Medical Marijuana and State Question 788: What You Need to Know
Oklahoma’s marijuana laws keep changing, and the constant stream of news about what is new makes it hard to keep up. Here is what you need to know now about State Question 788 and the future of medical marijuana in Oklahoma.
Back on June 26, 2018, Oklahoman voters approved State Question 788, which legalizes medical marijuana. With passage of the bill, people who get the signature of a licensed doctor can obtain a license allowing them to use marijuana. The law also permits possession and cultivation of marijuana for medicinal use only. People with licenses can have three ounces or less on their person and eight ounces or less in their place of residence. Anyone running a dispensary or a commercial growing or processing operation needs a license too.
State Question 788 was a voter initiative, so the state government did not have input into the bill’s wording or the timing of its implementation. It contains a tight 30-day timeline for the Board of Health to write and implement new marijuana rules. The Board of Health recently released the rules, which will be overseen by the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority. They ban dispensaries from selling marijuana to be smoked and limit the number of dispensaries that can open.
Both the passage of the State Question and the subsequent rules have caused controversy across the state. As to the State Question, opponents say that it is too broad and essentially legalizes recreational marijuana because it places no limits on the qualifying medical conditions for which you can get a license. As to the rules, opponents decry the ban on smokeable marijuana and say the rules were made in haste. Recently, the governor asked the Board of Health to reconsider some of the rules to incorporate more public comment.
For ordinary Oklahomans, the controversy means that the current laws could change very quickly. If you plan to use medical marijuana, be sure that you are aware of the most current rules from the Board of Health regarding use, possession, and sales. You must have a license and doctor authorization if you are using or in possession of marijuana, and it must be within the ounce limits. Otherwise, you risk arrest for possession of a controlled substance. Further, even medical users could be convicted of driving under the influence if it renders them “incapable of safely driving a motor vehicle.” 47 O.S. § 11-902(A)(4).
To learn more about the new marijuana laws and how to challenge drug charges, seek out the DUI attorney who follows key changes in Oklahoma law to find the best defenses for his clients. Clint Patterson, Esq., of Patterson Law Firm, a former Tulsa prosecutor now using his trial experience and expert-level knowledge of DUI science to defend drivers, has the experience and the insight to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of your case. To schedule a case evaluation, visit Patterson Law Firm online or call Clint’s office at (918) 550-9175.