Rogers County sheriff speaking out against medical marijuana ballot measure

ROGERS COUNTY, Okla. – This summer, Oklahoma residents will head to the polls to decide on the fate of a ballot measure.

On June 26, Oklahoma voters will head to the polls to vote on State Question 788, which would legalize medical marijuana for some patients.

Under the state question, a person 18 years or older would need to apply for a medical marijuana license with the Oklahoma State Department of Health after receiving a note from their doctor. If approved, the patient would then have to pay $100 to obtain that license.

Patients would be allowed to legally possess up to 3 ounces of the drug on them, six mature plants and six seedlings. They could also possess one ounce of concentrated marijuana, 72 ounces of edible marijuana and 8 ounces of marijuana in their home. At this time, there are no qualifying conditions and it would be taxed at 7 percent for all marijuana sales.

Those caught with up to 1.5 ounces of marijuana who “can state a medical condition, but not in possession of a state issued medical marijuana license” could face a misdemeanor charge and a fine not to exceed $400.

“This measure amends the Oklahoma State Statutes. A yes vote legalizes the licensed use, sale, and growth of marijuana in Oklahoma for medicinal purposes. A license is required for use and possession of marijuana for medicinal purposes and must be approved by an Oklahoma Board Certified Physician. The State Department of Health will issue medical marijuana licenses if the applicant is eighteen years or older and an Oklahoma resident. A special exception will be granted to an applicant under the age of eighteen, however these applications must be signed by two physicians and a parent or legal guardian. The Department will also issue seller, grower, packaging, transportation, research and caregiver licenses. Individual and retail businesses must meet minimal requirements to be licensed to sell marijuana to licensees. The punishment for unlicensed possession of permitted amounts of marijuana for individuals who can state a medical condition is a fine not exceeding four hundred dollars. Fees and zoning restrictions are established. A seven percent state tax is imposed on medical marijuana sales,” the ballot measure reads.

Now, an Oklahoma sheriff is expressing his opinion on the upcoming measure.

Sheriff Scott Walton, with the Rogers County Sheriff’s Office, posted a letter on Facebook, encouraging residents to vote against it.

“As we move closer and closer to exercising our constitutional right of considering whether or not to legalize the medicinal use of marijuana in the State of Oklahoma, I want people to learn the absolute facts and to resist the temptation to compromise our individual way of life and the future of our communities. The impact alone, on Public Safety, of allowing marijuana to be legalized at any extent, would only contribute to the same type of demoralizing issues we are currently experiencing since the unforeseen passage of State Question 780 and 781. That legislation virtually made it a simple misdemeanor for anyone in the State to possess a small quantity of Heroin, LSD, or Methamphetamine. And with it, Oklahoma now has the softest drug laws in the Nation. State Question 788 is yet another attempt to misinform law abiding citizens, as despicable corporate business investors will use methods of propaganda to influence the political system, in order to profit from their huge campaign. Most of the people providing financial support for the passage of State Question 788, neither reside in this State, nor have a vested interest in seeing that Oklahoma continues to prosper and flourish in a manner that our parents, their parents, and their parents before them, intended for our state,” he wrote.