By Sam Sabzehzar | April 28, 2011
All eyes were on Oklahoma’s cannabis laws earlier this year when a mother was sentenced to 12 years for selling $31 worth of marijuana.
One of the nation’s most strict laws on marijuana cultivation, where even one plant can land you a minimum jail term of two years, now has a bill on the Gov. Mary Fallin’s desk that will provide the same harsh penalty if you take the remaining plant matter and turn it into hash.
Some countries in the middle east don’t have this strict of a law, and few developed world nations see this form of punishment as successful, but rather see drug use as a medical issue and a difference between use and abuse.
In the U.S. alone, more than 25% of the country has some form of medical marijuana law in place.
It’s odd that with momentum shifting to marijuana reform laws that loosen the firm grip the drug war has on cannabis Oklahoma would propose such a senseless bill and utter waste of state resources housing non-violent marijuana users.
Oklahoma’s official website claim sone of their missions is to make the state drug free and hope this law will send a message to the citizens of Oklahoma “that the violation of drug laws is a serious criminal offense and it will be enforced to the fullest extent of the law,” explains Mark Hoffman, who is with the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics.
Hoffman goes on to state that most first time offenders with small amounts of marijuana are not filling their jails, but instead offer several programs through the state’s Drug Court System, which entices a majority to take a guilty plea.
The Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, which spends many of their precious resources going after the cultivation of marijuana, even wild marijuana where they have sprayed Monsanto’s Round-Up, which has caused many problems to farmers and their crops throughout the heartland.
In their mission of eradicating marijuana in their state, their claims to assist the citizens of the Oklahoma in a “quest for a drug free state” by locking their drug law offenders is viewed by many human rights groups as contradictory to and counterproductive of their mission statement.
Mr. Hoffman, who already admits this law is to scare citizens into following the law rather than break it, also admits he’s never heard of the Endocannabinoid System but doesn’t “believe in medical marijuana” and thinks “everyone who is using it is lying just to smoke dope.”
When challenged with the concept of CBD-rich strains aiding in the healing process, he did concede that other delivery systems of marijuana are safer than smoking it and that alcohol and other dangerous drugs have more dangerous effects on society that officers spend less time paying attention to when cannabis laws are being enforced.
He justifies this contradiction in logic by telling legitimate medical marijuana patients that they will not find compassion in Oklahoma and to ‘move to a state that tolerates such use,’ and that ‘prescriptions pills are safer and there are hundreds of options of pills to choose from, including marijuana (marinol).”
Hoffman goes on to ask me why the plant is necessary if marinol can be prescribed which also contradicts his agency’s stated marijuana drug ‘facts,’ which relies on lies from 1937 that have since been proven false.
“It’s all about the money,” Mark explains, like a broken clock that is right by happenstance at this moment.
He’s referring to why people grow it for sales, which he admits medicine to have a for-profit motive of also having, and doesn’t see a link to his state’s efforts to eradicate the plant throughout the state and using that stated goal to pursue an agenda that collects millions of dollars throughout the Oklahoma under the guise that those assets are made with drug money and now belong to the state of Oklahoma.
The OBN also puts forth a report each year that shows millions of dollars and assets are forfeited due to violation of such laws and reclaimed by the state.
In accordance with their stated mission to eradicate marijuana in the state, they have a un-factual ‘fact sheet’ on their site as well that states nothing about the Endogenous Cannabinoid System and claims that “after close examination, the FDA in 1937 declared it without medical utility” – the basis for the plant’s Schedule I classification.
The site has a ‘Marijuana Fact Sheet” which goes onto make such claims that marijuana causes birth defects and damages brain cells, which they say is linked to science data but they offer no such evidence as to where they got those studies or even which studies they use to justify these claims.
Partnership for a Drug Free America is linked to their fact sheet, which has been criticized in the past for irresponsible and untrue statements made about marijuana and adds further doubt to the effectiveness of misinformation in a plugged-in world where even this story can go around the world faster than it takes Oklahoma police officers to search a person suspected of possessing cannabis or hashish.
“Until marijuana prohibition is seen to be more dangerous than the drug itself, we will continue to see support for prohibition,” explains Ethan Nadelmann, founder of the Drug Policy Alliance.
Oklahoma, which sees a many men and women server in Iraq and Afghanistan are returning home to relieve their symptoms from various illnesses, including PTSD, will now be facing 2 years to life if they either grow the plant themselves, or if they turn that plant into hash.
Messages to Gov. Fallin encouraging her to veto this new bill and work towards a more comprehensive approach to marijuana reform that seeks to protect the user, or growing, using, or turning into oil and hash can be made by dialing (405) 521-2342. The governor has until April 29th to either sign into law or veto this bill.