Panhandle counties able to ban medical marijuana if determined by vote

Although a majority of Okla. citizens voted for SQ 788, local jurisdiction should be able to reverse the decision.

I find myself sympathetic to those in the shadow of the 57 percent in Oklahoma who voted in favor of SQ 788, the state question that legalized medical marijuana in the state. Provided with every justification on Earth for the utility and benevolence of medical marijuana, the burly, high-strung 57-percenters urge wide-flung uniform regulation. My intense gravitation to principle, though, finds me looking to Senator Casey Murdock, who represents the Panhandle counties.

In the first session of the 2019 legislature, Sen. Murdock introduced SB 325, an amendment that would allow counties to vote on the legality of medical marijuana (including prohibiting the possession, consumption, transport, sale, cultivation or manufacture of marijuana or marijuana products, or any combination thereof as stated in the amendment) in their jurisdiction. Local reform and legislation have always been attractive to me. When the many live in strongholds far removed from the familial county legislatures, ascribing domain to the individual and the tribal institution guarantees that some form of the republic survives.

Sen. Murdock argues to the media that his represented counties voted strongly against SQ 788, with 78 percent of voters objecting. His duty, and his probity in many ways, must be backed up by action. If his actions were curbed by the shouting of hipsters and marijuana professionals all the way in Tulsa, then he would be a piss-poor representative. It seems reasonable for the residents of individual counties to be able to decide if they want a contentious psychoactive substance available en masse in their region, no matter if this is misguided or ill-informed.

There are two concerns that arise, though, from this proposal: interstate legality and precursor farming operations. Questions of incarceration due to marijuana use in these areas seem to be highlighted by those opposed to SB 325. Additionally, farming operations fear investment loss. Murdock commented on the latter, proposing a grandfather policy for those already in the jurisdiction, as any reasonable person would.

What about marijuana arrests in dry counties? Keep out. Rip a bong at least six inches from the county line with a fan facing you from the opposite direction. It would seem prudent, though, to make accommodations of some sort that would allow for decriminalization, making marijuana possession or use simply a fine in the dry counties rather than arresting every idiot who walks into the region with some bud.

Now, all of the good God-fearing folk who live in the Panhandle who want to chief on a joint for their CTE are left out in the dirt. Unfortunately, that’s the reality of the thing. If cannabis is a serious necessity in one’s life, then one’s life must be structured around that requisite, just like any other serious matter.

Post Author: Thomas von Borstel