theadanews.com - Ada, Oklahoma

State News

May 29, 2014

Medical marijuana supporters campaign for ballot question

Oklahoma City — Fannie Bates stood outside the Capitol on Wednesday, clutching a sign that read “Marijuana can keep me from going blind.”

“I wouldn’t smoke it,” said Bates, 64, of Red Oak. “But I would put it in brownies and just take a tiny chunk every day like a vitamin. It wouldn’t be enough to make me high. It’d just be enough to keep me from going blind.”

Bates said four generations her family have suffered from glaucoma, and said she believes marijuana is the only thing standing between her and sure blindness should she be diagnosed.

She was among the first to sign a petition seeking support for legalized medical marijuana. Should Tulsa-based Oklahomans for Health gather nearly 160,000 signatures from registered voters in the next 90 days, the question will go to voters in November.

Chip Paul, the group's chairman, said the effort marks the first time any group has tried to legalize medical marijuana in Oklahoma. 

Paul said he's optimistic that “a giant effort” will net the requisite signatures. People are going door-to-door for signatures in Oklahoma City and Tulsa, he said, and the movement will soon spread to the smaller communities.

Paul wouldn’t say how many signatures the movement has collected. But he cited polling numbers from December than show 70 percent of Oklahomans support a medical marijuana initiative.

“I think people just have a lot of preconceived notions about the whole medical marijuana effort,” he said. “I think a lot of people think it’s just sort of a sneaky way to get a recreational marijuana law passed. And that’s furthest from the truth.”

Mark Woodward, the spokesman for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, said they are encouraging people not to sign the petition — at least until they fully research the issue on both sides.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
State News
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
Stocks
Poll

Are you pleased that Oklahoma has repealed Common Core standards for public school students?

Yes
No
     View Results