Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin (R) ratified strict emergency medical cannabis rules on Wednesday, flouting voters’ wishes on the issue, SF Gate reports. The rules were drafted by the governor’s appointees on the state Board of Health at an emergency meeting on Tuesday. The rules ban smokable cannabis and require pharmacists at all dispensaries.
Medical cannabis advocates like Green the Vote, a cannabis advocacy group that helped get the voter initiative on the ballot, say the move is deliberately designed to delay the rollout of a medical cannabis program authorized by 57% of Oklahoma voters.
“People are completely angry. They voted for (State Question) 788 and now you have the health department and our governor pull these shenanigans? It’s a slap in the face to all activists. It’s a slap in the face to all Oklahomans who voted on 788.” — Isaac Caviness, president of Green the Vote, via SF Gate
The general counsel of the state Board of Health was against the rules signed into effect by the governor, stating that the rules were likely beyond the legal authority of the board. Gov. Fallin said the rules were her effort to quickly set up a regulatory framework for medical cannabis.
“I know some citizens are not pleased with these actions, but I encourage everyone to approach this effort in a constructive fashion in order to honor the will of the citizens of Oklahoma who want a balanced and responsible medical marijuana law.” — Gov. Mary Fallin (R), in a statement