OKLAHOMA CITY — A campaign organization has released new documentary videos pushing for the passage of legalizing medical marijuana.
The “Yes On 788” campaign said they wanted to showcase Oklahomans who moved to Colorado in order to legally seek treatment from medical marijuana.
“I know there are what we call medical refugees, folks that have had to actually move out of state, and I believe that Oklahoma would be a better place if folks were able to access the medicines that help them,” campaign director Jed Green said.
Green tells News 4, passing State Question 788 would be a “win-win” for Oklahoma. He says not only is it a billion dollar industry with potential to create jobs, there are health benefits that cannot be achieved through certain prescriptions.
“What we want to do is we want the public to be aware that from cancer, multiple sclerosis, PTSD, epilepsy; that there are a host of illnesses that medical marijuana has been very effective in treating,” he said.
However, what Green calls a win-win, some members from the business community are calling a mistake. Roy Williams, president and CEO of the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce, said they are not against medical marijuana as a whole, but there could be problems for businesses that wish to remain drug-free.
“If you’re an employer and you have truck drivers, do you want that truck driver to be smoking marijuana at work because they have a medical prescription? If you’re a manufacturer, do you want them handling dangerous equipment with that?” Williams asked. “The concern here is that it’s wide open, that there’s really no restrictions on who gets it.”
While the Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) cannot take a formal stance on the issue, interim commissioner Tom Bates said they have to prepare under the assumption that the measure will pass.
“The timeline specified by the state question are really tight. You have to have applications available for people within 30 days of passage,” Bates said.
This week, OSDH met with multiple agencies and organizations which would be impacted by the statute of medical marijuana if legalized, including the Oklahoma Osteopathic Association.
“There’s also the food safety component of this,” Bates said. “We have to have a food safety board that can promulgate rules and standards for edibles that will contain marijuana and so that will be a significant undertaking as well.”
Voters will decide on June 26.