Yes, it is true that on Tuesday Oklahoma became the 30th state to legalize medical marijuana. In fact, their medical marijuana program may be the most relaxed in the country. Oklahoma medical marijuana may also be the surest sign that the country is tipping towards national legalization as well.
Let’s break it down. Oklahoma has traditionally been a very conservative state, where the marijuana legalization discussion has been oriented towards a more progressive mindset. So, the simple fact that Oklahoma approved full-spectrum medical marijuana at all, by a margin of a little under 60%, says a lot about the status of the marijuana legalization movement nationally. To take it even further, the only state programs that are more permissive than Oklahoma’s cannabis program are the 9 adult-use states.
Oklahoma voters were bombarded by $500,000 worth of negative TV ads towards cannabis legalization heading into the voter’s box with very few promotions advocating for legalization. What this suggests is that big marijuana advocacy money is not seeing as much of need to spend their cash on advertising for legalized cannabis because they have already sold the country on the merits of legalization. It also says that the opposition is now really feeling the pressure that they would spend so much money on a negative ad campaign in a deeply red state. The fact that a conservative state still voted to legalize such a relaxed medical marijuana program is surely a sign that people’s perspectives around the country concerning cannabis have changed. The most recent polls show that more than 90% of the country support medical marijuana legalization.
Here are the details of the Oklahoma’s new medical marijuana program.
- Doctors can give any patient permission to access medical marijuana for any condition
- Patients will be able to possess 3 ounces of marijuana flower in public and keep up to 8 ounces at home
- Patients can possess up to 1 ounce of cannabis concentrates like shatter for dabbing
- Patients can possess up to 72 ounces of cannabis edibles
- Patients can grow up to 6 mature plants and have up to 6 seedlings
- Patients can assign a caregiver the right to purchase or grow their cannabis for them
- Patients will be assigned an ID card
- Anyone that has not been issued a medical marijuana ID that is in possession of 1.5 ounces of cannabis or less that can cite some sort of medical condition will be faced with a misdemeanor offense punishable by no more than a $400 fine
Most states that have a medical marijuana program delineate clearly the qualifying conditions a potential patient must have for a doctor to judge whether medical cannabis is right for them. Some states like Florida have banned any smoking of marijuana and so patients cannot even access cannabis flower at all, nor do they have the ability to grow marijuana at home.
Oklahoma’s Republican Governor Mary Fallin has said she will try and tighten the measure so that it does not allow for the recreational consumption of cannabis. One way or another, Oklahoma medical marijuana may be the tipping point for the country since it is such a conservative state. How long before Oklahoma’s conservative neighbors see the wisdom in cannabis legalization as well?