So it's very clear that much of the marijuana rules were unnecessary. The fact that they showed up with this book of new agency rules, demonstrates that the state had plenty of time to come up with the basic task of overseeing this 5-page new statute that the people wrote and passed into law.
But other enacted rules completely ignored the law. Of the 8 subchapters in the governor's enacted emergency rules, the last 4 chapters were largely supposed to be created by a different entity. A Marijuana Industry Board
The Oklahoma State Department of Health will be compelled to, within thirty (30) days of passage of this initiative, appoint a board of twelve (12) Oklahoma residents, who are marijuana industry experts, to create a list of food safety standards for processing and handling medical marijuana in Oklahoma. These standards will be adopted by the agency and the agency can enforce these standards for processors. The agency will develop a standards review procedure and these standards can be altered by calling another board of twelve (12) Oklahoma marijuana industry experts. A signed letter of twenty (20) operating processors would constitute a need for a new board and standard review.
Other areas of overstepping were so fundamentally unconstitutional. In the first subchapter, the definitions include this gem of blatant denial of human rights.
"Resident" means a person who is an income tax payer in the State of Oklahoma and can provide proof of residency ...
This would exclude most minors, anyone who made modest income or less, most retirees, and anyone who moved into the state in the past year.
We called the authors of 788 and asked them a number of matters relating to intent and they concurred. Chip Paul, the chief author; and Frank Grove, the final draft editor; both agree that a 'red line' session is now appropriate and there is an effort to schedule a meeting with the people at the Health Department whom Paul says; "have generally done a good job of responding quickly & addressing the licensing process".
Grove and Paul are primarily concerned with getting the patients and growers taken care of now. They say that the focus should be on getting the seedlings in the hands of licensed patients and certified growers so that a first harvest can be ready in late fall. That will inform the state agency of the scope of need and then we can prepare Dispensaries to be available once the medical relief product is available.
The governor has demonstrated that rules can be tweaked on an as-needed basis. But more importantly, the legislature needs to have a real relationship with those in this new healthcare protocol who are daily providing care to suffering Oklahomans.
As doctors begin treating patients with this new class of treatment remedies, there will come a wealth of verifiable evidence for our legislators to respond to in an accountable way.
Opinion of the Editor
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David Van Risseghem is the Director of Sooner Politics.org. The resource is committed to informing & mobilizing conservative Oklahomans for civic reform. This endeavor seeks to utilize the efforts of all cooperative facets of the Conservative movement...