July 11, 2018, Oklahoma
Proponents of medical marijuana in Oklahoma are not pleased with the Department of Health's ruling to ban the sales of cannabis for smoking. The decision has come within 24 hours of the joint press conference of pharmacists and physicians demanding a ban on all forms of cannabis sales that can be smoked. It was one of the demands among many.
People censuring the decision are of the thought that the ban is in clear violation of the voters’ will, who have voted in the majority in the favor of State Question 788. On the other hand, people rallying for the ban don’t comprehend the implications of SQ 788.
The Oklahoma State Medical Association (OSMA) has been leading the demand for banning smokable cannabis sales. In the press conference, the association proposed three recommendations for the newly commenced MMJ program. It is important to note that the presser was arranged purposefully just a day before when health officials had to meet to discuss and finalize the draft rules.
Aside from calling to ban smokable cannabis, the association wanted to limit the numbers of MMJ dispensaries in the state. Dr. Jean Hausheer, OSMA’s president said that the residents didn’t want an MMJ store on every street corner. The third and last proposal of OSMA wanted MMJ stores to hire pharmacists as their staff.
The state’s health department has eventually accepted two of OSMA’s demands. It is going to ban the sales of smokable leaves and flowers on MMJ dispensaries. Moreover, it has made it a requirement for MMJ dispensaries to hire at least a single pharmacist. These two proposals have been added to the 75-page emergency draft rules for the implementation of the program. Legal experts believe that the draft rules are vulnerable to get challenged in the courts on the basis of SQ 788’s violation.
ACLU and other activist group have announced to file lawsuits in the light of the violation of voter’s will. The trade association of the state’s marijuana industry is also blasting the state on including this restriction in the draft. The head of the association thinks that such measures would stunt the progress of the medical cannabis program.
Smokable marijuana is the cheapest form to consume strain for therapeutic purposes. Smoking cannabis contains harmful side effects. However, many people find it more convenient to smoke it up instead of consuming it in the form of conventional medicines.
Amid the ban on the sales of smokable cannabis, some MMJ consumers can heave a sigh of relief. The newly drafted laws don’t restrict MMJ patients from smoking home-grown plants. Residents with MMJ permits are free to consume MMJ through smoking by using the plants harvested in their backyard.
Cannabis activists are hopeful that Oklahoma’s Health Department will revise the draft rules in coming days. There are strong chances that they will reverse the ban on smokable cannabis sales to avoid getting stuck in the limbo of litigations.