Brian Shamblen

Oklahoma Reverses Restrictive Medical Cannabis Rules

This week, the Oklahoma Board of Health reversed some of the restrictive medical cannabis rules it passed earlier this month without democratic support, according to a Star Tribune report. The reversals included many controversial rules first passed by the Board, such as a ban on smoking cannabis, requiring a pregnancy test before dispensing marijuana to a woman of “childbearing age,” requiring a pharmacist to be at every dispensary, and limiting the THC content of plants.

“The actions taken by an unelected group of health officials in Oklahoma were egregiously undemocratic. We are heartened to see them now reverse course, but they should have never attempted to meddle with a voter approved measure in the first place. It is our hope that state officials take heed at the nearly unanimous backlash they faced due to these actions and move to swiftly enact SQ 788 in the patient-centric manner the ballot language called for.” — Erik Altieri, Executive Director of NORML, in a statement

The Board of Health was cautioned by the Oklahoma Attorney General Mike Hunter in early July that it was acting outside of its authority by attempting to limit the scope of State Question 788, which legalized medical cannabis. The Board was urged to reconvene and write new rules.

The next step in the process is to get Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin to sign the re-written rules into effect — which she did for the previous controversial set of rules the very next day, despite warnings from the Board’s attorney. This time, Gov. Fallin’s office said the governor wants to review the guidelines with her legal staff — she has 45 days to accept or reject the new rules.

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