To Comfort The Afflicted
And Afflict The Comfortable

To Comfort The Afflicted And Afflict The Comfortable

Sunday, October 2, 2022

Observercast

Pot Petitions Seek To Bypass Lege

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BY RICHARD L. FRICKER

RichardFricker-2From all appearances Frank Grove fits nicely into the generally accepted definition of a” millennial,” someone born between 1980-2000. Grove is 26.

He is vice president of a software company, Nutraspace, native Tulsan, attended Marquette and Bishop Kelley parochial schools, and holds a Masters Degree in computer science from the University of Tulsa. He is also heading up an initiative petition drive to lower municipal criminal penalties for the possession of marijuana in the city of Tulsa.

Grove is part of a loose coalition of citizens seeking reform of the current local and state marijuana laws. A similar effort, as reported in the March Observer [and posted on-line Mar. 3], is underway in Oklahoma City.

These petitions were sparked by the Legislature’s unwillingness to address proposed medical marijuana legislation SB 2016 offered by Sen. Constance Johnson, according to Grove. A Sooner Poll finding last year showed that 72.1% of eligible voters would approve the sale of medical marijuana.

The group has a core of between 30-40 workers and hundreds of supporters, according to Grove. He says petition organizers are in the process of obtaining 501[c]4 status to help raise funds for their effort. Their ultimate goal is to remove the prohibition against marijuana use.

“We’re just kinda tired of working with Mayor Bartlett and the Legislature – we’re just going to use the initiative petition. The Legislature is out of touch,” Grove said.

“This is going through the process. We think the people will make the right decision,” he said citing the success of similar drives in Colorado and Washington states.

Accordingly those states are serving as a template for the local efforts in Tulsa and Oklahoma City.

While the two petitions are separate efforts by different organizations, Grove and Oklahoma City coordinators Mark Faulk and Brittany Guest are acquainted. Grove recounts they met in New York City at Zuccotti Park during the Occupy Wall Street movement.

Grove says the petition drive will begin in the spring. They hope to be on a ballot no later than the general election in November.

Asked if he thought lowering the possession penalties would become a wedge issue in the coming party primaries and the general election he said, “It might make it a little less easy for candidates to dismiss the issue.”

If Grove is correct, one primary candidate who could be is affected is Sen. Brian Crain, R-Tulsa, chairman of the Health and Human Services Committee. Sen. Crain, during a recent citizen lobbying effort at the Capitol, told a constituent seeking support for Sen. Johnson’s medical marijuana bill he couldn’t support the bill because – according to the constituent – “no one will give me any data.”

What Sen. Crain neglected to say is that he had previously agreed to hear Johnson’s bill and the experts he had arranged to testify during the 2012 Legislature, but reneged after he won re-election.

Crain is now running for the Tulsa District Attorney’s office being vacated by Tim Harris, who is retiring. Should he fail to win his DA bid, he can retain his Senate seat which has two years remaining on the term.

Grove does not see the marijuana as a partisan issue. “Actually, I’m a Republican, but I don’t have a label. If anything, I’m a pragmatist.”

Once the petition gets underway, Grove and his group will have 90 days to acquire the needed 17,700 signatures.

Editor’s Note: Grove and his group will have a volunteer and organizational meeting at Tulsa’s Rudisill Regional Library, 1520 N. Hartford Ave., on Saturday [Mar. 8] beginning at 2:30 p.m.

Richard L. Fricker lives in Tulsa, OK and is a regular contributor to okobserver.org. His latest book, The Last Day of the War, is available at https://www.createspace.com/3804081 or at www.richardfricker.com.

 

10 COMMENTS

  1. A Trillion spent is a Trillion earned.

    The vast majority of prohibitionists
    profit on the drug war,..
    … and that is their only motive.

    QUESTION: In Mexico, there are those who propose not keeping going with this battle and legalize. What is your opinion?

    SECRETARY CLINTON: I don’t think that will work. I mean, I hear the same debate. I hear it in my country. It is not likely to work. There is just too much money in it,

    We are talking about the illegality of one of the oldest plants known to man.

    “Prohibition… goes beyond the bound of reason in that it attempts to control a man’s appetite by legislation and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes. A prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded” -Abraham Lincoln

    “The prestige of government has undoubtedly been lowered considerably by the prohibition law. For nothing is more destructive of respect for the government and the law of the land than passing laws which cannot be enforced. It is an open secret that the dangerous increase of crime in this country is closely connected with this.” – Albert Einstein quote on Hemp

    “If people let government decide what foods
    they eat and what medicines they take,
    their bodies will soon be in as sorry
    a state as are the souls of those
    who live under tyranny.”
    – Thomas Jefferson

    “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
    – Joseph Goebbels

  2. I feel like marijuana should be legalized it does not not hurt anyone. Majority of society today smokes marijuana. I mean they use this drug to help with many different medicinal. That further let us know that marijuana is somewhat good for us.

  3. I completely agree with the petition. There is absolutely no reason why a citizen should be prosecuted for pot. Now I understand the difference between the amount and intention that could be involved in the situation. But the substance is a reasonable amount and only for recreational use then just give the person a ticket. Marijuana is used for multiple constructive reasons that the police officer may not know about it. There are way too many innocent people in jail for a little bit of weed. There are far more heinous crimes out their than smoking pot. I know child molesters and domestic abusers on the streets and pot smokers in jail. There is something wrong with that picture.

  4. A person caught with child pornography has a higher chance of getting out on bail than a person caught with pot..Alcohol has killed more people than pot. When someone decides to smoke pot they aren’t hurting anyone and there could be many reasons,for an example they are in pain,stressed or may need to relax so they can get to sleep..Someone who is in possession of child pornography if not already will have intentions on hurting a child but when caught is given a second chance and freed on bail giving them the chance to hurt someone. Pot smokers do not need to be in jail but instead rehab if they have an unhealthy habit. Smoking pot is unhealthy when you decide not to work and important things in life do not matter to that person anymore. I would rather pay taxes to keep a child molester in jail than to take care of a pot smoker that does not hurt anyone but themself.

  5. In regards to the legalization of marijuana in Oklahoma, I feel politics and politicians have nothing to do with the final decision being made. The decision needs to be made based on common sense, if jail cells are full of different types of people that are being held for the same charges then you would think common sense would kick in to show the problem may not be that people are continuously breaking the law but the law may need to be revised.

  6. Drug use will always remain a issue. There will always be a left and right view of the subject matter. Marijuana in my choice I feel like it should be legal in the state of Oklahoma. I still feel like it should be regulated, too much marijuana can result into a negative . I feel that if the state of Oklahoma could make taxes off of it, I feel like that would make everybody happy. The users would get there choice of drug in moderation and the politics get their tax money.

  7. In my opinion I highly think marijuana should be legalized. Not only does it not hurt any person if they smoke to much, but because it also helps children that have medical disorders. Mothers hate to see their child be in pain and at that last moment they want to give up. They have the last solution to give they child a drug to see them not be in pain and happy for once. Me being a mother of a beautiful little girl that has a heart defect I would most defiantly give it to my daughter to help her if I had to. Either way it goes tax payers will get what they want,”money.” And you will help out family’s that only want to help thier child get better or not feel pain. It’s really crazy how you can send someone to jail for a long period of time for getting caught with marijuana, but then a child molester or a murder will not get as much time as the pot smoker. Marijuana is not a killing drug, it helps ease pain so I would vote to legalize it.

  8. I predict marijuana will be legal throughout the land within five years. As soon as the Republicans, their big money supporters and Lobbyist start noticing the large tax dollars coming in to Colorado and the potential for tremendous profits to be made, their moral and religious apprehensions will quickly fade away. If a scenario could be created to tax and profit from Gay weddings, all these religious hypocrites would be dancing in a rainbow parade.

  9. Everyone please don’t fall into the trap of taxing it is a good idea. The state is a forever growing monster on YOUR TAX DOLLARS! Do you think the state would ever say well we finally have enough money? Practice living a life where the state is not involved in your affairs. What business is it as to what you do? This should be about re-legalizing something that was lawful until thugs in government conspired to deprive you of a product that was on the free market along with industrial hemp. “NO VICTIM, NO CRIME”.

  10. What in the hell happened to common sense. Are the Governor and her group of leaders not smart enough to see the benefits of legal pot? After all alcohol is legal and it is responsible for violent crimes across America everyday. How many of our state leaders support alcohol everyday by drinking it? Pot is not a violent drug and legal pot would bring in tax money for the state, reduce overcrowded prisons and reduce the need to spend tax payer money to build new prisons, give more time for police to focus on real crime, help people with medical conditions, the list goes on and on. It is a win win situation for everyone.
    It boils down to one thing, Our Governor and her crew do not have the common sense to run this state properly and should be replaced!
    What happened to America being a free country? Don’t let these leaders that don’t care about what we want take our freedom away. What will they want after the pot? Our souls?

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.