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Both sides are passionate about state question concerning medical marijuana

Posted: 10:21 PM, Jun 19, 2018
Updated: 2018-06-20 03:21:47Z

"This is life of death for a lot of people," said Bridget Wood, a SQ788 supporter.

Wood makes a blue sign, the sign supporting state question 788 on the election ballot next tuesday. 

The meaning behind three numbers is known by most Oklahomans now.

"I have a choice," Wood said. "I can break the law or I can be chained to an opioid that is shortening my life span." 

Wood has severe arthritis - and claims the green substance, medical marijuana - is a better way to cure her pain. 

"I'm able to reduce my dosage of morphine by about 90 percent and that's in two weeks, " she said.

If passed, a person could legally possess up to three ounces of marijuana, six mature plants, 72 ounces of edible marijuana, plus eight ounces inside their home. 

The question has its opponents as well.

"My stepfather actually started supplying my mom with marijuana and they would grow it and sell it," said Jen Magby, an opponent to the issue. "There were times we would have to go out into the community and sell it." 

Magby - sharing her story - to give voters insight into a life surrounded by pot. 

"We were abused a lot growing up," she said. "My parents were very irritable after they came down after their high. It was not a good childhood at all." 

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation took a stand Tuesday, sending a statement to 2 Works for You:

"The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) has fielded questions from the media and citizens on the impact of State Question 788, should it pass and be codified into law. Significant public safety and health concerns surround State Question 788, particularly as it is written. A report by the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics (OBN) details researched findings on 'medical marijuana,' including dispelling widespread inaccurate information.

"In addition to the points enumerated by OBN, State Question 788 directly impacts the operations of the OSBI. In states that have either 'medical marijuana' programs or have legalized marijuana, there have been significant increases in driving under the influence of drugs cases, including arrests of drivers, traffic collisions, and traffic fatalities. Other states with 'medical marijuana' have reported a massive increase in these types of cases.

"Currently, the OSBI performs the majority of all toxicology testing in the state on blood samples drawn from drivers who are suspected to be driving, operating, or in actual physical control of a motor vehicle while under the influence of drugs. Marijuana is one of those drugs and remains a Schedule 1 drug under both federal law and state statutes. Even at a conservative increase of doubling the number of cases, this translates to a cautious estimated cost of more than $3 million for testing, personnel, equipment, and other services to ensure timely testing of not only those blood kits, but also to prevent the creation of a backlog of other forensic testing services. Additionally, the OSBI currently tests for the presence of marijuana or its derivatives in an individual’s blood. Should the need to quantify the amount of marijuana or its derivatives to determine 'impaired or intoxicated' levels, similar to those for alcohol, additional resources would be required to research, develop protocol, purchase instrumentation, etc. for this testing. The estimated cost should this additional provision occur is $1.5 million."

Magby said if they pass this, the state might be making a lot of money, but it will also be paying out a lot in rehabilitation and maybe court costs for children." 

If passed - consumers would pay a 7-percent excise tax - plus the usual sales tax... In total a 16-percent tax. 

Plus - $100 for a 2-year license to buy.

Proponents of the question feel the cost is worth it, compared to the life-or-death needs of those who depend on it.

"Some people will have to leave the state if it doesn't pass just to save their life," said Wood.

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