Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Bill Dies
A plan to regulate Oklahoma’s medical marijuana was shot down on Monday in the State Senate. And that is a good thing.
Valid concerns about preempting the popular vote contributed to the demise of Senate Bill 1120, authored by Republican Senator Ervin Yen from Oklahoma City.
If the bill had passed, it would clearly have preempted the people’s will, which they intend to make clear on June 26, 2018 when they cast their votes for State Question 788, which seeks to legalize medical marijuana.
But for reasons best known to himself, Senator Yen had chosen to put forth Senate Bill 1120, seemingly because he felt that Question 788 would legalize recreational marijuana while his bill would legalize medical cannabis, sort of.
Senator Yen called Question 788 the “most liberal medical marijuana policy in the country” and a disaster for the state. “We do not need recreational marijuana in the state."
Yen admitted that his own senate bill had a lot of “moving parts and ramifications.” It also did not cover some essential MMJ issues such as post- traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression.
“If we legalize it, it needs to be done the right way,” Yen said, adding that he was willing to work with other lawmakers who had concerns.
Fortunately, that was not enough to seal the deal. “I think some of the senators believe it’s trying to usurp the will of the people,” said Senator Yen.
Yes, some senators, and probably many Oklahomans, do believe that. And they have a point.
Senator Kevin Matthews, Democrat from Tulsa, said medical marijuana should be approved, but it needs to be done by a vote of the people.
We vote yes to that.