Oklahomans for Health is actively attempting to collect 86,000 signatures before their 90-day deadline expires. They are in a race to collect the required number of signatures in order to add two state questions to the November 2016 ballot. The petition is unique in that it would make Oklahoma the first state to remove the “qualifying conditions committee.” In other words, if a doctor feels medical marijuana is necessary for a patient, that patient would automatically receive the prescription. They would not be required to have specific medical conditions.
State Question 787 would amend the amount of time allowed to collect signatures for a petition from 90 days to one year.
“This measure amends statutes to reform the initiative and referendum petition process. It allows one year instead of ninety days to circulate a petition for signatures. it allows for 8 1/2 by 11 sized paper be used in addition to legal sized paper. It requires three-quarters majority of both houses to repeal or amend measures approved by electors.”
State Question 788 would legalize the use of medical marijuana by residents of Oklahoma if they received a recommendation from an Oklahoma board-certified physician.
“This measure legalizes medical marijuana for residents with a recommendation from an Oklahoma Board Certified Physician. It also legalizes commercial medical marijuana dispensary, growing, and processing licenses regulated by the Department of Health. It protects card holders from discrimination and lowers penalties for unlicensed possession.”
The Oklahomans for Health movement has more than just the backing of the general public. Former state representative of Oklahoma Joe Dorman is a member of the board of Oklahomans for Health. In an interview with the Duncan Banner, Dorman shared, “When it comes to treating conditions, I trust doctors more than politicians. These are individuals who have undergone intense training for many years.”
Oklahomans for Health runs with the help of volunteers. They do accept donations on their website, but they rely on volunteers to get out in the communities to collect signatures for the petition. Volunteers can go door to door in search of support, or set up booths to create a central area for supporters to come and sign the petition.
“We work towards the legalization of medical cannabis and stand against the horrors of prohibition in Oklahoma. We are comprised of a grassroots and decentralized effort of Oklahomans throughout the state and country who have decided to take the law into our hands. Through our common goal, decentralized infrastructure, and passionate volunteer basis we will author our own Constitutional Amendment and make it law.”
Oklahomans for Health offers complete training online to allow volunteers from any part of the state to help the movement. The training guide offers suggestions of how to most effectively gather signatures, as well as ensuring all signatures gathered are legal and will count. Oklahomans for Health is all about gathering signatures from supporters, not offending those who do not support the cause. The group advocates being polite to everyone, regardless of their views on medical marijuana.
According to Oklahomans for Health, medical marijuana can be used to help treat a multitude of medical conditions. Cannabis has been shown to help alleviate pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, seizures, and also improve mood in the following conditions:
- Crohn’s Disease
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Inflammatory Lung Disease
Oklahomans for Health also believes legalizing medical marijuana will help counteract the drastic budget shortfall Oklahoma is currently facing. Neighboring state Colorado has made over $28,503,972 in taxes, licenses, and fees since 2014 after legalizing marijuana for both medicinal and recreational use.
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