Cannabis medicines are now acceptable and lawful for licensed patients in Oklahoma, but a pipe, lighter, or even potting soil could land a person in court to face a 1-year jail sentence and more than $10,000 in fines. That's because the Oklahoma board of health has not addressed their rules regarding licensed cannabis patients. The paraphernalia law is so poorly written that law enforcement and wealth dept. have vast latitude in how they implement the 2014 updated statute.
The paraphernalia law relies heavily upon establishing intent. A disposable lighter could be a basis for arrest if a cop says he has probable cause to believe a person may eventually light a joint with that lighter. When a medical marijuana patient goes down to the local nursery next month to get supplies and advice on growing cannabis medicines at home, the nursery staff could face charges for selling the potting soil and containers.
The statute (§63-2-405) only makes exceptions for physicians with proper certification to practice healthcare.
"Properly licensed patients" need to be added as an extension to the definition of section B (exceptions), since they are under the direct care of a licensed Oklahoma health professional. Since the paraphernalia law is encoded in Title 63(public health) is is certainly within the purview of the Health Dept. to add this emergency rule. Earlier this month we saw the Health Dept. attempt to create emergency rules far outside their department. They created commerce, occupational, criminal justice, zoning, and tax code rules without any proper oversight role. Yet they completely overlooked their old and outdated rules and thereby created a barrier to their own lofty motto; "Protecting & promoting the health of Oklahoma citizens".
The Health department needs to make a clear statement on this because of the vast prejudices that have become evident around the state. Yes, a licensed patient could 'lawyer up' and win, but so many other poor individuals who cannot fight this battle will be intimidated into abuse... especially in the first 2 years.
Read more about the Norman Police who have been spending vast sums of money to target retailers who create unique pipes.
2014 Oklahoma Statutes
Title 63. Public Health and Safety
§63-2-405. Prohibited acts E - Penalties.Universal Citation: 63 OK Stat § 63-2-405 (2014)A. No person shall use tincture of opium, tincture of opium camphorated, or any derivative thereof, by the hypodermic method, either with or without a medical prescription therefor.
B. No person shall use drug paraphernalia to plant, propagate, cultivate, grow, harvest, manufacture, compound, convert, produce, process, prepare, test, analyze, pack, repack, store, contain, conceal, inject, ingest, inhale or otherwise introduce into the human body a controlled dangerous substance in violation of the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Act, except those persons holding an unrevoked license in the professions of podiatry, dentistry, medicine, nursing, optometry, osteopathy, veterinary medicine or pharmacy.
C. No person shall deliver, sell, possess or manufacture drug paraphernalia knowing, or under circumstances where one reasonably should know, that it will be used to plant, propagate, cultivate, grow, harvest, manufacture, compound, convert, produce, process, prepare, test, analyze, pack, repack, store, contain, conceal, inject, ingest, inhale or otherwise introduce into the human body a controlled dangerous substance in violation of the Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Act.
D. Any person eighteen (18) years of age or over who violates subsection C of this section by delivering or selling drug paraphernalia to a person under eighteen (18) years of age shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a felony.
E. Any person who violates subsections A, B or C of this section shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a misdemeanor punishable as follows:
1. For a first offense the person shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one (1) year or by a fine of not more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), or both such fine and imprisonment;
2. For a second offense the person shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one (1) year or by a fine of not more than Five Thousand Dollars ($5,000.00), or both such fine and imprisonment; and
3. For a third or subsequent offense the person shall be punished by imprisonment in the county jail for not more than one (1) year or by a fine of not more than Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00), or both such fine and imprisonment.
F. Any person convicted of any offense described in this section shall, in addition to any fine imposed, pay a special assessment trauma-care fee of One Hundred Dollars ($100.00) to be deposited into the Trauma Care Assistance Revolving Fund created in Section 1-2522 of this title.
Added by Laws 1971, c. 119, § 2-405. Amended by Laws 1981, c. 62, § 3, emerg. eff. April 13, 1981; Laws 1982, c. 12, § 4, operative Oct. 1, 1982; Laws 1997, c. 133, § 532, eff. July 1, 1999; Laws 2004, c. 301, § 3, eff. Nov. 1, 2004; Laws 2004, c. 396, § 5, eff. Nov. 1, 2004.
NOTE: Laws 1998, 1st Ex.Sess., c. 2, § 23 amended the effective date of Laws 1997, c. 133, § 532 from July 1, 1998 to July 1, 1999.