With no chance of Getting a Person High, OK Lawmakers to consider a form of Medicinal Cannabis for Some Adults

By John T. Lewis

According to a 2013 Poll, approximately 71% of Oklahoma residents believe medical marijuana should be legal in our state. Under discussion in the poll is full-fledged medical marijuana, the kind which is often smoked or baked into edible foods and which gets a person “high.” One would think legislation passed into law would follow alongside the views of the people who live within our state. On the contrary, this often isn’t the case as lobbyists and misguided religious people shout it out loud to keep this product illegal in all forms. But with nearly three quarters of our state saying medical marijuana should be legal, shouldn’t legislators get busy and start representing this large majority of voters?

You need not worry if you are still opposed to medical marijuana. Two Oklahoma bills filed this year (HB2251 & HB2835 ) will provide for a form of cannabis but not allow marijuana in the sense of what we usually imagine when this word is used. It will not be a patient purchasing the plant material at a local dispensary, but it will be an oil or other liquid extracted from the plant.  Further, the proposed laws will also require this CBD oil to not have within it the part of the substance which gets one “high” (THC). In essence, the “marijuana” of these two bills isn’t at all what some people think of when they imagine a bunch of stoners sitting around getting high. There should be no religious or moral objections at all.

Last year House Bill 2154 was passed into law which allows for certain children under 18 to use this CBD oil. Norma Sapp, a leading Oklahoma cannabis activist, reports that the full effects of this law are just now coming to fruition. There is no doubt that this oil has helped children with epilepsy. There are scientific studies everywhere on the benefits of cannabis in controlling epilepsy and other medical conditions, and for the enlightened, the evidence can no longer be denied.

These two Oklahoma House bills seek to expand upon who may use these CBD oils. As mentioned, current law allows only those under 18. Under these 2016 proposals, with a doctor’s permission a patient 18 and older would be able to use the oil for certain medical conditions. And exactly which medical conditions would be authorized are the main differences between the two bills.

Here is a breakdown of the two bills and what they would do if passed in their current form…….

House Bill 2835: CBD oil may be available to children or adults who have the following conditions:

  1. Lennox Gastaut Syndrome,Dravet Syndrome, also known as Severe Myoclonic Epilepsy of Infancy, or any other form of refractory epilepsy (current law allows CBD oil only for this condition for those under 18).
  2. Alzheimer’s Disease
  3. Dementia
  4. Post-traumatic Stress disorder

 

House Bill 2251: CBD oil may be available to children or adults who have the following conditions:

  1. Lennox Gastaut Syndrome,Dravet Syndrome, also known as Severe Myoclonic Epilepsy of Infancy, or any other form of refractory epilepsy (current law allows CBD oil only for this condition for those under 18).
  2. Aids
  3. Anorexia
  4. Arthritis
  5. Cachexia
  6. Cancer
  7. Chronic Pain
  8. Glaucoma
  9. Migraine
  10. Persistent Muscle Spasms
  11. Severe nausea
  12. Bipolar Disorder
  13. ADHD
  14. Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
  15. Any other chronic or persistent medical symptom which limits the life abilities of the patient

 

One may reason that they should push for HB2251 since it includes more medical conditions for which the CBD oil may be prescribed. The truth is that both bills should be pushed. This is true because the more expansive bill (HB2251) was filed by Brian Renegar who is a Democrat. With Republicans in full control of Oklahoma politics, few Democrat bills move far.   HB2251, on the other hand, was filed by Jon Echols, a Republican, and the principle author of the bill which passed last year to allow limited use of CBD oil for children.   If only one of the two bills move, it will likely be the Republican bill.

The medical conditions which may be included in a final bill could be altered by committee members. For instance, if enough people call or write committee members and ask them to add cancer to the list of acceptable medical conditions, it just might be added to the bill which does not currently include it.

Both of these bills have been assigned to the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Controlled Substances Committee. If you are interested in a person’s right to decide their own medical treatment, you should contact the Chair of this committee, Representative David Derby, and ask him to hear these bills. You should also contact the members of this committee and suggest language which you think would improve these bills, and ask them to vote in favor of it.

It should be easy to see that this is not about marijuana or getting high. The substance under discussion has proven medicinal value and won’t lead people to become pot smokers. One does not have to morally support marijuana usage to support the freedom of people to make their own health decisions. I may not agree with everything everyone does, but I do support the idea of self-government and think the people of Oklahoma are big enough to decide for themselves.

FILE - This Oct. 26, 2010 file photo shows a marijuana plant flourishing under grow lights at a warehouse in Denver. It took 50 years for American attitudes about marijuana to zigzag from the paranoia of "Reefer Madness" to the excesses of Woodstock back to the hard line of Just Say No. And now, in just a few short years, public opinion has shifted so dramatically toward pragmatic acceptance of marijuana that even those who champion legalization are surprised at how quickly attitudes are changing and states are moving to approve the drug for medical use and just for fun.. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski, File)
Photo credit: This Oct. 26, 2010 file photo shows a marijuana plant flourishing under grow lights at a warehouse in Denver.  (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski, File)

 

Source post formerly/https://oklahomalegislativereview.wordpress.com/2016/02/06/cbd_oil_for_ok/

Via OKGrassroots

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John T. Lewis offers a fresh perspective on Oklahoma legislation in progress. While he has closed down his original website, much of his work is archived here on OKGrassroots. Visit Oklahoma Legislative Review Archives via OKGrassroots