Attorney Ronald Durbin thought he was done with politics when he relocated to Oklahoma from his native Mississippi. He had been an associate to many notable political figures in the ascendancy of Hayley Barber, Trent Lott & others.
In Oklahoma he wanted to practice law & advocate for the restoration of those seeking justice. For years Mr. Durbin has litigated & negotiated resolutions in Oklahoma's courts, board rooms, and in govt. agencies.
But last spring he was asked to collaborate with a citizens group who was seeking a new ballot initiative to restore a measure of liberty for the citizens of this state. He ended up being the state's most consistent legal advocate for a just implementation of a new law for cannabis medicine treatments.
When political activists had completed a successful campaign for SQ788 and won a major victory, Ron Durbin was just starting his most impacting work as a defender of the new law.
While entrenched state agencies were conspiring to sabotage the rollout of patient rights and treatment options, Durbin met them at every turn. He forced the State Board of Health to cease & desist. He drew the Attorney General into the battle on the side of constitutional limits of agency powers. He guided the legislative discourse in the first two weeks of a historic bicameral interim study.
Some cities invited Durbin to advise, and they avoided jeopardy of lawsuits. But other cities were hell-bent on a fight. Durbin obliged them.
The Broken Arrow city council was the first such entity to incur the Durbin law machine in litigation. the case went before a District Court judge in Tulsa. The courts made the unusual step of applying an injunction on Broken Arrow to block any implementation even before the case was heard. That signalled a very strong case was compelling a likely finding for Durbin's plaintiff.
The ruling came within days and Durbin was successful in making Broken Arrow a test case precedent. Broken Arrow is now appealing and the Oklahoma Supreme Court is set to announce a final ruling any day. If Durbin does succeed, then a long list of cities will be ordered to comply. Cities like Grove, Hugo, & Weatherford are weighing ordinance proposals which would certainly be out of order, if Broken Arrow is defeated at the state's high court.
This kind of legal advocacy is, in itself, nothing especially outstanding if the legal council is properly funded by a trade group, civil liberties union, or wealthy business association. But Durbin has been compensated almost nothing for his stellar work on behalf of liberty, constitutional order, and compassion for the suffering ill patients all over the state.
Durbin has sat for hours in city council meetings, state agency board rooms, & legislative committee rooms. He has graciously given briefs on tv & in radio studios, He has informed advocacy groups and occupational groups. We sat down with Durbin this week to review all of this. He did not know we were going to bestow this recognition. What he told our interview was that he does not enjoy politics. He left that phase of life in Mississippi.
It's funny how some of society's greatest leaders are those how simply do the right thing and never really seek political opportunity from it. Durbin didn't discover the alleviating & healing properties of any medicine. But when the entrenched medical establishment and big pharma try to continue to keep it from the legitimate patients, a good humanitarian lawyer might be just as necessary as a good team of medical researchers.