A coalition of medical professionals, those in law enforcement, business leaders, and members of the faith community filed papers today to formally oppose SQ 788. This broad-ranging coalition is committed to defeating the state question.
“This state question is NOT about Medical Marijuana,” stated campaign chairman Dr. Kevin Taubman. “This question is too broad and does NOT have the support of the medical community,” Taubman said. In addition to chairing this committee, Taubman is the immediate past-president of the Oklahoma State Medical Association, a founding member of the Vote NO coalition.
“When you look past the ballot title and into the details of the question, you see many problems,” stated Mike Waters, Pawnee County Sheriff and President of the Oklahoma Sheriffs’ Association. “This state question creates a special class of citizen out of those who obtain a medical marijuana license. It does not make sense that an 18-year-old can go to a veterinarian, say he gets headaches, and then be given a two-year license to carry enough marijuana for 85 joints. As it is written, it is possible he could then have these on school grounds and because it is medicine from a doctor, we couldn’t do anything about it,” Waters continued. “I believe a better medical marijuana law could be written that our organization could support, but SQ 788 is not medical,” Waters concluded.
The state question is worded in a way that prohibits municipalities, landlords, employers, and even schools from regulating the activity of medical marijuana license holders. If this question passes, some say a college could not keep a license holder from smoking and growing marijuana in a dorm room, and the state question expressly states a landlord could not prohibit these activities. If in place today, one could not stop someone renting a hotel room from using marijuana, as our smoke free areas only apply to tobacco.
“The business community has serious concerns about how this state question is written,” stated Roy Williams, President of the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber. “This state question infringes upon our rights to operate a drug-free workplace. Our opposition centers around our concerns for the safety of employees and the public,” Williams stated.
“This is not a debate about whether or not marijuana has medicinal benefits. In fact, members of our coalition are not unanimous in opposition to all medical marijuana laws – but we all believe SQ 788 is NOT medical and encourage our fellow Oklahomans to vote NO on 788,” stated Taubman.
Current members of the growing coalition include:
Catholic Conference of Oklahoma, Greater Oklahoma City Chamber, Oklahoma Academy of Ophthalmology, Oklahoma Behavioral Health Association, Oklahoma City FOP, Lodge 123, Oklahoma District Attorneys Association, Oklahoma Faith Leaders, Oklahoma Hospital Association, Oklahoma Osteopathic Association, Oklahoma Pharmacists Association, Oklahoma Sheriffs’ Association, Oklahoma Society of Anesthesiologists, Oklahoma State Medical Association, State Chamber of Oklahoma, and State of Oklahoma FOP.