question either at a special election or during the June 24 party primary election.

Reform OKC is headed by Brittany Guest and Mark Faulk. Faulk has previously announced his candidacy for House District 88 seat being vacated by Rep. Kay Floyd. Floyd has announced her candidacy for state Senate District 46 seat being vacated by Sen. Al McAffrey, who is seeking the Democratic nomination in central Oklahoma’s 5th Congressional District.

The petition does not address related marijuana issues such as paraphernalia, according to Paul Faulk, attorney for the group and brother of Mark Faulk. Should the issue reach the ballot and pass, Attorney Faulk said, the city would have to rethink those issues and devise municipal codes that would relate to marijuana while not giving a pass to crimes involving hard drugs.

The petition is the latest step in an increasingly active effort to legalize medical and general use marijuana across the state. SB 2016, introduced by Sen. Constance Johnson, D-OKC, would have opened the door to legalize medical marijuana. The bill stalled in the Senate due to strong conservative Republican opposition.

A poll conducted last year by the conservative polling group Sooner Poll showed 72.1% of Oklahomans favored legalizing medical marijuana. The same poll indicated strong support for rolling back penalties for possession and possible legalization of small amounts for personal use.

The Legislature has remained unmoved by these numbers and lobbying efforts to reduce penalties or legalize medical use.

The Oklahoma City effort is not the only petition in the offing. The city of Tulsa may also have a similar petition on its ballot during the 2014 election cycle.

An organizational meeting to draft a similar petition for Tulsa is slated for 2:30 p.m. Saturday, March 8, at the Rudisill Library. According to organizer Frank Grove, the meeting will be to gather citizen input and establish a volunteer base.

According to Norma Sapp, state director of NORML, the longstanding national organization for the legalization of marijuana, groups akin to the Oklahoma City and Tulsa movement have begun forming in 21 counties.

The petition seekers also have the advantage that by restructuring municipal codes the number of signatures required are dictated by local voter turn out which has been very low in recent elections.

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 https://www.createspace.com/3804081 or at www.richardfricker.com.

 

8 COMMENTS

  1. First off, I am not to judge anyone. This is not my place. I am a medical professional and this has me disgusted with the Reform OKC. Marijuana is known as the “gateway drug”. I have seen first hand how marijuana has effects especially from my ex husband. He started out with marijuana and then went into a downward spiral to other drugs. Marijuana also isn’t like how it used to be in the past in the 1960s when my parents were growing up. I remember learning on how it was used to help cancer patients, people in distress like our military, and patients actually needing it for certain medical conditions. There is no fact behind that marijuana actually helped. If we make marijuana legal and let’s say the doctor doesn’t refill it because the patient missed their appointment. What happens if the patient gets it off the streets and it kills them? What if the patient gives it to their friend and or family member gets possession of it? What happens if someone is under of the influence of marijuana and kills themselves or other person involved in the auto accident? Who is the responsibility going to fall on? Marijuana presently has other drugs with chemicals mixed into it with higher levels of THC. I have witnessed in the doctor’s office where it has impaired people’s thinking and or reactions. I even performed drug screens for employers, potential employees, and or employees that have marijuana in their system. They are shocked that I found other drugs and chemicals in them as well. We also have a major problem with over crowding in our jails because of people not paying traffic tickets amongst other things. I feel this will only make matters worse.
    The main concern I have is for children. They are our future. What message are we sending them? Children are already exposed to drugs from seeing first hand their parent or parents doing it, watching television, listening to music, the Internet, and peer pressure. Parents aren’t involved in their child or children’s lives like in the past. Parents are claiming they are working more hours to pay bills, scared to be nosy, don’t care about their children, and being selfish. How is that fair to everyone involved? I used to be a single parent, but I made a point to be there as much as I could for my children. My children knew I loved them and I made a point to talk to them on the telephone or in person. Even though I tried to keep their father’s drug abuse secret, sadly they already knew. I didn’t dare lie to them about it. That’s the worse thing any parent can do. Lastly, don’t judge, criticize, and assume that your child is going to do what they want to do whether you like it or not. Lay down rules and guidelines. Have understanding because after all we were children as well. Educate yourself and your children. In conclusion, our society needs to think with every action there are repercussions whether positive or negative.

  2. Cheryl, are you implying there is “dangerous” marijuana?

    IT’S A PLANT.

    I would rather have a doctor prescribe me weed for insomnia and muscle/joint pain than the thousands of drugs available in man-made pill form, with 100s of adverse side effects.

    What side effects does marijuana have? Laughter, hunger, and couch-lock.

  3. “The anti-marijuana campaign is a cancerous tissue of lies, undermining law enforcement, aggravating the drug problem, depriving the sick of needed help, and suckering well-intentioned conservatives and countless frightened parents.
    Narcotics police are an enormous, corrupt international bureaucracy … and now fund a coterie of researchers who provide them with ‘scientific support’ … fanatics who distort the legitimate research of others.”
    ~ William F. Buckley, Jr. Requiescat In Pace
    Commentary in The National Review, April 29, 1983, p. 495

    “We have been terribly and systematically misled for nearly 70 years in the United States, and I apologize for my own role in that,”
    “I mistakenly believed the Drug Enforcement Agency listed marijuana as a schedule 1 substance [a category of dangerous drugs no legitimate use] because of sound scientific proof.”I then found the real facts…
    “They didn’t have the science to support that claim, and I now know that when it comes to marijuana neither of those things are true,”
    ~Dr Sanjay Gupta

    Why I changed my mind on weed
    By Dr. Sanjay Gupta,

    http://www.cnn.com/2013/08/08/health/gupta-changed-mind-marijuana/index.html

  4. What does the real Science say?
    Might be a clue in here some where.
    Spain Study Confirms Hemp Oil Cures Cancer
    http://www.endalldisease.com/s…..
    Federal Government Reports that Marijuana Kills Cancer Cells
    http://www.nbcnews.com/id/5114…..
    US Patent 4837228
    Cannabichromene (CBC)
    http://www.google.com/patents/..
    US Patent 4189491
    Glaucoma Treatment
    http://www.google.com/patents/..
    US Patent 5631297
    Anandamide Compounds
    http://www.google.com/patents/
    US Patent 6132762
    Pain, inflammation and arthritis
    http://www.google.com/patents/..
    US Patent 6410588
    Cannabidiol and inflammatory diseases
    http://www.google.com/patents/.
    US Patent 6974568
    Treatment for coughs
    http://www.google.com/patents
    US Patent 6630507
    Inflammatory and autoimmune diseases
    Strokes, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s
    http://www.google.com/patents/..
    US Patent 7741365
    Novel polycyclic cannabinoid analogs
    http://www.google.com/patents
    US Patent 7597910
    Prostate cancer and prostatitis
    http://www.google.com/patents/..
    US Patent 7977107
    Detecting traces of cannabinoids
    http://www.google.com/patents/..
    US Patent 8071641
    Diabetes and insulitis
    http://www.google.com/patents/..
    US Patent 8242178
    Cannabidiol and autoimmune hepatitis\par
    http://www.google.com/patents/..
    US Patent 8034843
    Nausea, vomiting and motion sickness
    http://www.google.com/patents/.
    US Patent Application 20100292345
    Cannabigerol (CBG)
    http://www.google.com/patents/….
    US Patent Application 20080181942
    Multiple sclerosis and MS relapse
    http://www.google.com/patents/…..
    US Patent Application 20090197941
    Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease
    http://www.google.com/patents/…..
    US Patent Application 20100204312
    Treating cell proliferation and cancers
    http://www.google.com/patents/….
    US Patent Application 20080262099
    Inhibition of tumour cell migration
    http://www.google.com/patents/….
    US Patent Application 20100222437
    Gastrointestinal inflammatory and cancers
    http://www.google.com/patents/…..
    Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research Studies..
    Scientific Proof Cannabinoids Kill Cancer Cells
    http://youtu.be/mFBBTnv5Xbs
    http://redd.it/18qiwn
    http://phoenixtears.ca
    http://www.phoenixtearsfoundat…..
    Copy and paste links into address bar (one at a time)
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/196384..
    ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/227763.

  5. Cheryl, I for one completely understand where you are coming from, but in the society we are living in now there are a lot of diffrent drugs being handed out. Pot has became I pretty big deal but it hasn’t killed anyone, from how it seems with your ex the high he was getting wasn’t as strong as he had hoped for, and that’s why he took that spiral down. I’m sorry you had to go through that. Drugs around children where do I start with that? People who smoke around their children are sick and twisted, if it isn’t prescribed to that person why the hell would you bring it around you children? People now days just do not care they have became heartless, kids are going to try things but why would mom or dad in a way push it on them? I’m not against pot at all but I do wish people would be a little wiser. The society we live in today sucks and it’s not going to get any better.

  6. I feel like Marijuana is helpful for medical discretion, such as, cancer patients or other types of diseases that need some kind of appetite increasing agent or is a high pain level type disease. I know people who have used it in the past and to me it made them stupid and act like things that should be important arent important and they just let things happen no worries. But, I have never known of anyone to kill or hurt anybody because they were under the influence of it, they usually just want to sit and eat and sleep, from what I have observed. As far as the rest of it goes, I have heard that they have been talking about making it legal, I personnally don’t really care what they do, cause it don’t effect me either way, as long as they don’t do it around me and it doesn’t effect there work ethic or other peoples lives and their own family life, but I don’t really no that much about it other then what I shared above. If something needs to be done then I say do it, there is a lot of other things that need to be dealt with that are way more important to me.

  7. Let me start off by saying marijuana has never killed anyone unlike cigarettes which has killed a numerous amount of people and is legal. Does this make sense to you? Sure as heck makes no sense to me. Why is something that grows from this very earth illegal? Now I understand marijuana effects the mind and you can defiantly abuse it but there are many benefits from marijuana too. what benefits come from smoking tobacco? Or even drinking alcohol? Where is the logic here? My opinions on the launch of a petition drive to lower the municipal criminal penalties for possession of marijuana are that it should be legalized.

  8. Let’s ask why pot is illegal to begin with. Alcohol is many times worse than pot, yet the lawmakers sit back and have their drinks while making laws about things they surely do not understand. When was the last time you heard of an auto wreck being caused because the driver was smoking pot? If they are out there it sure doesn’t make the news. Yet you hear about it with alcohol every day. How often do you hear of someone being drunk and then becomes violent and abusive? Many times yet alcohol was made legal by our wonderful lawmakers. Now how many times has it happened with pot? I don’t hear of them. I say let those that want to smoke it do so. It is nobody’s business. There is so much tax payer money being wasted and spent on maintaining prisoners and overcrowded prisons for non violent crimes. The state is always wanting money from the taxpayers to build new and more prisons. Why not turn that around and have the state make money on pot instead of wasting money, time and peoples lives? Don’t be stupid Oklahoma. Where is the common sense at our state leadership level? More and more every day the old saying we live in a “free” country is going out the window. Personally I don’t care to live under a dictatorship nor do I wish that upon my children and grandchildren. Make laws where they are needed. Leave the rest of it alone! Pot is not a gateway drug. The addictive personality of the individual is the gateway not the pot.I do not agree with Cheryl D.

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.