Oklahoma Senate to review state's medicinal marijuana policy, penalty

An Oklahoma senator has filed two separate bills that could change the state's laws on marijuana.

House Bill 902 would legalize medicinal marijuana while HB 914 would reduce the penalty for those caught with a small amount of marijuana.

Currently, the maximum penalty for possessing 1.5 ounces is one year in jail and a $1,000 fine.

Senator Constance Johnson proposes cutting the maximum to 10 days in jail and a $200 fine.

Rogers County Sheriff Scott Walton is against both proposals.

"It's not time to loosen up on anything," he said.

As for why he opposes medicinal marijuana, he just looks to the states where a similar law has already been enacted.

"It's an absolute joke," he said. "I stub my toe and now I need a script for a dime bag of weed? I think that should be a slap in the face to the medical profession or the pharmaceutical profession."

Not everyone opposes the proposals.

"I think that there are definitely medicinal purposes to marijuana," said Tulsa native Katja Newton. "I think that it has been proven with all the science and all the research that's been done."

Newton supports the decriminalization of marijuana and is in favor of Johnson's proposal to reduce the penalties.

"I think we are spending so much money by sticking people in jail for such a small thing as carrying a small amount of marijuana," she said.

If approved, the legislation would into effect Nov 1.

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