In response to a coalition recently formed by U.S. Sen. James Lankford and pastors across Oklahoma, the Yes on 788 campaign has released the following statement:

Let us be clear, SQ 788 is about more than allowing doctors to recommend medical marijuana to patients it would benefit. It is about a fundamental social shift in Oklahoma. The movements to prioritize funding education and for criminal justice reform are part of this shift as well. Ultimately, there are many links between the three.

Recently, Lankford stated that passage of SQ 788 “would be harmful to the social fabric of Oklahoma.” Currently, that social fabric is woven with public policies that have Oklahoma leading the nation in opioid addiction, incarceration, teen pregnancy and trailing the nation in commitment to education.

Jed Green, State Director, had this to say, “The word of God is clear on this issue. As written in Genesis 1:29 ,(New International Version) ‘I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.’ So our question is, given that the ministry of Jesus Christ centered on healing the sick, without precondition, how would Jesus vote?”

Green went on to add, “Our prayer is that as leaders in some denominations of the faith community express themselves on this issue, they will resist the temptation to deceive Oklahomans with half-truths and things left unsaid.”

When Lankford claimed “outside groups” are influencing the people of Oklahoma, he failed to note that nearly 100% of the Vote Yes on 788 PAC donations have come from Oklahomans. Co-founder of Oklahomans for Health, editor of SQ 788 and chair of the Vote Yes on 788 PAC Frank Grove remarked that “Lankford’s confused about the impetus behind SQ 788. In order to sign the SQ 788 initiative petition in 2016, you had to be registered to vote in Oklahoma. Where did those signatures come from? Lankford does not understand the initiative petition process.”

In correction of the current tack by faith leaders in our communities, SQ 788 requires a doctor’s recommendation and that most medical marijuana is consumed in edible forms, not smoked.

When opponents suggest that SQ 788 will harm Oklahoma’s employers and economy, they omit that employment in our state is “at will” and that SQ 788 will create a billion-dollar industry.

When they say that SQ 788 will allow recreational pot smoking, they fail to mention that a doctor’s recommendation is required and that most medical marijuana is not smoked. It is consumed in edible forms. As written in Genesis 1:29 “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.”

When stating that there are problems with SQ 788 as a whole, they fail to mention that this is a statutory question and that the legislature is hard at work to develop the regulatory framework which will implement the law responsibly.

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