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Budding prospects

Oklahoma residents — and many law enforcement officials and other experts — increasingly support medical marijuana use and decriminalization of the drug.

Tim Farley October 30th, 2013

Faced with some of the harshest marijuana laws in the nation, Oklahoma residents overwhelmingly favor its use for medical purposes while also endorsing decriminalization.

Recent survey data from SoonerPoll.com shows 71 percent of likely Oklahoma voters support amending the law to allow for physician-authorized patients to consume cannabis for therapeutic reasons. Twenty-one states and the District of Columbia have enacted similar measures since 1996.

Other survey results show 57 percent prefer treating minor marijuana violations as noncriminal, fine-only offenses.

Sixteen other states have decriminalized possession on first offenses, while Colorado and Washington have eliminated all criminal and civil penalties involving the possession of small amounts of marijuana.

According to Oklahoma law, the sale of any amount of marijuana is punishable by two years to life in prison. Subsequent possession offenses can result in prison time ranging from two to 10 years.

The punitive state laws don’t stop there. A new zero-tolerance statute also may place many more Oklahomans in county jails and state prisons.

The law, which took effect Oct. 1, creates a situation in which people who are not impaired (or high) but have smoked marijuana days or weeks earlier could be charged with driving under the influence. THC, the psychoactive ingredient in marijuana, remains in a person’s body for several weeks, said Norma Sapp (pictured above), state director of the Oklahoma chapter for the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML).

However, the law specifically states “any amount” of a Schedule I drug, including pot, that is discovered through blood, saliva or urine tests within two hours after an arrest could result in prosecution.

“You better not be driving through Oklahoma with a Colorado tag and a bad attitude,” OKC drug lawyer Chad Moody said.

Moody, a former Baptist pastor, specializes in defending people accused of drug crimes.

“This law does nothing but punish marijuana users through the back door,” he said. “The police have the attitude, ‘If we can ascertain through your precious bodily fluids what you’ve been up to, then we’re going to arrest you for something you did weeks ago.’”

Medical miracles?
Because of Oklahoma’s strict legal stance, more and more state residents are moving to Colorado to receive medical treatment involving marijuana.

That’s what Mallory Jo Johnson has gone through so she could save her daughter’s life. Zoey Johnson, 6, suffers from a rare seizure disorder known as Dravet Syndrome with only 600 reported cases worldwide. The seizures began when she was 3 months old, but it took more than 3 years and dozens of tests before doctors at Cook Children’s Health Care System in Fort Worth, Texas, diagnosed the toddler with Dravet’s, the girl’s grandfather, Marty Piel, said in an interview with Oklahoma Gazette.

Every possible medication has been prescribed by doctors, Piel said, including two that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Until about three weeks ago, nothing worked. Zoey experienced almost every type of seizure known to modern medicine, including thousands of head drops, or atonic seizures, in one day.

Then the family decided Mallory and Zoey should move to Colorado. In September, Zoey received her first cannabidiol (CBD) treatment — CBD is a non-intoxicating component of marijuana but still is illegal in Oklahoma. In Zoey’s case, the CBD is mixed with less than a milliliter of THC in an olive oil base. Drops are placed under her tongue.

Typically, Zoey receives three treatments a day. Since the treatments began, she has learned 20 new words, is speaking in four- and five-word sentences and wrote her name for the first time, Piel said. Before the treatments began, doctors compared her developmental to that of a 27-month-old.

“She’s starting to play, she colors and she pretends like other kids,” her mother said. “She’s also going to school for the first time, and she’s happy, sings and has fun.”

Piel and his daughter are advocates for a Compassionate Care Act that would allow patients to use medical marijuana in Oklahoma when prescribed by a physician.

“Kids shouldn’t have to leave their home state to seek treatment, but we don’t have any other option,” the grand- father said. “We’ll put every synthetic drug known to man in these kids, but (there’s) a naturally grown plant and we don’t let them have it.”

But lawmakers like Sen. Brian Crain (R-Tulsa), chairman of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee, are having no part of it.

“I’m opposed to marijuana in any form,” the former district attorney said. “I talked to a doctor in Grove who told me there’s nothing in marijuana that can’t be provided for with prescription medications.”

However, Mark Woodward, spokesman for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs Control, said the agency is studying the use of CBD treatment and its potential benefits.

“We want to see how other states are going about it,” he said. “If CBDs could help with seizures, then we’d be open to exploring those possibilities. We want to help kids, but we don’t want it (the use of CBDs) to be exploited.”

Apparently, the OBNDDC spokesman has changed his tune in the last year.

In July 2012, Woodward downplayed the significance of medical marijuana when he told OKC television station News9, “That isn’t medicine.”

He also said, “The bottom line is the whole medical marijuana movement is recreational pot smokers looking for loopholes in the law so they can recreationally smoke it whenever they want.”

Not alone
People like Zoey and dozens of other Oklahomans faced with chronic back pain, cancer, multiple sclerosis and migraines would disagree since traditional pharmaceutical medicines haven’t worked for them.

At the same time, the relief they find in medical marijuana can be life-saving, Sapp said.

In February, longtime Oklahoma resident Adam Setzer wrote a letter to state lawmakers urging them to approve a pair of medical marijuana measures intro- duced by state Sen. Connie Johnson. Setzer has suffered after a 2005 motor vehicle accident that left him with 13 bulging spinal discs, seizures and an extraordinary amount of pain.

Five years and 31 different medications later, Setzer finally turned to medical marijuana.

“The medical marijuana is the greatest thing I ever tried,” Setzer wrote. “I was the biggest cynic out there, even more than most of you … until I finally tried it.”

Senate Bill 710 would have allowed patients with debilitating medical conditions to privately possess up to eight ounces of marijuana and grow up to 12 plants in their home.

However, the Senate’s Health and Human Services Committee voted 6-2 to derail the proposal.

Another measure, Senate Bill 902, would have allowed the Oklahoma Board of Medical Licensure and Supervision to adopt rules permitting doctors to prescribe medical marijuana, but the bill stalled in the Health and Human Services committee.

Still, Johnson isn’t deterred by the lack of legislative success and insists she’ll keep fighting for common-sense marijuana law reform.

Johnson believes the medical marijuana issue boils down to two issues: accountability and compassion.

“They (legislative leaders) don’t have to listen to us, but they do have to talk to their constituents,” she said.

“Cannabis, used in its right form, can help people.”

Fighting ghosts
Sapp, 61, contends education of state lawmakers and law enforcement officials is the only answer to the decades-old marijuana debate. “Eighty-seven years of reefer madness needs to be dispelled,” she said, referencing the Marihuana Tax Act of 1937. “I don’t understand why they’re afraid of the plant, period.”

Sapp believes decriminalizing marijuana and taxing it as other states have done would reduce prison and jail populations, increase state and local revenues and allow police officers to pursue suspects of more serious violent crimes.

“Oklahoma is one of the most dangerous places to live in the nation,” she said, “but we’re focusing on people who smoke pot.”

The FBI reports that aggravated assaults statewide jumped 3.8 percent in 2012 compared to 1.1 percent nationwide. Agency stats also show a sharp increase in forcible rape last year with 1,588 cases, up 12.6 percent from 2011 and the most since 1994.

Even many lawmen are opposed to the 42-year-old “War on Drugs” launched by former President Richard Nixon in 1971. The group Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP) advocates education and diminishing law enforcement’s role in the enforcement of drug laws.

“By continuing to fight the socalled ‘War on Drugs’, the U.S. government has worsened these problems of society instead of alleviating them,” LEAP’s website states.

“A system of regulation and control of these substances (by the government, replacing the current system of control by the black market) would be a less harmful, less costly, more ethical and more efficient public policy.”

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10.30.2013 at 07:25 Reply

If anyone was using common sense these unconstitutional legislative rules would have been completely repealed and nullified long ago.

The cannabis community is the only group out there who see's bad or unconstitutional legislation and begs for the it to be legalized and not repealed.

When will we address the real issues here?

Cannabis prohibition is an unlawful act of legisltive ruling. It's null and void from it's inception as no legislation can over power the very law that gives it force.

This really isn't about cannabis at all, its about preserving freedom, the constitution and our republic.

There is no delegated authority by either side to legislate full prohibition or the partial prohibition that legalization is.

It's time to stop playing politics with our natural,lawful and unalienable rights to cannabis and demand the complete repeal and nullification of these unconstitutiol rules.

De-schedule, Repeal & Nullify Cannabis Prohibition ONCE and FOR ALL!

Join the repeal movement today!

Peace & Repeal,
Keary Prophet


10.30.2013 at 07:40 Reply

"Looking for loopholes in the law" ~Mark Woodward~

Really Mark? I would think it would be your duty and obligation to destinguish between statute and law. To say a statute is a law is gross negligence and equal to fraud. Would you like to swear under oath, and full commercial liability and penalty of perjury to that statement?

Once more I will say it, an unconstitutional, unlawful act is null and void of the force of law from it's inception. There is no delegated authority for our legislators to prohibit anything in nature and of natures God.

Statutes, Acts, Ordinances and Codes ARE NOT LAWS

Statutes,acts,ordinances and codes ARE NOT laws, they are legislative “RULES” of a society.  Legislative rules of a society are given force through law.  Law proceed rules.

Maxim of law: Government can only control what it creates. (The power which is derived cannot be greater than that from which it is derived.)

Not Legal Advice

U.S. Constitution, Article Six, Clause 2:
(The Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution)

This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof; and all Treaties made, or which shall be made, under the Authority of the United States, shall be the supreme Law of the Land; and Judges in every State shall be bound thereby, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.”


Marbury v. Madison : 5 US 137 (1803):
“No provision of the Constitution is designed to be without effect,” “Anything that is in conflict is null and void of law”, “Clearly, for a secondary law to come in conflict with the supreme Law was illogical, for certainly, the supreme Law would prevail over all other laws and certainly our forefathers had intended that the supreme Law would be the bases of all law and for any law to come in conflict would be null and void of law, it would bare no power to enforce, in would bare no obligation to obey, it would purport to settle as if it had never existed, for unconstitutionality would date from the enactment of such a law, not from the date so branded in an open court of law, no courts are bound to uphold it, and no Citizens are bound to obey it. It operates as a near nullity or a fiction of law.”

(If any statement, within any law, which is passed, is unconstitutional, the whole law is unconstitutional.)

U.S. v. Butler. 279 U.S. 116 (1929):
“The judicial branch has only one duty, to lay the Article of the Constitution which is involved beside the statute (rule or practice) which is challenged and to decide whether the latter squares with the former.”


Norton v. Shelby County 118 USR 425 (1886):
“An unconstitutional act is not law. It confers no rights, it imposes no duties, it affords no protections, it creates no office. It is in legal contemplation as inoperative as though it has never been passed.”
“The court follows the decision of the highest court of the state, in construing the constitution and the laws of the state unless they conflict with or impair the efficacy of some principle of the Federal Constitution or of the Federal Statutes or rule of the commercial or general law. The decision of the state court’s in questions relating to the existence of its subordinate tribunals and eligibility in elections or appointment of their officers and the passage of its laws are conclusive upon Federal Courts. While acts of de facto incumbent of an office lawfully created by law. An existing or often held to be binding from reasons of public policy. The acts of the person assuming to fill and perform the duties of an office, which does not exist, can have no validity whatever in law.”


16Am Jur 2d., Const. Law Sec. 70:
“No public policy of a state can be allowed to override the positive guarantees of the U.S. Constitution.”


16Am Jur 2d., Const. Law Sec. 155:
“Since the constitution is intendant for the observance of the judiciary as well as other departments of government and the judges are sworn to support its provisions, the courts are not at liberty to overlook or disregard its commands or counteract evasions thereof, it is their duty in authorized proceedings to give full effect to the existing constitution and to obey all constitutional provisions irrespective of their opinion as to the wisdom or the desirability of such provisions and irrespective of the consequences, thus it is said that the courts should be in our alert to enforce the provisions of the United States Constitution and guard against their infringement by legislative fiat or otherwise in accordance with these basic principles, the rule is fixed that the duty in the proper case to declare a law unconstitutional cannot be declined and must be performed in accordance with the delivered judgment of the tribunal before which the validity of the enactment it is directly drawn into question. If the Constitution prescribes one rule and the statute the another in a different rule, it is the duty of the courts to declare that the Constitution and not the statute governs in cases before them for judgment.


16Am Jur 2d., Const. Law Sec. 255:
“In all instances, where the court exercise it’s power to invalidate legislation on constitutional grounds, the conflict of the statute, with the constitution must be irreconcilable. Thus a statute is not to be declared unconstitutional unless so inconsistent with the constitution that it cannot be enforced without a violation thereof. A clear incompatibility between law and the constitution must exist before the judiciary is justified holding the law unconstitutional. This principle is of course in line with the rule that doubts as the constitutionality should be resolved in favor of the constitutionality and the beneficiary.”


16Am Jur 2d., Const. Law Sec. 257:
“The actual existence of a statute prior to determination, that it is unconstitutional is an operative fact and may have consequences which can not justify being ignored, when a statute which has been in effect for some time is declared unconstitutional, questions of rights claimed to have become vested of status of prior determinations deemed to have finality an acted upon accordingly and of public policy in the light of the nature, both of the statute and of it’s previous application demand examination. It has been said that in all inclusive statement of the principle of absolute retroactive inviolability cannot be justified. An unconstitutional statute is not necessarily a nullity it may have indeterminate consequences binding on the people.”


16Am Jur 2d., Const. Law Sec. 258:
“On the other hand it is clear that Congress cannot by authorization or ratification give the slightest effect to a state law or constitution which is in conflict with the Constitution of the United States.”


16Am Jur 2d., Const. Law Sec. 260:
“Although it is manifested that an unconstitutional provision in the statute is not cured because included in the same act with valid provisions and that there is no degrees of constitutionality.”


Owen v. Independence 100 Vol. Supreme Court Reports. 1398:(1982)
Main v. Thiboutot 100 Vol. Supreme Court Reports. 2502:(1982)

“The right of action created by statute relating to deprivation under color of law, of a right secured by the constitution and the laws of the United States and comes claims which are based solely on statutory violations of Federal Law and applied to the claim that claimants had been deprived of their rights, in some capacity, to which they were entitled.”
“Officers of the court have no immunity when violating constitutional right, from liability”

(When any public servant violates your rights they do so at their own peril.)


Title 18 sect 2381 – Capitol Felony Treason:
“In the presents of two or more witnesses of the same overt act, or in a open court of law, if you fail to timely move to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States and honor your oath of office, you are subject to the charge of capital felony treason.”

Title 18 US Code Sec. 241 & Sec. 242:
“If upon conviction, you are subject to a $10,000.00 fine, ten years in jail, or both, and if theft results, life in prison.”



10.30.2013 at 08:53 Reply

Norma, the same ignorance that drove the refer madness and fear of a plant, is the same ignorance that is driving society to think they have any business or right at all to control nature and the free market thereof to begin with. The answers are the same, who cares! The real point, is that mans rules have no authority over the things nature and natures God gave us, and rather you support complete prohibition through an unlawful act of legislation or partial prohibition (regulations) through an unlawful act. You have zero rights or capasities to do so. Period! These are the failures of their time and ours.
The only real question at this point, is when are we going to stop the madness completely and repeal and nullify these rules once and for all?
This oppression is sure to never end!
Have you ever even said repeal in public, or ever? If not now, when? If not us, then who? When will the time be right to just do the right thing to begin with?

With all due respect,

Keary Prophet, Peace & Repeal!


11.02.2013 at 06:46 Reply

#1 oklahoma prisons are for profit-look at the link-if we do not keep them fukll we face paying multimillion dollar fines-that is what the politicians are worried about-http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/19/private-prisons_n_3955686.html 

number 2-google phownix tears-it is an oil based compound-not necessarily smoked-http://phoenixtears.ca/


11.04.2013 at 09:56 Reply

I applaud these wonderful parents whom have shown so much love to actually move to a State that is caring for the well being of a person. Cannabis can be so much help with people in healing and also helping people. I wish more States would be like Colorado. Heck, why doesn't the government just legalize it for people whom suffer in chronic pain daily>