What does the legalization of medical marijuana mean for Oklahomans?
With last week’s passage of State Question 788, Oklahomans used the power of the ballot box to legalize medical marijuana.
56% voted in favor with 43% against.
Oklahoma is now the 31st state and the District of Columbia to approve the use of medical marijuana.
So now that medical marijuana is legal in Oklahoma, does this mean that it is okay to possess and use pot now?
No. The bill only legalizes the use of medical marijuana for medical purposes, so not just anyone can consume it. Below outlines the details of the changes to Oklahoma law as a result of the passage of SQ788.
Who can possess and consume marijuana in Oklahoma?
Only Oklahoma residents over the age of 18 can obtain a license from an Oklahoma board certified physician to possess and consume marijuana. The licenses will be granted by the State Department of Health.
If you do not have a license approved by a physician, you cannot possess or consume marijuana.
What does a license for medical marijuana use allow you to do?
According Oklahoma City’s KFOR, a license for medical marijuana allows the person to:
- Consume marijuana legally
- Legally possess up to three ounces of marijuana on their person
- Legally possess six mature marijuana plants
- Legally possess six seedling plants
- Legally possess one ounce of concentrated marijuana
- Legally possess 72 ounces of edible marijuana
- Legally possess up to eight ounces of marijuana in their residence.
Even if you have a medical marijuana license, if you possess more than the amounts listed above, you can face charges for violating the law.
Licences must be valid and expire after two years.
Can anyone get a medical marijuana license?
No. Since doctors issue the licences, it is up to their professional discretion to determine who is in need of medical marijuana.
Doctors are subject to their state regulatory board, but can also face criminal charges if they are found to be illegally distributing licenses (like they can with other prescription medications).
In the version of law as passed, doctors are not restricted in the medical conditions for which they can issue a medical marijuana license.
The Oklahoma Department of Health has thirty days to put a regulatory system in place. Additionally, It is expected that Governor Mary Fallin will announce a date for a special session of the legislature to iron out details, such as what medical conditions will qualify for medical marijuana license and how weed will be distributed.
The medical conditions that qualify for licences often vary by state. For example, many states allow for the use of marijuana to treat glaucoma, but not all states allow for it to treat diseases such as lupus.
Where will people get marijuana?
Businesses will apply with the Oklahoma State Health Department to become licensed dispensaries and will be subject to a number of laws and regulations in order to prevent the selling of marijuana for recreational purposes.
The vote to allow medicinal pot represents a significant shift in Oklahoma’s position on drug use. While the details remain to be worked out, this new law will bring significant changes to the prosecution of marijuana use.
If you are interested in starting a marijuana business in Oklahoma, please contact the law office of Jacqui Ford. We have extensive experience in regulatory compliance and governmental relations, and can help make sure you don’t find yourself in trouble.
If you are facing criminal charges for marijuana possess or use, know that a criminal defense attorney can assist you in handling your case. Contact the law office of Jacqui Ford for help today.